Download e-book for iPad: The Economics of the Popular Music Industry by Chong Hyun Christie Byun (auth.)

By Chong Hyun Christie Byun (auth.)

This Palgrave Pivot makes use of modeling from microeconomic thought and business association to illustrate how shoppers and manufacturers have replied to significant alterations within the song industry.

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But the significance of the above analysis is to show that consumers are solving constrained optimization problems and determining how to best allocate their limited income across unlimited wants and needs. The advances of digital technology that enable consumers to obtain free (or nearly free) pirated music make the solution to the optimization problem quite easy: substitute in the free (pirated) good for the costly (legal) good to maximize utility. In a sense, it is economically rational for a consumer to consume only pirated music and avoid paying for music.

Nielsen Music 360 reports indicate that US consumers are now spending, on average, $109 a year on music related spending. The most significant portion of that spending is for live concerts, approximately 35 of total spending. 11 Perfect complements: collectors and a vinyl resurgence? There are, of course, consumers who collect music on physical media (cassettes, CDs, and of course, vinyl LPs) purely for the sake of collecting it, and these collectors are also an important element of the market for music.

It may not be ethical to do so, but it is rational from an economics standpoint. 2 23 Experiential goods and consumer optimization Music is a specific type of good, known as an experiential good, meaning that it must be experienced or sampled before the consumer can assess the quality of the piece and the utility it may bring to them. Of course, it still confers enjoyment and brings utility similar to other standard consumption goods. However, the experiential nature of music means that a consumer cannot assess the quality of the good without first sampling it, and therefore must be persuaded in advance before purchasing the music.

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