Contact Information:

H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon University
4800 Forbes Avenue, HBH 3028
Pittsburgh PA, 15213
Voice: 412-268-5978
Fax: 412-268-5338
Office: Hamburg Hall 3028
Assistant: Gretchen Hunter (Hamburg Hall 3007,


  • May-14: My paper with Liye Ma, Alan Montgomery, and Param Vir Singh titled “The Effect of Pre-Release Movie Piracy on Box Office Revenue” was accepted for publication at Information Systems Research. The paper analyzes the impact of piracy on box office revenue, finding that pre-release movie piracy reduces box office revenue by 20% relative to piracy that is delayed until after release.

  • May-14: I participated in a panel sponsored by the Technology Policy Institute on “The Evolving Media Landscape: What do the Data Show?”

  • April-14: I participated in a panel sponsored by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Adam Schiff on “Education, Enforcement, and the Economics of Piracy and Counterfeiting.”

  • April-14: My paper with Anuj Kumar and Rahul Telang titled “Information Discovery and the Long Tail of Motion Picture Content” was accepted at MIS Quarterly. The paper empirically shows that information discovery in pay cable broadcast windows allows consumers to discovery movies they didn’t discover in the theatrical window and shifts consumption toward “long tail” titles and away from blockbusters.

  • March-14: Our Megaupload paper appeared in the March issue of the International Journal of Industrial Organization. The paper shows that shutting down Megaupload caused an increase in digital movie sales of between 6.5-8.5% over the 18 weeks following the shutdown in the 12 countries in our dataset. Our placebo tests also show that the effect of the shutdown was not characteristic of the January timeframe, supporting a causal interpretation of our results.

  • February-14: Rahul Telang and I were awarded a Google Faculty Research Award for a project titled “Promoting Movies in Digital Channels: Impact of Targeted Movie Promotion on Sales and Piracy in Digital Movie Markets.”

  • January-14: My paper with Brett Danaher, Yan Huang, and Rahul Telang titled An Empirical Analysis of Digital Music Bundling Strategies was accepted for publication in Management Science’s special issue on Business Analytics. The paper analyzes a unique natural experiment that allows us to understand both the price sensitivity of music sold online and the interaction between single and album pricing strategies. We find that record labels benefit from tiered pricing and that unbundling strategies (where singles are sold alongside albums) outperform album only strategies.

  • November-13: I became affiliated with the Technology Policy Institute as an Adjunct Senior Fellow.

  • November-13: I presented the Megaupload shutdown paper at MIT’s Center for Digital Business “Initiative on the Digital Economy” seminar series. CDB blogged about the presentation here.

  • September-13: Our Megaupload research results were cited by Rep. Mel Watt in remarks to the House Judiciary Committee meeting “The Role of Voluntary Agreements in the U.S. Intellectual Property System.”

  • August-13: Brett Danaher, Samita Dhanasobhon, Rahul Telang and I have a new paper discussing empirical strategies for analyzing the impact of digitization on media markets. This paper also illustrates one methodology in the context of ABC’s use of the Hulu for streaming its content. We show that ABC’s decision to stream its content on Hulu caused a decrease in the demand for ABC piracy relative to NBC, CBS, and FOX content, and may have had a spillover effect that reduced the demand for piracy from those networks.

  • July-13: Brett Danaher presented our Megaupload shutdown paper at the Searle Center’s 3rd Annual Research Roundtable on the Law and Economics of Digital Markets at Northwestern University.

  • July-13: Pedro Ferreira presented the results of our paper with Miguel Godinho de Matos and Rahul Telang titled “The Impact of Popularity on Sales of Movies in Video-on-Demand: a Randomized Experiment” at The National Bureau of Economic Research Economics of Digitization Workshop in Stanford, California. This paper analyzes how “likes” affect movie sales by conducting an experiment with a major cable company’s Video-On-Demand service to manipulate the number of likes shown to consumers. We find that search costs, rank and number of likes are significant determinants of sales. For search costs, our experiments show that movies sell 3 times more on average when they are shown on the first screen of the VOD system than when the same movie is shown in lower screens.

  • June-13: I gave a presentation of IDEA anti-piracy research results at the 4th Anti-Piracy and Content Protection Summit, Los Angeles, CA.

  • June-13: Brett Danaher, Rahul Telang, and I have a new paper that reviews the literature on the impact of piracy on sales and discusses policy and industry approaches that could be taken to address the negative impacts of piracy. This paper will be included in the NBER’s upcoming “Innovation Policy and The Economy” book edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern. This paper was also included in National Bureau of Economic Research working paper series.