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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effect of Information on the Charts: Evidence from Billboard

The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

With the introduction of digital intermediaries allowing people to access songs and artists more easily, there has been a shift in how listeners consume music. In this paper, I examine the effects of introducing Spotify in two countries – United States and Canada – on music diversity, using a Difference-in-Differences approach. In addition, I use a linear regression to analyze the change in the number of genres that have shown up in the Billboard Hot 100 since the beginning of the 21st century. Both these findings suggest that there is a negative effect on music diversity – defined by the number of Unique Songs and Unique Genres that show up on the Billboard Hot 100 charts – when there is more digital technology present. The effects on Unique Songs were negative at an insignificant level while the effects of Unique Genres were negative at a significant level.

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