Assessing the Academic Literature Regarding the Impact of Media Piracy on Sales

22 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012 Last revised: 23 Oct 2013

Michael D. Smith

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Rahul Telang

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: August 19, 2012

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to provide a “non­‐technical” discussion of what the academic literatures in economics, marketing, and information systems can tell us about how piracy impacts sales of media products. Within these literatures, we have chosen to focus on empirical studies of the impact of piracy because, while there are a variety of analytic models proposing theories of how piracy might impact sales, we believe that the true test of these theories starts with data.

Based on our review of the empirical literature we conclude that, while some papers in the literature find no evidence of harm, the vast majority of the literature (particularly the literature published in top peer reviewed journals) finds evidence that piracy harms media sales.

Keywords: Piracy

Suggested Citation

Smith, Michael D. and Telang, Rahul, Assessing the Academic Literature Regarding the Impact of Media Piracy on Sales (August 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2132153

Michael D. Smith (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~mds

Rahul Telang

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

4800 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-1155 (Phone)

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