Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream Data
The goal of this paper is to analyze the behavior of digital music consumers on the Internet. Using clickstream data on a panel of more than 16,000 European consumers, we estimate the eects of illegal downloading and legal streaming on the legal purchases of digital music. Our results suggest that Internet users do not view illegal downloading as a substitute to legal digital music. Although positive and signicant, our estimated elasticities are essentially zero: a 10% increase in clicks on illegal downloading websites leads to a 0.2% increase in clicks on legal purchases websites. Online music streaming services are found to have a somewhat larger (but still small) eect on the purchases of digital sound recordings, suggesting complementarities between these two modes of music consumption. According to our results, a 10% increase in clicks on legal streaming websites lead to up to a 0.7% increase in clicks on legal digital purchases websites. We find important cross country dierence in these eects.
The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis
For industries ranging from software to pharmaceuticals and entertainment, there is an intense debate about the appropriate level of protection for intellectual property. The Internet provides a natural crucible to assess the implications of reduced protection because it drastically lowers the cost of copying information. In this paper, we analyze whether file sharing has reduced the legal sales of music. While this question is receiving considerable attention in academia, industry, and Congress, we are the first to study the phenomenon employing data on actual downloads of music files. We match an extensive sample of downloads to U.S. sales data for a large number of albums. To establish causality, we instrument for downloads using data on international school holidays. Downloads have an effect on sales that is statistically indistinguishable from zero. Our estimates are inconsistent with claims that file sharing is the primary reason for the decline in music sales during our study period.