Will Mp3 Downloads Annihilate the Record Industry? The Evidence so Far
33 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2003
Date Written: June 2003
This paper investigates the impact of unauthorized downloading of MP3 files on the recording industry. Although the no longer extant Napster was the most famous system used for such downloading, its progeny have continued to allow millions of music listeners to download music (and other) files without remuneration to the copyright owners. Using data on the historical sales of prerecorded music I examine in detail the recent decline in record sales and attempt to gauge the importance of various alternative factors that have been put forward to explain this decline. I conclude that the evidence supports a claim that MP3 downloads decrease sales.
Keywords: Copyright, MP3, Downloads
JEL Classification: K0, L0, L5, L8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation