Youtube Decade: Cultural Convergence in Recorded Music

22 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014

See all articles by Lisa M. George

Lisa M. George

Hunter College, CUNY; The Graduate Center, CUNY

Christian Peukert

University of Lausanne (HEC)

Date Written: September 30, 2014


The YouTube platform reduces fixed entry costs for local artists but also lowers the cost of access to international superstars. The net effect is an empirical question. We study the effect of YouTube on the market for music, focusing on converging tastes for international hits. We consider Austria and Germany, which share a common culture and technological development but differ in access to music videos on YouTube. Exploiting a contract dispute that has blocked official music videos in Germany since 2009, we find that YouTube increases the number of US hits on European charts. We further find evidence that YouTube speeds the hitmaking cycle and brings more unique titles to top charts. Although the superstar effect dominates, the magnitude of estimated effects are modest, suggesting that YouTube will not drive out the market for local music.

Keywords: Digitization, Cultural Trade, Music Videos

JEL Classification: L82, O33, D83

Suggested Citation

George, Lisa Megargle and Peukert, Christian, Youtube Decade: Cultural Convergence in Recorded Music (September 30, 2014). NET Institute Working Paper No. 14-11, Available at SSRN: or

Lisa Megargle George (Contact Author)

Hunter College, CUNY ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
United States

The Graduate Center, CUNY ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue
New York,, NY 10016
United States

Christian Peukert

University of Lausanne (HEC) ( email )

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015

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