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Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream Data

  • Authors: Luis Aguiar, Bertin Martens
  • EUR Number: 25851 EN
  • Publication date: 3/2013

Abstract

This paper analyses the behaviour of digital music consumers on the Internet. Using clickstream data on a panel of more than 16,000 European consumers, we estimate the effects of illegal downloading and legal streaming on the legal purchases of digital music. Our results suggest that Internet users do not view illegal downloading as a substitute for legal digital music. Although positive and significant, our estimated elasticities are essentially zero: a 10% increase in clicks on illegal downloading websites leads to a 0.2% increase in clicks on legal purchase websites. Online music streaming services are found to have a somewhat larger (but still small) effect on the purchases of digital sound recordings, suggesting complementarities between these two modes of music consumption. According to our results, a 10% increase in clicks on legal streaming websites leads to up to a 0.7% increase in clicks on legal digital purchase websites. We find important cross country differences in these effects.

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