Luis Aguiar

Department of Business Administration
Affolternstrasse 56
CH-8050 Zurich

Institutional Affiliation: University of Zurich

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2018Platforms, Promotion, and Product Discovery: Evidence from Spotify Playlists
with Joel Waldfogel: w24713
Digitization has vastly increased the amount of new music produced and available directly to consumers. While this has levelled the playing field between already-prominent and new artists, creators may now be dependent on platform decisions about which songs and artist to promote. With Spotify emerging as a major interactive streaming platform, this paper explores the effect of Spotify’s playlists on both the promotion of songs and the discovery of music by new artists, using four approaches. First, we examine songs’ streaming volumes before and after their addition to, and removal from, major global playlists. Second, we compare streaming volumes for songs just on, and just off, algorithmic top 50 playlists. Third, we make use of cross-country differences in inclusion on New Music Friday ...
September 2016Quality Predictability and the Welfare Benefits from New Products: Evidence from the Digitization of Recorded Music
with Joel Waldfogel: w22675
We explore the consequence of quality unpredictability for the welfare benefit of new products, using recent developments in recorded music as our context. Digitization has expanded consumption opportunities by giving consumers access to the “long tail” of existing products, rather than simply the popular products that a retailer might stock with limited shelf space. While this is clearly beneficial to consumers, the benefits are somewhat limited: given the substitutability among differentiated products, the incremental benefit of obscure products - even lots of them - can be small. But digitization has also reduced the cost of bringing new products to market, giving rise to a different sort of long tail, in production. If the appeal of new products is unpredictable at the time of investme...

Published: Luis Aguiar & Joel Waldfogel, 2018. "Quality Predictability and the Welfare Benefits from New Products: Evidence from the Digitization of Recorded Music," Journal of Political Economy, vol 126(2), pages 492-524.

October 2015Streaming Reaches Flood Stage: Does Spotify Stimulate or Depress Music Sales?
with Joel Waldfogel: w21653
Streaming music services have exploded in popularity in the past few years, variously raising optimism and concern about their impacts on recorded music revenue. On the one hand, streaming services allow sellers to engage in bundling with the promise of increasing revenues, profits, and consumer surplus. Successful bundling would indeed translate some of the interest in music not generating revenue through individual track sales - unpaid consumption and deadweight loss - into willingness to pay for the bundled offering. On the other hand, streaming may displace traditional individual track sales. Even if they displace sales, streams may however still raise overall revenue if the streaming payment is large enough in relation to the extent of sales displacement. We make use of the growth in ...

Published: Luis Aguiar & Joel Waldfogel, 2017. "As streaming reaches flood stage, does it stimulate or depress music sales?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, .

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