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Information Spillovers in the Market for Recorded Music

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  • Ken Hendricks
  • Alan Sorensen

Abstract

This paper studies the role of consumer learning in the demand for recorded music by examining the impact of an artist%u2019s new album on sales of past and future albums. Using detailed album sales data for a sample of 355 artists, we show that the release of a new album increases sales of old albums, and the increase is substantial and permanent%u2014especially if the new release is a hit. Various patterns in the data suggest the source of the spillover is information: a new release causes some uninformed consumers to learn about their preferences for the artist%u2019s past albums. These information spillovers suggest that the high concentration of success across artists may partly result from a lack of information, and they have significant implications for investment and the structure of contracts between artists and record labels.

Suggested Citation

  • Ken Hendricks & Alan Sorensen, 2006. "Information Spillovers in the Market for Recorded Music," NBER Working Papers 12263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12263
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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