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The effect of streaming services on the concentration of digital music consumption

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The purpose of this paper is to articulate whether consumers’ use of music via streaming service benefits niche products and diversified consumption of music. It examines does winner take all or is long tail achieved in the digital music market.


To investigate the degree of concentration in the digital music sales, this study measures multiple concentration metrics using the top 100 songs for 245 weeks listed on the Korean music ranking chart.


Conflicting results are found between the analyses based on short-run and long-run data. When sales distributions are compared weekly or monthly, the results show that streaming services have a less concentrated sales distribution than download services. However, the result becomes the opposite in the long-run analysis (i.e. one year).


This study proposes that the non-technological drivers such as the beneficial addiction of music consumption can be a crucial driver affecting the usage concentration in music industry, coupled with the royalty policy of access-based services.
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Keywords: Digital distribution; IT strategy; Media industry; Panel data

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Mobile Communication Business, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, Suwon, The Republic of Korea 2: Department of Media and Culture, Kunsan National University, Gunsan, The Republic of Korea 3: Graduate School of Information and Media Management, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, The Republic of Korea

Publication date: April 8, 2019

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