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Understanding Media Markets in the Digital Age: Economics and Methodology

In: Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy

  • Brett Danaher
  • Samita Dhanasobhon
  • Michael D. Smith
  • Rahul Telang

Digitization raises a variety of important academic and managerial questions around firm strategies and public policies for the content industries, with many of these questions influenced by the erosion of copyright caused by Internet file-sharing. At the same time, digitization has created many new opportunities to empirically analyze these questions by leveraging new data sources and abundant natural experiments in media markets. In this chapter we describe the open "big picture" questions related to digitization and the copyright industries, and discuss methodological approaches to leverage the new data and natural experiments in digital markets to address these questions. We close our chapter with a specific proof of concept research study that analyzes an important academic and managerial question -- the impact of legitimate streaming services on the demand for piracy. We use ABC's decision to add its content to Hulu.com as a natural experiment and show that it resulted in an economically and statistically significant drop in piracy of that content.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein & Catherine Tucker, 2015. "Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gree13-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12999.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12999
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2013. "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 14, pages 25-61 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Joel Waldfogel, 2011. "Copyright Protection, Technological Change, and the Quality of New Products: Evidence from Recorded Music since Napster," NBER Working Papers 17503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mortimer, Julie Holland & Nosko, Chris & Sorensen, Alan, 2012. "Supply responses to digital distribution: Recorded music and live performances," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-14.
    6. Brett Danaher & Samita Dhanasobhon & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2010. "Converting Pirates Without Cannibalizing Purchasers: The Impact of Digital Distribution on Physical Sales and Internet Piracy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(6), pages 1138-1151, 11-12.
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