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Preferences Over Sequences - Empirical Evidence from Music

Manel Baucells, University of Virginia - Darden School of Business
Daniel Smith, Independent
Martin Weber, University of Mannheim - Department of Banking and Finance


MUSIC THEORY eJOURNAL

"Preferences Over Sequences - Empirical Evidence from Music" Free Download
Darden Business School Working Paper No. 2724193

MANEL BAUCELLS, University of Virginia - Darden School of Business
Email:
DANIEL SMITH, Independent
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MARTIN WEBER, University of Mannheim - Department of Banking and Finance
Email:

The satiation utility model - a modification of discounted utility satisfying local substitution - predicts that optimal consumption sequences are U-shaped (high at the very beginning, constant in the middle, and high at the very end). To test this prediction we collect two datasets of musical sequences from social media. The first dataset from Wikipedia encompasses 1,082 articles on concerts and 15,001 articles on individual songs. The second dataset from Last.fm contains 1.5 million playlists for individual use, including markers of favorite songs. Both datasets reveal a significant U-shaped pattern in song quality, with the higher-ranked or individually preferred songs being placed at the initial and the final point in the sequence. We discuss the findings in view of extant factors that may explain preferences over consumption sequences.

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Professor of Music Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MICHAEL BECKERMAN
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PHILIP BRUNELLE
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