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Supply Responses to Digital Distribution: Recorded Music and Live Performances

  • Julie Holland Mortimer
  • Chris Nosko
  • Alan Sorensen

Changes in technologies for reproducing and redistributing digital goods (e.g., music, movies, software, books) have dramatically affected profitability of these goods, and raised concerns for future development of socially valuable digital products. However, broader illegitimate distribution of digital goods may have offsetting demand implications for legitimate sales of complementary non-digital products. We examine the negative impact of file-sharing on recorded music sales and offsetting implications for live concert performances. We find that file-sharing reduces album sales but increases live performance revenues for small artists, perhaps through increased awareness. The impact on live performance revenues for large, well-known artists is negligible.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16507.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16507
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  1. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  2. Zentner, Alejandro, 2006. "Measuring the Effect of File Sharing on Music Purchases," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 63-90, April.
  3. Yooki Park & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2005. "Digital Rights Management and the Pricing of Digital Products," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000402, UCLA Department of Economics.
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