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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

Stan J. Liebowitz

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Management - Department of Finance & Managerial Economics

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Liebowitz, Stan J., The Metric is the Message: How Much of the Decline in Sound Recording Sales is Due to File-Sharing? (November 1, 2011). Journal of Cultural Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932518 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1932518

Stan J. Liebowitz (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Management - Department of Finance & Managerial Economics ( email )

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