On the Road Again: The Effect of Live Performances on Artist Popularity

Jan-Christian Tonon, Jörg Claussen, Christian Peukert

    Research output: Working paperResearch


    Many factors may explain a musician's popularity, e.g. talent, promotional activities, word of mouth etc. While most research has focused on the importance of promotion, no academic work so far has explicitly tackled the impact of live performances on artist popularity. We aim at filling this gap by using a large and rich dataset from the popular online music service last.fi. Micro-level observations of cancelled concerts allow us to exploit a unique experiment-like setting to study the causal impact of exposure to live performances on the attendees' listening behavior. We find that even long after giving a concert, artists still enjoy a considerable increase in music plays. This represents the first empirical evidence of a positive and lasting effect of live performances on artists' popularity.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherSSRN: Social Science Research Network
    Number of pages32
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Popularity
    • Music
    • Concerts
    • Last.fm

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