Study co-authors Joseph K. Goodman of Washington University's Olin Business School in St. Louis, Morgan Ward of Southern Methodist University and Julie Irwin of University of Texas at Austin said study showed consumers pick music they are familiar with even when they believe they would prefer less familiar music.
"In three studies, we 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," the researchers said in a statement.
"Our results suggest 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. In the marketplace, and in our pilot study, consumers said that they want more novelty when in fact their choices suggest they do not."
Goodman suggested marketers should continue to promote what is familiar to consumers, even though it might not be the most liked. In addition, managers and artists should not underestimate the power of familiarity when promoting their music.
Consumers have a need for both novel and familiar music, and they especially prefer familiar music when they are busy working or doing cognitively demanding tasks, the researchers said.