Bhattacharjee, Gopal, Lertwachara and Marsden (2006a)
|Bhattacharjee, Gopal, Lertwachara and Marsden (2006a)|
|Title:||Whatever happened to payola? An empirical analysis of online music sharing|
|Author(s):||Bhattacharjee, S., Gopal, R. D., Lertwachara, K., Marsden, J. R.|
|Citation:||Bhattacharjee, S., Gopal, R., Lertwachara, K. and Marsden, J. R. 2006a. Whatever Happened to payola? An Empirical Analysis of Online Music Sharing. Decision Support Systems, 42, 104-120.|
|Link(s):||, Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Hunt, Williams, Nicholas and Rowlands (2009)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The data come from two sources: WinMX P2P network and the top 100 albums on the weekly Billboard chart. The study is longitudinal, spanning a period of 8 weeks. The following sub-sections describe the two data sources and the procedures we used to capture the necessary data. The announcement of each week’s Billboard chart signified a new week of data collection, a week that was ended with the announcement of the subsequent Billboard chart. A total of 196 albums appeared on the list over 8 weeks.
Identify and track data for 47 upcoming album releases providing pre and post release comparisons of sharing activity
On a weekend, multiple observations (using WinMX)(two each day from Friday to Sunday) indicated an average of 457,475 users sharing 303,731,440 files.
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
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|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
The popularity of online music-sharing networks has attracted interest from the music industry, artists, consumer advocacy groups, the popular press, and government legislative and regulatory entities. P2P networks have become lightning rods for debates on intellectual property rights and music market fates. Yet, to date, little has been based on actual observed activity on online sharing networks. Here we report on an initial P2P network data gathering and analysis endeavor and relate it to market performance of music albums. The relative market performance of music albums is gauged using the list of top 100 albums on the weekly Billboard charts. The P2P sharing data gathered is longitudinal, spanning a period of 8 weeks. We also identify and track data for 47 upcoming album releases providing pre- and post-release comparisons of sharing activity. We offer four main findings: (1) significant piracy opportunity and activity were observed; (2) the level of sharing opportunities are related to albums' relative chart positions; (3) there is evidence of both “pre-purchase sampling” piracy and “lost-sales” piracy; and, (4) sharing activity levels provide leading indicators of direction of movement of albums on the Billboard charts. Points (3) and (4) have particular implications for music marketing and promotion.
Main Results of the Study
4 main conclusions:
- significant piracy opportunity and activity were observed;
- the level of sharing opportunities are related to albums’ relative chart positions;
- there is evidence of both bpre purchase samplingQ piracy and blost salesQ piracy; and,
- sharing activity levels provide leading indicators of direction of movement of albums on the Billboard charts.
Other observations include:
- Results call attention to the likely presence of a potentially powerful offsetting type of piracy that is refferred to as pre-purchase sampling piracy, where people download music to sample it before a potential purchase.
- Evidence that the level of sharing opportunities online for music albums are
related to their relative chart positions on the top 100 Billboard charts
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Music companies to look further into this sampling as a way to get the public to listen to their music.
- The level of online sharing activity provides a feedback on current interest in an album and any promotional activities undertaken by the music companies.
- According to the authors initiatives aimed at shutting down the operations of these P2P on-line sharing networks would have a "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" effect.
Coverage of Study
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