The Metric is the Message: How Much of the Decline in Sound Recording Sales is Due to File-Sharing?
20 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2011 Last revised: 19 Oct 2015
Date Written: November 1, 2011
The file-sharing literature has focused mainly on whether file-sharing has decreased record sales, with less attention paid to the size of any decline. Although there is still some contention, most studies have concluded that file-sharing has decreased record sales. What has not been noted is that most estimates indicate that the file-sharing has caused the entire enormous decline in record sales that has occurred over the last decade. This heretofore hidden result is due to the lack of a consistent metric that would allow easy comparability across studies. The task of this paper is to provide such a metric, translate the results reported in the literature into that metric, and then summarizes the results from this exercise.
Keywords: file sharing, piracy, sound recordings
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