Researchers have shown that although people say that they prefer listening to unfamiliar music, their selection actually contradicts their preference.
New research from Washington University's Olin Business School showed that the study, 'The Same Old Song: The Power of Familiarity in Music Choice,' may have implication for marketers and the playlists, events, venues and products which they choose to advertise.
Joseph K. Goodman, PhD, associate professor of marketing at Olin and co-author of the study, said that in three studies, his team examined the power of familiarity on music choice and showed that familiarity is a more important driver of music choice than more obvious, and commonly tested, constructs such as liking and satiation, i.e., being 'sick of' certain music.
He said that the team's results suggested that the emphasis on novelty in the music domain, by consumers and people often protesting the current state of the music business, is probably misplaced.
Goodman added that in the marketplace, and in their pilot study, consumers said that they wanted more novelty when in fact their choices suggested that they did not.
The research was done in collaboration with Morgan Ward of Southern Methodist University and Julie Irwin of University of Texas at Austin.
The study shows that consumers pick music they are familiar with even when they believe they would prefer less familiar music.