Professor Joel Waldfogel will present "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie? The Supply of New Recorded Music Since Napster" Friday, November 12, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. in room 2-215 of the Carlson School of Management building.
In the decade since Napster, research has focused attention on whether file-sharing undermines the protection that copyright affords recorded music, and most observers believe that file-sharing undermines the appropriability of recorded music. Even more important than Napster's effect on demand, however, is whether the diminished appropriability will reduce the supply of new recorded works. The legal monopoly created by copyright is justified to the extent that it encourages the creation of new works, but there is little evidence on this relationship. The file-sharing era can be viewed as a large-scale experiment allowing us to check whether diminished appropriability stems the supply of new works.
Waldfogel examines this hypothesis using a novel dataset on the supply of new recorded music derived from critical assessments of music. He compares post-Napster album supply to 1) its pre-Napster level, 2) pre-Napster trends, and 3) a possible control, new song supply following the iTunes Music Store's revitalization of the single. No evidence has been found that recent changes in appropriability have affected supply. Waldfogel reconciles this finding of a stable flow of new works in the face of decreased demand with a discussion of reduced costs of bringing works to market, which he substantiates with evidence of an increased role of independent labels since Napster.
This event is sponsored by the Department of Strategic Management and Organization and the Strategic Management Research Center.