Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes: New Products and the Evolution of Music Quality Since Napster

31 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016

See all articles by Luis Aguiar

Luis Aguiar

European Commission - Joint Research Center - Digital Economy Unit

Joel Waldfogel

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 25, 2016

Abstract

Using comprehensive digital sales data by time and vintage on the US, Canada, and 15 European countries, we infer the evolution of music vintage quality, finding that vintage service flow has increased since 2000. We explain the result with unpredictability of music quality at the time of investment along with growing releases. Evidence shows a) products with modest prospects at release - from artists on independent labels and from new artists - occupy a growing share of the top products; and b) despite growth in the number of products, sales are growing more concentrated.

Keywords: Digital music, Digitization, Copyright.

JEL Classification: L82, 033, K11.

Suggested Citation

Aguiar, Luis and Waldfogel, Joel, Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes: New Products and the Evolution of Music Quality Since Napster (January 25, 2016). Information Economics and Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2722537

Luis Aguiar (Contact Author)

European Commission - Joint Research Center - Digital Economy Unit ( email )

Edificio Expo - C/ Inca Garcilaso 3
Sevilla, 41092
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.luis-aguiar.com

Joel Waldfogel

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics ( email )

271 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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