Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intermediary platforms, such as Pandora and Spotify, in reducing piracy of digital music. Design/methodology/approach – The authors modify a predator-prey theoretical framework of copyright piracy to account for the impact of intermediary platforms on the consumption of original works and illegal copies. Findings – The theory shows that an increase in the number of legal alternative platforms available to consumers of digital music results in an unambiguous increase in the consumption of legitimate music and an unambiguous decrease in the consumption of unauthorized copies. Practical implications – The results suggest that policies to encourage entrepreneurship by intermediary platforms in the music industry serve as a complement to other policies currently being employed to combat piracy of digital music. Originality/value – The paper is the first of its kind to analyze the important role of intermediary platforms in reducing piracy of digital music while encouraging innovation by artists. Historically, entrepreneurship in this field has been controversial, given the gray areas surrounding what is and is not copyright infringement in the ever-evolving digital age. This paper highlights that once copyright laws are clearly defined, business growth in this area can be a highly effective solution to the piracy problem.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Urban Studies
- Business and International Management