Preferences Over Constructed Sequences: Empirical Evidence from Music
30 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2016 Last revised: 25 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 28, 2016
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.
Keywords: Intertemporal choice, preferences over sequences, satiation, music concerts, music playlists
JEL Classification: D11, D12, D90
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