Tepper and Hargittai (2009)
|Tepper and Hargittai (2009)|
|Title:||Pathways to music exploration in a digital age|
|Author(s):||Tepper, S. J., Hargittai, E.|
|Citation:||Tepper, S. J., & Hargittai, E. (2009). Pathways to music exploration in a digital age. Poetics, 37(3), 227-249.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Researchers conducted a survey questionnaire in 2003-2005 to students enrolled in sociology and communication courses on three different private universities across the United States (one in the Northeast, one in the Midwest, and one in the South).
The final simple consisted of 328 students with close-to-equal representation of different class years (23% first years, 33% sophomores, 23% juniors and 22% seniors). A little more than half (57.5%) were female with the average respondent of 20 years of age.
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
This paper looks at the largely unexplored terrain of how young people find music that is new to them in an environment with an unprecedented number of possibilities. Digital media has changed not only how artists create and distribute content, but also how listeners find and access new material. The new options exist in the context of older traditions such as using one’s social networks or traditional media to find content. Based on original data with a sample of college students, we find that while students use digital media to find music new to them, social networks and traditional media continue to play a very important role in the course of exploration. We also find that digital technology is used differently by different types of music consumers and draw distinctions between peer-to-peer services and browsing, with the former more likely to be used by students from higher socio-economic backgrounds who are opinion leaders in the realm of music. We conclude with observations about the nature of opinion leadership and music and argue that future research should examine more closely the links among the discovery and sharing of culture, opinion leadership and social recognition and status.
Main Results of the Study
- By far, the most common methods for finding new music either involve relying on recommendations from people in one’s social network or on content encountered through traditional mainstream media.
- Women are less likely to use technology to discover new music than men and 2.75 times more likely to use social networks.
- Students who listen to a greater number of artists are more likely to use technology to find new music.
- Heavy web users, while not more likely to browse the Internet in search of new music, are more likely to use peer-to-peer services.
- Opinion leaders, or mavens, aid in the discovery of new music who receive many recommendations from others and recommend music to other people on a regular basis. This sample could not be generalized.
- There is no predetermined path in the digital age of music. Instead, people use new technologies as a tool to reinforce and enhance existing music habits and social and cultural patterns.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- New technology plays a part in social processes that lead to discovery and innovation in cultural consumption and to the influence and roles that accompany such exploration and exchange, but certainly does not play a leading role, at least not yet.
- The use of technology for discovering new music and culture may become more pervasive in the future; but based on evidence and historical work on the relationship between technology and culture, it seems it will be used to reinforce existing social patterns and relationships, rather than transform them.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||University students|
|Period of material under study:||2003-2005|