The Economics of Digital Goods: A Progress Report

24 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017

See all articles by Paul Belleflamme

Paul Belleflamme

CORE/LIDAM, UCLouvain (Université Catholique de Louvain); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 31, 2016


I first review the theoretical apparatus that has been largely used so far to analyze information goods industries. I argued then that although this apparatus was fairly appropriate in the analog era and in the early digital era, it now needs to be significantly updated. The advent of streaming challenges indeed the main assumptions that underlie the existing models. This observation leads me to propose two main directions for future research efforts. First, one needs to better understand, and model, how streaming modifies the way content is accessed and consumed. Second, more attention should be given to the roles and strategies of streaming platforms, which become inescapable intermediaries regarding the distribution and consumption of digital goods.

Suggested Citation

Belleflamme, Paul, The Economics of Digital Goods: A Progress Report (December 31, 2016). Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 2016, 13(2), 1-24, Available at SSRN:

Paul Belleflamme (Contact Author)

CORE/LIDAM, UCLouvain (Université Catholique de Louvain) ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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