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CentrePiece article

Video killed the radio star? Evidence from YouTube and iTunes


Making video clips of a song unavailable on YouTube has no effect on its sales on iTunes; but album sales suffer when video clips of a song from it are made unavailable on YouTube. These findings of a study by Tobias Kretschmer and Christian Peukert suggest that we need not worry too much about today’s equivalent of the old slogan ‘Home taping is killing music’. Their research investigates whether digital sales of songs and albums suffer from videos of the material being freely available online, using a performing rights controversy in Germany that led to far more videos being blocked there than elsewhere: no other country in the world has less access to popular music content on YouTube than Germany, not even South Sudan or Afghanistan. The findings suggest that different digital channels interact in intricate ways – and availability on one can influence success on another.


Tobias Kretschmer and Christian Peukert

3 October 2014     Paper Number CEPCP431

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This CentrePiece article is published under the centre's Growth programme.