The Effect of P2P File Sharing on Music Markets: A Survival Analysis of Albums on Ranking Charts
Recent technological and market forces have profoundly impacted the music industry. Emphasizing threats from peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies, the industry continues to seek sanctions against individuals who offer significant number of songs for others to copy. Yet there is little rigorous empirical analysis of the impacts of online sharing on the success of music products. Combining data on the performance of music albums on the Billboard charts with file sharing data from a popular network, we: 1) assess the impact of recent developments related to the music industry on survival of music albums on the charts, and 2) evaluate the specific impact of P2P sharing on an album’s survival on the charts. In the post P2P era, we find significantly reduced chart survival. The second phase of our study isolates the impact of file sharing on album survival. We find that sharing does not seem to hurt the survival of albums.
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