The Impact of E-book Distribution on Print Sales : Analysis of a Natural Experiment

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Journal / PublicationManagement Science
Volume65
Issue number1
Online published29 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Abstract

Digital distribution introduces many new strategic questions for the creative industries—notably, how the use of new digital channels will impact sales in established channels. We analyze this question in the context of e-book and hardcover sales by exploiting a natural experiment that exogenously delayed the release of a publisher’s new Kindle e-books in April and May 2010. Using new books released simultaneously in e-book and print formats in March and June 2010 as the control group, we find that delaying e-book availability results in a 43.8% decrease in e-book sales but no increase in print book sales on Amazon.com or among other online or offline retailers. We also find that the decrease in e-book sales is greater for books with less prerelease buzz. Together, we find no evidence of strong cannibalization between print books and e-books in the short term and no support for the sequential distribution of books in print versions followed by e-book versions.

Research Area(s)

  • Channel, Digital distribution, Natural experiment, Publishing industry

Citation Format(s)

The Impact of E-book Distribution on Print Sales : Analysis of a Natural Experiment. / Chen, Hailiang; Hu, Yu Jeffrey; Smith, Michael D.

In: Management Science, Vol. 65, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 19-31.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review