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Exploring consumer attitudes towards mobile music services

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  • Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece

Abstract and Figures

The emerging capabilities of mobile telephony provide a promising alternative commerce channel, contributing to the configuration of the appropriate conditions for the forthcoming communication industry convergence. Elaborating on the rapid evolutions in the mobile commerce landscape, this paper investigates consumer attitudes towards mobile music services through an exploratory research approach conducted in Finland, UK and Greece. The objective of this study is to support content providers and mobile operators to capitalize on the unexplored marketing challenges existing in the virgin territory of mobile music. The findings indicate that content‐centric criteria (i.e., sound/image quality and content variety) are the most critical success factors for mobile music diffusion and consumer adoption, while content personalization capabilities, ubiquity, and easy‐to‐use interfaces constitute for the consumers the most desired features of a mobile music application. Significant differences were observed between consumers willing to adopt mobile music services and those that are not, in terms of the importance they assign to specific mobile music application selection criteria and features. Finally, significant differences were observed between the investigated countries in terms of consumers’ willingness to adopt mobile music services.
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Exploring Consumer Attitudes
towards Mobile Music Services
by Pavlos Vlachos, Dr. Adam P. Vrechopoulos, Georgios Doukidis,
Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece
Abstract
The emerging capabilities of mobile telephony provide a promising alternative com-
merce channel, contributing to the configuration of the appropriate conditions for the
forthcoming communication industry convergence. Elaborating on the rapid evolu-
tions in the mobile commerce landscape, this paper investigates consumer attitudes
towards mobile music services through an exploratory research approach conducted in
Finland, UK and Greece. The objective of this study is to support content providers and
mobile operators to capitalize on the unexplored marketing challenges existing in the
virgin territory of mobile music. The findings indicate that content-centric criteria (i.e.,
sound/image quality and content variety) are the most critical success factors for mo-
bile music diffusion and consumer adoption, while content personalization capabili-
ties, ubiquity, and easy-to-use interfaces constitute for the consumers the most desired
features of a mobile music application. Significant differences were observed between
consumers willing to adopt mobile music services and those that are not, in terms of
the importance they assign to specific mobile music application selection criteria and
features. Finally, significant differences were observed between the investigated coun-
tries in terms of consumers’ willingness to adopt mobile music services.
Pavlos Vlachos
(pvlachos@eltrun.gr)
is Research Officer at the ELTRUN E-Business Center of the Athens University of Eco-
nomics and Business. His research focuses on mobile commerce in the services industry
(Mobile Commerce) and on on-line Consumer Behaviour research implications for e-
and m-commerce.
Dr. Adam P. Vrechopoulos
(avrehop@aueb.gr)
is Visiting Lecturer at the Athens University of Economics and Business and Scientific
Coordinator of the Digital Marketing Research Area at the ELTRUN E-Business Research
Center. His research focuses on Electronic Marketing implications for e- and m-commerce.
Prof. Georgios Doukidis
(gjd@aueb.gr)
is Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Management Science and
Technology at the Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB) and Visiting Pro-
fessor at Brunel University. His research and teaching areas are information systems
management, electronic commerce, decision-support systems, and simulation, and he
has published a total of 12 books and 90 research papers. He has acted as guest editor
for the Journal of the Operational Research Society, the European Journal of Informa-
tion Systems, the Journal of Information Technology, and the International Journal of
Electronic Commerce. He is Director of the ELTRUN eBusiness Center and member of
the executive board of GeM (GlobaleManagement MBA).
Introduction
Consumer behavior research is critical
towards accelerating the diffusion and
consumer adoption of m-commerce
services (Green et al. 2001; Nohria &
Leetsma 2001; Barnes 2002; Koivumaki
2002; Vrechopoulos et al. 2002). How-
ever, ‘rigorous theoretical and empirical re-
search on the marketing implications of m-com-
merce is lacking’ (Balasubramanian,
Peterson & Jarvenpaa 2002, p.359) and
consumer behavior in m-commerce has
not yet been the subject of much re-
search (Green et al. 2001; Ramsay 2001;
Barnes 2002).
While there is much discussion on the
emerging business models of the
mobile entertainment industry as a
promising market of m-commerce
(Tsalgatidou & Pitoura 2001; Maciness
et al. 2002, Panis et al. 2002), there is
still little evidence indicating what in-
fluences consumers in their decision to
adopt mobile entertainment services
and what specific features they would
like a mobile entertainment applica-
tion to offer (Balasubramanian, Peter-
son & Jarvenpaa 2002).
Elaborating on these challenges, this
paper investigates consumer attitudes
and behavioral intentions towards mo-
bile music services through an explor-
atory consumer survey run in Finland,
United Kingdom and Greece, within the
context of the ‘User Requirements Captur-
ing’ task of the MUSICAL1 project. The
core objective of this study is to explore
the emerging marketing challenges in
the field of mobile music and provide
direct managerial implications to the
key-market players (i.e., mobile opera-
tors and content providers). More spe-
cifically, this paper aims to (a) measure
the importance given from music con-
sumers to specific mobile music appli-
cation features (e.g., search facilities,
recommendations, etc.) and selection
criteria/ mobile e-service quality dimen-
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sions (e.g., low prices, sound quality,
ease of use, etc.), (b) investigate whether
there are significant differences be-
tween consumers that intent to use
mobile music services and those that do
not, in terms of a series of critical be-
havioral dimensions, and (c) test
whether there are significant differ-
ences between consumers from differ-
ent countries in terms of their willing-
ness to pay and adopt mobile music
services.
The paper is organized as follows. Sec-
tion 2 includes a short description of
the MUSICAL project. The mobile enter-
tainment dynamics are discussed in sec-
tion 3. The next section (i.e., section 4)
includes the research methodology and
theory background, while section 5
deals with the analysis of the results.
Section 6 discusses the key research
findings and provides direct manage-
rial implications. Finally, section 7 deals
with the conclusions, limitations and
future research directions of this study.
Description
of the MUSICAL Project
The MUSICAL project aims to develop a
mobile music application with value-
added components in order to fully
exploit the capabilities of 2.5 and 3G
networks. MUSICAL application will en-
able consumers (business or leisure) to
compose their Personal Radio Station
Program (PRSP) or Personal Video-Clips
Program (PVCP) and receive targeted
multimedia content as well as person-
alized music information (e.g., aware-
ness on special events that match their
music interests) through intelligent
mobile devices (Palmtops, PDAs, Mobile
Phones, etc).
Mobile Entertainment
Dynamics
Mobile music is included in the mobile
entertainment services mix along with
mobile gaming, mobile sports and bet-
ting, icon downloads, etc. (Macinnes et
al. 2002). Maciness et al. state (2002,
p.218) that ‘mobile entertainment is an
example of a new pure e-commerce ser-
vice that can create substantial value’.
Despite the fact that m-commerce pen-
etration in Europe is still on its infancy
(Vrechopoulos et al. 2002), European
Commission and Andersen Consulting
(2002, p.5) forecast that on 2006 mobile
music market in Europe will worth
roughly _3 billion, while ARC Group
(2002, p.1) predicts that worldwide mo-
bile entertainment users will reach 780
million until 2005. Thus, the emerging
mobile entertainment market promises
to provide ‘...amusing and enjoyable services
via wireless technology to mobile devices’
quite soon (Baldi & Thaung 2002, p.6).
Baldi & Thaung (2002) underline, how-
ever, that mobile music services should
try to take advantage of the unique
characteristics of mobile network tech-
nology such as ubiquity (everywhere),
accessibility (anytime and immedi-
ately), reachability (users can be reached
wherever they are and anytime), local-
ization (content customized to the
user’s location), and personalization.
Consumer adoption of mobile phone
services is expanding rapidly. On Sep-
tember of 2002, global wireless sub-
scribers were 1.08 billion (EMC 2002),
while 10 billion SMS, on average, are
currently exchanged in Europe per
month (Wacklin 2002). It is widely ac-
cepted, however, that the mobile voice
market is fast reaching saturation. Ac-
cording to a Durlacher (2001a, p.18) re-
port, at the end of 2001 in Europe, 76%
of the population had used a mobile
phone. Wireless network operators in
their effort to diminish their revenue
dependence on mobile voice services on
one hand, and to recoup the huge in-
vestments made on third generation
networks on the other, try to develop
new services (e.g., mobile data services)
and business models (Durlacher 2001a;
2001b). To that end, they are fully sup-
ported by the global upward trend in
wireless data traffic, and the emerging
mobile internet applications (Jonason &
Eliason 2001). On the other hand, it
seems that business as usual in the
music industry (i.e., traditional music
value chain) is over, and market players
are trying to find new ways to deliver
music content and promote artists se-
curely and at a profit (Meisel & Sullivan
2002). To that end, following the suc-
cess of the ringing tones business, mu-
sic industry is working towards the
mobile music challenge trying to estab-
lish an alternative distribution channel
so as to deliver more advanced music
services in terms of technology innova-
tion and value added services.
Currently, there are lots of ventures try-
ing to develop and market a mobile
music service. UK-based mobile group
MMO2 has announced that it is to trial
the world’s first ‘music over mobile’ ser-
vice using existing mobile data net-
works. The O2 music service will enable
customers to select, retrieve and store
music songs via their GPRS-enabled
mobile handset onto a specially de-
signed ‘digital music player’ – and start
listening in around 12 seconds. The cus-
tomer selects a track and chooses either
to hear a free 30- second clip or pur-
chase the entire track. Once the track
has downloaded – which can take
around 90 seconds for a full track – the
digital music player can be unclipped
from the mobile handset and used as a
regular personal music device. Further-
more, on 2002 Elisa Communications
and Nokia have together developed a
mobile music service for Emma.fm,
Elisa’s on-line store for digital music, to
pilot the commercial distribution of
music to mobile devices. The service al-
lows customers in Finland to pay for
purchased tracks via their mobile
phone bill. Other methods of payment
include Internet banking and credit
cards. The music bought from the
online music store is downloaded to the
user’s computer and then transferred to
the device. Another major player in the
European mobile music market is
Musiwave. Musiwave is a mobile music
application service provider who en-
ables mobile operators to embed on
their mobile portals mobile music ser-
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vices such as music listening through
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and/or
streaming, monophonic and poly-
phonic ringtones, real ringtones, music
events database and images. The music
content that Musiwave provides to mo-
bile operators through Europe is fully
legal since it is licensed with major pub-
lishing and record labels.
The mobile music service that it is to
be commercialized from MMO2 is
based on the “download” mobile music
business model, which leads to a dif-
ferent definition of mobile music. In
our case we define mobile music as the
provision of an on demand personal-
ized streaming music service over mo-
bile devices that include music audio,
music video clips and music related
content (music news, artists’ biogra-
phies e.t.c.).
Research Methodology
and Background
Taking into account the exploratory
nature of this study, the most used web
survey method – that is voluntary online
surveys using third party web sites
(Fenech 2002) – was employed. On-line
consumer behavior research is a sam-
pling technique (Miller & Dickson 2001)
in line with the requirements of conve-
nience sampling which can adequately
serve the objectives of exploratory re-
search designs like the present one
(Kinnear & Taylor 1996; Churchill 1999).
Data Collection Instrument
Development Process
The data collection instrument was a
questionnaire, which was first devel-
oped in English and then translated
into Finnish and into Greek. Hair, Bush
and Ortinau (2000) questionnaire de-
sign methodology was followed. A short
description of the MUSICAL mobile
music service and two screenshots of
the service’s probable interface were
included in the questionnaire, in order
to effectively inform consumers about
the features and capabilities of a mobile
music application (Burke 2002).
For the development of the question-
naires three methods were used: (a) ex-
tensive literature review of the mobile
entertainment industry, (b) insights
from mobile and music industry spe-
cialists (2 music content providers and
2 mobile operators) and (c) qualitative
in-depth interviews with 25 music con-
sumers from Greece and the U.K.
The questionnaires were uploaded for
one month (October 2002) in the form
of a pop-up window onto three Web
sites:
(a) www.emma.fm, a major online digi-
tal music store, subsidiary of Elisa
Communications-Finland’s leading
telecommunication service pro-
vider (The Emma.fm service was de-
signed in cooperation with _KT ry -
The Finnish National Group of IFPI-
international record companies
such as BMG, EMI and edel, and the
largest domestic record companies,
(b) www.mad.gr which is the online
presence of MAD TV, the leading
Greek music TV channel and
(c) www.musicindie.org which is the
web site of the new media arm of
UK’s association of independent
music (AIM) which members repre-
sent 25% of UK’s music market.
These three web sites were selected due
to cost and convenience reasons and
due to ownership relationships of the
three partners of the MUSICAL consor-
tium with the specific sites. However,
all three web sites constitute major
online visiting points for Greek, Finn-
ish and British online music consum-
ers, respectively, that match the target
group of this study- that is technology
savvy young adult music consumers
and professionals.
Finally, 494 valid questionnaires were
collected (Finland: 301 respondents –
61%; Greece: 94 respondents – 19%; UK:
99 respondents – 20%). The respon-
dents’ allocation in the sample can be
interpreted by the fact that Finland pos-
sesses one of the highest internet pen-
etration rates in Europe (Vrechopoulos
et al. 2002).
Theoretical Background
and Research Hypotheses
In the previous years many researchers
have started working on what consum-
ers want out of e-commerce applica-
tions. More specifically, there is a grow-
ing research stream regarding specific
e-service quality dimensions (Table 1)
that marketers and developers should
properly handle so as to deliver supe-
rior value to consumers. Delivering su-
perior service quality is a well-estab-
lished strategy for achieving high levels
of consumer satisfaction, loyalty, in-
creased spending and profitability
(Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Malhotra
2002; Zeithaml 1996). According to
Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Malhotra
(2002 p. 363) ‘academic research has identi-
fied a number of criteria that customers use
in evaluating web sites in general and service
quality delivery through web sites in particu-
lar. These include (1) information availability
and content, (2) ease of use or usability, (3)
privacy/security, (4) graphic style and (5) ful-
fillment’. Table 1 summarizes academic
research regarding e-service quality di-
mensions. From the literature review it
is apparent that research has mainly
focused on a land-line /fixed internet
context with regard to e-service quality,
involving, however, only physical goods
delivery and not pure e-commerce ser-
vices (such as music). Thus, in this re-
search we try to identify and primarily
explore what are the dimensions that
consumers use while evaluating a pure
mobile e-tail service involving music
content. Furthermore, Zeithaml (2002,
p.138) argues that “...we also know noth-
ing about the demographic, behavioral and
experience correlates of e-SQ [Service Quality]”.
To this end, this study also tries to par-
tially investigate possible correlations
between demographic (e.g. gender and
nationality) and behavioral intention
variables on the one hand (e.g. willing-
ness to pay for a mobile music service)
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and between demographic and mobile
music service evaluative criteria and
functionalities on the other hand.
Combining the results included in
Table 1 with the findings provided
through the in-depth interviews with
25 music consumers, we develop a
framework including a series of the
most critical mobile music service
evaluation criteria/dimensions (Table 2)
that are applicable in the context of this
study. In other words, Table 1 served the
purpose of effectively administrating
the personal interviews by discussing
with consumers all the dimensions in-
cluded in this table and selecting the
most important ones. To this end,
Malhotra’s and Birks’s (2000) qualita-
tive research methodology was em-
ployed. It should be noted, however,
that it is out of the scope of the present
study to discuss the qualitative research
methodology followed rather to focus
on the quantitative results provided by
testing the framework. On the other
hand, elaborating on the capabilities of
an innovative mobile music application
with advanced personalization capa-
bilities (i.e. the MUSICAL application)
we develop a corresponding framework
including all the major features/
functionalities of a mobile music ser-
vice (Table 3). Both these frameworks
support the formulation of the research
hypotheses discussed below.
Table 1: Relevant Research Findings on e-Service Quality Dimensions
Authors
Wu (2003)
Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Malhotra
(2002)
Cox & Dale (2002)
Janda, Trocchia & Gwinner (2002)
Wolfinbarger & Gilly (2002)
Reibstein (2002)
Liljander, Riel & Pura (2002)
Vrechopoulos, Constantiou,
Mylonopoulos, Sideris, Doukidis (2002)
Koivumaki (2002)
Condos, James, Every & Simpson (2002)
Ramsay (2001)
Yang, Peterson & Huang (2001)
O’Neil, Wright & Fitz (2001)
Jun & Cai (2001)
Yoo & Donthu (2001)
Kayanama & Black (2000)
Liu & Arnett (2000)
Lociacono, Watson & Goodhue (2000)
Szymanski & Hise (2000)
Woo & Fock (1999)
Day (1997)
e-service quality dimensions
Effectiveness, purchase convenience, information abundance, delivery speed,
homepage design, company name familiarity, product selection
Efficiency, reliability, fulfilment, privacy, responsiveness, compensation, contact
Ease of use, customer confidence, on-line resources, relationship services
Performance, access, security, sensation, information
Web site design, reliability, privacy/ security, customer service
Ease of ordering, product selection and information, product representation,
navigation, on time delivery, customer service, privacy policy, shipping & handling
Site design, content, trust, empathy, security
Ease of use, security, inconvenience of mobile device, personalization
Security, privacy, ease of use
Careful use of graphics, avoidance of long lists, provision of clear error messages,
presentation of content, consistency in navigation, avoidance of dead ends,
minimization of user input, good structure of tasks
Expectations management, connectivity & download time, quality of error
messages, labelling of menu options, going backward, offering bookmarks, easiness of
reading data
Ease of use, content, accuracy, timeliness of response, security/privacy, aesthetics
Contact, responsiveness, reliability, tangibles
Contents, accuracy, ease of use, timeliness, aesthetics, security
Ease of use, aesthetic design, processing speed, security
Content, access, navigation, design, response, background, personalization
Information and service quality, system use, playfulness, design of the web site
Informational fit to task, interaction, trust, response time, design, intuitiveness, visual
appeal, innovativeness, emotional appeal (flow), integrated communications,
business processes, substitutability
Online convenience, merchandising, site design, financial security
Transmission quality and network coverage, pricing policy, staff competence,
customer service
Purpose, content, structure, aesthetics usability/action, promises delivered
Research
Setting
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Mobile Services
Mobile Services
WAP
WAP
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Web Site
Mobile Voice
Service
Web Site
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Additionally the present study elabo-
rates on the “willingness to pay for mobile
music services” dimension as an indicator
for potential adoption of such kind of
services. According to Dubas, Dubas and
Atwong (1999) the most common form
for measuring the purchase intention
and consumer adoption of a particular
product or service is the four-point scale
where 1 implies “definitely would pay”,
and 4 “definitely would not pay”.
The research hypotheses, packed-up
with indicative references, are there-
fore formulated as follows:
According to Vrechopoulos et al. (2002),
low prices of m-commerce services con-
stitute one of the most critical factors
for the diffusion and consumer adop-
tion of m-commerce services.
H1: Consumers that are not willing to
pay for mobile music services assign
more importance to low prices of such
kind of services than those willing to
pay for buying these services.
Fenech (2002) states that the variety of
content is one of the most basic drivers
for consumers to adopt mobile enter-
tainment services.
H2: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services assign more impor-
tance to the variety of music content
offered through these services than
those not willing to pay for such kind
of services.
According to Bellman, Lohse and
Johnson (1999), the most important in-
formation for predicting online shop-
ping habits and behaviors are measures
of past online behavior (H3, H4, H7 and
H8), while Li, Kuo and Russel (1999) re-
port that demographic characteristics
constitute one of the basic influencing
factors of consumer buying behavior
(H5 and H6).
H3: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services assign more impor-
tance (i.e. rate them higher) to mobile
music service features than those not
willing to pay for such kind of services.
H4: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services spend more money
on current mobile services (e.g. voice,
short message service, etc.) than those
not willing to pay for such kind of ser-
vices.
H5: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services belong in younger
age groups than those not willing to
pay for such kind of services.
H6: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services have higher incomes
than those not willing to pay for such
kind of services.
H7: Consumers willing to pay for mo-
bile music services use their mobile
phone for entertainment purposes
more than those not willing to pay for
such kind of services.
H8: There are significant differences
between consumers that select differ-
ent payment methods for buying mo-
bile music services (i.e., (a)”subscription
with a flat rate per month” group, (b) “per
case” group, and (c) “ads based” group) in
terms of the importance each group
assign to the (i) “variety of music content”,
and (ii) “low prices”.
For example we expect that those that
prefer the ads based model assign
greater importance than the other two
groups on the “low prices” dimension.
Analysis of the Results
The majority of the respondents belong
in the 18-35 age group (62%), they are
mostly male (70%) and single (61%) and
they earn less than _1.000 per month.
Almost one-third of the respondents
hold high school and post-graduate de-
grees (32% and 29%, respectively), while
half of them spend ten to twelve hours
out of home. While there is a great di-
versity in the respondents’ occupation,
37% of them are students.
Mobile Music
Service Selection
Criteria
Respondents evaluated almost all the
mobile music services selection/ evalu-
ative criteria as very important (Table
2). However, they assign more impor-
tance to the “quality of the content” being
delivered (in terms of sound and image/
video clip quality) and to the “variety of
the music content”. It is interesting to
note that while respondents believe
that “low prices” are important, they are
not so price-sensitive towards mobile
music services since they assign more
importance to content-centric criteria
(content quality and content variety).
The “ease of use” criterion is ranked
fourth, though interface design and
navigability issues are considered to be
of great importance when evaluating
the quality of m-commerce services
(Condos, James & Simpson 2002). “Cus-
tomer Service” and the provision of
“Flexible Payment Systems” criteria were
considered as less important than con-
tent-centric, price and interface-centric
buying criteria. Finally, consumers re-
ported that the “additional personalized
services” are not so important for them.
This could be explained by the fact that
since they are internet users, they are
suspicious about “personalization fea-
tures” due to privacy issues concerns
(Rust, Kannan & Peng 2002)
Mobile Music Service
Functionalities Evaluation
Respondents were asked to evaluate
the importance of specific features
of the MUSICAL mobile music ap-
plication (Table 3). It should be noted
that since MUSICAL’s features were de-
signed based on the state-of-the-art
technology and business insights (i.e.,
they cover all the basic and popular
consumer services that can be offered
though such kind of applications
today) they can well serve the research
objective of measuring consumer at-
titudes towards mobile music services,
in general.
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Mobile Music Services Specific Features
Ability to have music songs mixed for me (i.e., recom-
mended) according to my preferences
Listen songs / View video clips anywhere and anytime
Have a music song and music news full search facility
Could instantly listen and find out more about a song that
I’ve listened to a nightclub
Ability to create my own Personal Radio station/
Video Clips Program
The ability to listen to my Personal Radio Station Program /
Personal Video Clips Program with my friends
Ability to participate in vir tual communities and exchange
music play lists and news
Music consumers rated all the mobile
music service features with above the
average scores. The ‘ability to have music
songs mixed for me (recommended) accord-
ing to my preferences’, the ‘ability to listen to
songs / view video clips anywhere and any-
time’ and the ‘ability to have a music song
and music news full search facility’ were
found to be the most desired features.
The least desired feature is the ‘ability to
participate in virtual communities and ex-
change music play list and news’. This find-
ing is interesting if one takes into ac-
count the need of consumers to
communicate with peers (Hammond
2002; Wacklin 2002) and the P2P (mu-
sic file sharing) experience.
Willingness to Pay for Mobile
Music Services and Preferred
Payment Methods
More than half of the respondents (53%)
are willing to pay for enjoying mobile
music services, while 44% of them are
willing to change mobile device in or-
der to consume such kind of services.
Furthermore, the most desired pay-
ment method was found to be the “view
ads to cover the cost of the service” al-
ternative (41%) despite the fact that this
revenue model has not been proved suc-
cessful, till so far, on the fixed internet
context. The “subscription with a flat rate
per month” and the “pay per case/track” al-
ternative payment methods scored the
same (29% both), while only 1% of the
respondents selected another payment
method.
Hypotheses Testing
To test hypotheses H1 – H7, it is neces-
sary to classify the survey participants
into those “willing to pay” and those “not
willing to pay”. According to Dubas,
Dubas and Atwong (1999), marketers
utilize the combined scores of the top
two boxes (i.e., “definitely would pay and
probably would pay”) for predicting prod-
uct trial. The same approach was fol-
lowed in the present study. More specifi-
cally, those answered “definitely yes” and
“probably yes” in the “willing to pay for mo-
bile music services” question, were classi-
fied in the “willing to pay” group (n=258),
and those answered “definitely no” and
“probably no” in the same question were
classified in the “not willing to pay” group
(n=225). To compare the means of these
two broad categories, t-Tests were per-
formed.
The null hypotheses for H1 – H4 are re-
jected, while the null hypotheses for H5
– H7 cannot be rejected (Table 4). More
specifically, consumers not willing to
pay for mobile music services assign sig-
nificantly more importance to the “low
prices” (H1) and significantly less impor-
tance to the “variety” (H2), and to all the
“mobile music service features” included in
Table 3 (H3), than those consumers will-
ing to pay for such kind of services. Fur-
thermore, consumers willing to pay for
mobile music services spend signifi-
cantly more money on current mobile
services (H4) than those not willing to
pay for such kind of services. As far as
H5 – H7 are concerned, there is no sta-
tistically significant difference ob-
served between the two groups under
study in terms of income (H5), age (H6)
and usage of mobile phone for enter-
tainment purposes (H7).
It should be noted, however, that con-
sumers not willing to pay for mobile
music services, use their mobile phones
significantly more for communication
purposes (p<0,05), and significantly less
for job related issues (p<0,05), than
those consumers willing to pay for such
kind of services.
For testing hypothesis H8, the following
three consumer groups were formu-
lated using as classification criterion
the selected alternative payment
method:
(a) “subscription with a flat rate per month”
group (n=136),
Table 2: Consumers’ Evaluation on Mobile Music Services Selection Criteria
*(1= Not at all Important - 5= Ver y important)
Mobile Music Services Selection Criteria
Good sound/image quality
Variety of music songs/ video clips
Low prices
Ease of use
Customer Service
Flexible payment systems
Additional personalized services (news, discounts, events,
schedules, new releases, charts etc.)
Mean*
4,35
4,14
3,96
3,83
3,68
3,51
2,35
Standard
Deviation
0,95
1,04
1,16
1,18
1,23
1,29
1,22
Table 3: Consumers’ Evaluation on Mobile Music Services Specific Features
*(1= Not good at all - 5= Very good)
Mean*
3,81
3,77
3,74
3,52
3,15
3,14
2,66
Standard
Deviation
1,20
1,20
1,16
1,26
1,30
1,41
1,26
© 2003 – JMM – The International Journal on Media Management – Vol. 5 – No. 2 63
www.mediajournal.org
(b) “view advertisements to cover the cost of
the service” group (n=189), and
(c) “pay per track/case” group (n=133).
One-way ANOVA between groups with
post-hoc comparisons were performed
for testing the hypothesis. The null hy-
pothesis of H8 is rejected both for the
“variety” and for the “low price” dimen-
sions (Table 5). This implies that there
are significant differences between
consumers that select different pay-
ment methods for buying mobile mu-
sic services in terms of the importance
each of these groups assign to the “vari-
ety of music content”, and to the “low price”
dimensions. As far as the “variety” di-
mension is concerned, the only signifi-
cant difference lies between the “sub-
scription with a flat rate per month” and
the “per case/track” groups, since the
former assigns significantly more im-
portance than the latter to that par-
ticular dimension. On the other hand,
the “ads based” group assigns signifi-
cantly more importance to the “low
price” dimension than both the other
two groups do.
Finally, it was found that those consum-
ers willing to pay for mobile music ser-
vices belonging in the “ads based” group
were significantly less in number than
those not willing to pay for such kind
of services (Pearson chi-squares less
than 0,001). Furthermore those willing
to pay belonging in the “subscription with
a flat rate per month” were significantly
more than those not willing to pay. On
the other hand, there was not any sig-
nificant difference observed regarding
this particular dimension within the
“per case” group.
4,11
4,00
3,66
3,59
3,53
3,44
2,98
2,81
2,58
2,13
2,41
2,71
1,51
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Willing to pay
for mobile music
services**
(Yes=258/No=225)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Criterion*
Low prices (I)
Variety (I)
Music songs mixed (recommended)
according to preferences (II)
Listen songs / View video clips
anywhere and anytime (ii)
Search facility (ii)
Instantly listen to a song just
heard of (ii)
Create Personal Radio Station
Program (ii)
Listen with friends (ii)
Virtual Communities (ii)
Mobile phone spending (iii)
Income (iv)
Age (v)
Mobile phone for entertainment
purposes (vi)
Hypotheses
H1
H2
H3a
H3b
H3c
H3d
H3e
H3f
H3g
H4
H5
H6
H7
Table 4: t-Test Results for Hypotheses 1-7
* (I): 1= not at all important – 5= very important; (II): 1= not good – 5= ver y Good; (III): 1= less than _ 15 – 6= over _ 75; (IV): 1= less than _1000 –
5= over _ 2,500; (V): 1= less than 17 – 6= over 54; (VI): 1= light usage – 4= heavy usage
** (italics indicate groups with statistically significant larger mean value)
Mean (1-5)
3,89
4,31
4,05
4,01
4,01
3,67
3,36
3,50
2,77
2,60
2,48
2,73
1,63
-2,150
3,427
3,686
3,999
4,849
2,015
3,278
5,545
1,681
3,234
0,448
0,160
1,440
p<0,05
p<0,01
p<0,001
p<0,001
p<0,001
p<0, 05
p<0, 01
p<0,001
p<0,1
p<0, 01
Not Significant
Not Significant
Not Significant
t-value Sign. (2-tail.)
64 © 2003 – JMM – The International Journal on Media Management Vol. 5 – No. 2
www.mediajournal.org
Other Findings
It was attempted to investigate whether
there are statistically significant differ-
ences between consumers from the
three countries under study regarding
“willingness to pay for mobile music services”.
It was found (chi-square statistic) that
in the UK and in Greece those willing
to pay are statistically more in number
than those not willing to pay (asymp-
totic significance < 0,1 and <0,05, re-
spectively), while in Finland there was
not any significant difference observed
between these groups.
Investigating whether gender affects
consumers’ evaluation for the mobile
music service selection criteria (those
included in Table 2), it was found (t-Test)
that females assign significantly more
importance to “customer service” (p<0,05),
“flexible payment methods” (p<0,1) and “ad-
ditional personalized services” (p<0,05), and
significantly less importance to “low
prices” (p<0,05) than males.
Finally, the majority of the respondents
believe that online music should be free
and unprotected (65%). In addition, there
is no significant difference observed be-
tween those willing to pay and those not
willing to pay regarding this belief,
which confirms and enhances the evi-
dences of the existence of a “music for free”
mentality in Europe (IFPI 2002a, 2002b)
Managerial Implications
The aforementioned findings can be
utilized by marketers when making
promises and creating expectations
about mobile music services. They
should correspondingly manipulate
the promotion element of the market-
ing mix towards communicating in a
personalized manner the special char-
acteristics and features of mobile mu-
sic applications (Ratliff 2002). Market-
ers should focus on pricing issues,
though low prices proved to be less im-
portant than content-centric buying
criteria. However, focusing on price is
important since those consumers not
willing to pay assign significantly more
importance to low prices than those
willing to pay. This implies that market-
ers could convince the “no willing to pay”
group through the manipulation of the
pricing element of the marketing mix
and the provision of innovative pricing
mechanisms (Jonason 2002). Further-
more, the importance assigned to the
“ease of use” as well as to the “content-cen-
tric” (i.e., quality and variety) dimen-
sions, dictates that great emphasis
should be placed on the manipulation
of the product and distribution ele-
ment of the marketing mix towards
ensuring high sound/image quality and
wide content variety. On the other
hand, consumers’ assigned ratings to
the mobile music service features/
functionalities strongly indicate their
search for convenience and effortless use
of the mobile music service application.
Respondents have rated first the features
that allow them to find the music con-
tent they want without putting too
much effort (“ability to have music songs
mixed for me according to my preferences” and
“full music songs and news search facility”).
It was also found that consumers in-
tending to adopt mobile music services
have significantly different preferences
from those consumers that do not, in
terms of several critical dimensions.
According to the diffusion of innova-
tion typology, innovators are those con-
sumers who first adopt a new product
or the innovation (Gatignon & Robert-
son 1991; Ram & Jung 1994; Schiffman
& Kanuk, 2000). Consumers belonging
to the same category have some com-
mon characteristics and, therefore,
marketers develop specific strategies to
target each consumer category sepa-
rately (Rogers 1983; Brown 1992). Thus,
marketers should design their strategic
marketing planning, targeting the
most attractive customer segment,
which in the case of the mobile music
industry are the innovators, and posi-
tion their offerings correspondingly. To
that end, they can use the findings of
the present study (discussed in section
5) in their marketing planning towards
developing tailored marketing mix
strategies to meet the needs of this
specific customer segment (Siomkos &
Vrechopoulos 2002) and accelerate the
diffusion and consumer adoption of
mobile music services.
Conclusions, Limitations and
Future Research Directions
This study tries to investigate the “what
happens” dimension in a highly innova-
tive case setting that is the mobile mu-
sic services industry. Employing online
quantitative research techniques and
qualitative in depth interviews, we in-
Table 5: One-Way ANOVA Tests with Post-Hoc Comparisons for Hypotheses 8
*(1: not at all important – 5: ver y important) **>>: Significant >: Not Significant
Hypotheses
H8a
H8b
Criterion*
Variety
Low Price
F
2,569
5,859
Sig.
,054
,001
Tukey HSD Post-Hoc
Comparisons*
Subscription>>Ads Based
Per case>Ads based
Subscription>Per Case
Ads based>>Subscription
Ads based >>Per Case
Subscription > Per Case
Subscription
(n=361)
4,36
3,86
Per Case
(n=133)
4,08
4,24
Ads Based
(n=189)
4,17
3,76
Preferred Payment Methods
© 2003 – JMM – The International Journal on Media Management – Vol. 5 – No. 2 65
www.mediajournal.org
vestigated the preferences of music and
mobile services consumers regarding a
personalized streaming mobile music
service. Content characteristics (quality
and variety) and specific features of the
service that would make it convenient
to use (search facility, recommended
personalized music play lists) were
found to be extremely important. Mar-
keters and developers can use these
findings for developing user-friendly
applications and designing effective
promotional strategies.
An inherent limitation of this study is
its sampling methodology and collec-
tion mechanism. Pop-up questionnaires
is a sampling technique that on the one
hand is inexpensive and convenient but
on the other is quite uncertain regard-
ing the representativeness of the sample
population, which in our case is “music
consumers using a mobile phone and who at
the same time are internet users”. However,
online questionnaires using third party
web sites constitute a methodology quite
suitable for exploratory research like the
present one and common research prac-
tice in the area of e- and m-commerce
academic research (Fenech 2002).
Further research should elaborate
more on each of the dimensions dis-
cussed in the present study using more
formal sampling methodologies and
qualitative research techniques. Fur-
thermore, cultural differences regard-
ing consumer attitudes towards mobile
music services should be investigated.
Future research should also elaborate
on the “why happens” dimension em-
ploying conclusive research designs
and investigating cause-and-effects re-
lationships through laboratory or field
experiments Laboratory and field ex-
periments should be also employed to-
wards testing and further improving
mobile music services. This will be
done in the context of MUSICALproject
in 2003.
Endnote
1 MUSICAL (Multimedia Streaming of Interactive
Content Across Mobile Networks – eContent Pro-
gram/European Commission – Contract No.:
22131Y2C2DMAL2 – Duration: 2002-2004.
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Marketing Research: An Applied Approach is comprehensive, practical, applied, managerial, and presents a balanced coverage of both qualitative and quantitative material. This book is written from the perspective of users of marketing research. It reflects the current trends in international marketing, ethics and the integration of the Internet and computers, as well as a focus on the practice of marketing research by featuring Sports Marketing Surveys and other marketing research organizations.
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