DP8719 | Superstars and the Long Tail: The impact of technology on market structure in media industries


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Technological change is transforming creative media industries. Digitisation lowers recording, storage, reproduction and distribution costs, while computer-based editing facilitates higher quality and special effects. With electronic distribution a vast range of content can be made available to consumers across global markets. The distribution of industry sales appears to be shifting: the late 20th century was the era of the 'hit parade' but attention has now shifted to the 'long tail'. This paper develops a model of differentiated products with endogenous quality and heterogeneous firms to examine the implications of technological change for product variety, quality, and the distribution of firms in media industries.