Abstract for: Exploring the Dynamics of Music Piracy

Recently sales of physical music media have declined along with music industry revenues – the reasons are complex and poorly understood. We present three models exploring claims made in the conversation over piracy and the music industry's future. We model stakeholder perspectives rather than the full industry to identify their assumptions and the implications of their views, including: (1) Music industry labels claim music piracy directly supplants music sales; (2) Artists claim free music distribution can increase artist revenue through concert sales; and (3) Some academics claim reduced music sales revenue is attributable to other market changes (e.g., increased entertainment competition) rather than piracy. Modeled results suggest that, for each claim respectively: (1) Music labels' mental models are simplistic and do not reflect current research findings; (2) Artists can enhance their concert revenues through piracy as free marketing; and (3) competition with other media explains part of declining music industry revenues.