Are Streaming and Other Music Consumption Modes Substitutes or Complements?

22 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2012

See all articles by Godefroy Dang Nguyen

Godefroy Dang Nguyen


Sylvain Dejean

CEREGE, University of La Rochelle

François Moreau

Université Paris 13

Date Written: March 16, 2012


From a representative survey of 2,000 French individuals, we study whether consumption of music through streaming services, such as Spotify or YouTube, is a substitute or a complement to other music consumption modes such as CD, pay-downloads or live music. Controlling for the taste for music, various socio-demographic characteristics, as well as for the usual determinants of music consumption either offline (radio, TV, friends/relatives) or online (online recommendations, social networks), our results show that consuming music as streams (where the consumer does not possess the music but has just an access to it) has no significant effect on CDs purchase but is a complement to buying music online. The use of streaming services also affects positively live music attendance, but only for national or international artists who are more likely to be available on streaming services. These results suggest that a new music ecosystem is emerging in which the “possession” as well as the “access” modes of recorded music consumption might coexist.

Keywords: music consumption, streaming, substitutability

JEL Classification: L2, L86, Z1

Suggested Citation

Dang Nguyen, Godefroy and Dejean, Sylvain and Moreau, François, Are Streaming and Other Music Consumption Modes Substitutes or Complements? (March 16, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Godefroy Dang Nguyen



Sylvain Dejean (Contact Author)

CEREGE, University of La Rochelle ( email )

La Rochelle, F-17042

François Moreau

Université Paris 13 ( email )


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