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Browsing by Subject "recorded music"

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  • Rautio, Heikki (2014)
    This qualitative study explores the consumption process of recorded music from the perspective of individual consumer. Data was collected by interviewing 11 active music consumers between the ages of 20 to 31. The interviews followed the form of a semi-structured interview. Analysis of the data is divided into three parts. Music consumption is being examined by its economic, symbolic and functional aspect. Hence the focus is on studying 1) the purchasing of music, 2) records as tangible objects and 3) the role of technology in recorded music consumption. The purpose is to find out how the new music consumption practices and the changes in general brought by the digital revolution are being perceived among the music consumers. In addition, the study compares the consumption processes of the physical and digital recordings and examines the dimensions and meanings associated with them. In the study, the physical recordings appear as significant objects to their owners. They hold different kinds of symbolic meanings of past situations and events in life. In addition to the symbolic meanings, the object value is increased with aesthetic qualities of sound recordings, such as fine album covers. Because of the perceived value of ownership of physical recordings, especially vinyl records are proved to be great objects to collect. At the same time physical recordings can be seen in a different light: as unnecessary matter taking up too much space at home. Digital music services can be seen as eco-efficient and as such, a good alternative to the consumption of physical recordings. The sense of ownership is clearly connected to tangible objects in this study. The interviewees find it hard or impossible to perceive digital files as something they can own, and therefore they are not that willing to pay for them. Instead, the interviewees respond more openly to paying for music streaming services. In the consumption process of physical recordings, digital music often acts as an informant. The study shows that the purchase of recordings has become much more rational than before the digitalization. On a general level, the willingness to pay for music is clearly influenced by consumers' values, ethics and sense of duty. The effortlessness of digital music consumption practices is seen as positive, but compared to the consumption process of physical recordings they are regarded as inferior from the experiential point of view - as an act of "mere listening". Overall, the impact of new technologies on recorded music consumption comes out bipartite. It is mentioned to simplify and diversify the music listening possibilities, but on the other hand it brings challenges for active listening. Furthermore, the consuming of music in the digital media is seen to have a single-use nature, which again may prevent deep musical and emotional bonds from developing.