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Purchase, Pirate, Publicise: Private-Network Music Sharing and Market Album Sales

29 Jan 2018

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Private filesharing networks present unique concerns when studying the relationship between piracy and legitimate sales.  These private networks facilitate a small share of total filesharing, but their reliability, quality standards, and policing of free riding allows them to punch above their weight.

Law enforcement agencies and industry groups exert considerable e ffort to curtail and eliminate private le sharing networks, but there is relatively little available evidence on how these networks a ffect the legitimate market for music.

This paper combines a unique, album-level dataset obtained from one of the most active private music filesharing networks at the time, combines it with retail sales data, and uses exogenous variation in the sharing capacity of users on the network to understand how fi lesharing occurs in this environment and how it might a ffect the legitimate market.

Author: John Lee.  Published by Dept. Economics, Queens University, Ontario, Canada, 22.01.18