The effects of competition in short product life-cycle markets: The case of motion pictures

Roger J. Calantone, Sengun Yeniyurt, Janell D. Townsend, Jeffrey B. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


It is critically important to understand the relationship between new product launch strategies and their interaction with the competitive environment, which results in the successful introduction of new products. Deciding when to launch new products is among the most significant issues facing managers when formulating new products strategy, especially for products with short product life cycles. However, little extant research has focused on the interaction of product launch timing and the competitive market environment. This study explores the effects of four types of competitive threats on the market performance of short product life-cycle products. Threats from new products and incumbents are possible. Also, products in the same category and those in related product categories exert competitive pressures. In this paper, a framework of competitive threats is developed, and research questions are constructed and empirically tested using the motion pictures industry as the focus of this research. A set of simultaneous equations was estimated using a sample of 2,948 movies introduced in the U.S. market between 1997 and 2004. The results show that all competition types have negative direct, indirect (as mediated by distribution intensity), and total effects on the performance of a new product. For a focal product, incumbent products exert a greater negative impact on performance than new entrants. Surprisingly, products in different, but related, categories are more harmful to the performance of products than products in the same category. The results have important implications for launch timing and new product performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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