Sunday, November 5, 2023

Book Digitalization and Print Demand Study

Abstract: The free digital distribution of creative works could cannibalize demand for physical versions, but it could also boost physical sales by enabling consumers to discover the original work. We study the impact of the Google Books digitization project on the market for physical books. We find that digitization significantly boosts the demand for physical versions and provide evidence for the discovery channel. Moreover, digitization allows independent publishers to introduce new editions for existing books, further increasing sales. Our results highlight the potential of free digital distribution to strengthen the demand for and supply of physical products.

Nagaraj, Abhishek, and Imke Reimers. 2023. "Digitization and the Market for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy15 (4): 428-58DOI: 10.1257/pol.20210702

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