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Effects of piracy on the American comic book market and the role of digital formats

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  • Wojciech Hardy

Abstract

Much like the music and movie industries before, the comic book industry has entered the digital markets and faces the unfair competition of unauthorized sources. I conduct a survey among comic book readers to infer whether the unpaid channels harm the sales of comic books from the top American publishers. My data allows me to construct a time panel of comics readers and calculate the substitution rate between the paid and unpaid channels of comics acquisition. Moreover, I show that the digital comics – both paid and unpaid – are typically considered as inferior by the readers. With the price of digitally released new comics set at the same level as their print versions, this suggests that readers who do not want to pay the full price for print copies are more likely to use pirate sources than to switch to legal digital channels. Indeed, among the surveyed sample, lowering the price of digital comics could help convert some of the unpaid acquisitions into paid digital ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Wojciech Hardy, 2020. "Effects of piracy on the American comic book market and the role of digital formats," IBS Working Papers 01/2020, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibt:wpaper:wp012020
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comic books; media; digital formats; piracy; file-sharing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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