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CentrePiece article
Video killed the radio star? Evidence from YouTube and iTunes
Tobias Kretschmer and Christian Peukert
October 2014
Paper No' CEPCP431:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 19 (2) Autumn 2014

JEL Classification: L82; M37; D83

Tags: sampling; displacement; promotion; natural experiment

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.

This article summarises 'Video Killed the Radio Star? Online Music Videos and Digital Music Sales' by Tobias Kretschmer and Christian Peukert, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1265, April 2014