Word-of-Mouth, Observed Adoptions, and Anime Watching Decisions: The Role of the Personal versus the Community Network
40 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2016 Last revised: 24 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 21, 2018
We quantify the effects of others' adoptions and word-of-mouth (volume and valence) on consumers' product adoption decisions. We differentiate between the effects of word-of-mouth and observed adoptions from friends ("personal network") and the effects of word-of-mouth and observed adoptions from the whole community ("community network"). Understanding the relative importance of word-of-mouth and observed adoptions at each network level provides crucial guidance for companies regarding their information provision and platform design strategies. Our unique data come from an online anime (Japanese cartoon) platform containing individual-level data on users' networks, anime adoptions, forum posts, and ratings of animes. Our results reveal that both word-of-mouth (volume and valence) and observed adoptions from the community network have significant positive effects on individual users' anime watching decisions. Furthermore, this finding also holds true for word-of-mouth and observed adoptions coming from the personal network. Comparing the magnitudes of the effects of word-of-mouth and observed adoptions across both network levels, we find that word-of-mouth valence from the community network is the largest driver among the social learning forces we study. Thus our results show that word-of-mouth and observed adoptions provide unique and different information that individuals use in their anime watching decisions and that the community network is the primary source of information driving anime adoptions.
Keywords: Word-of-Mouth, Observed Adoptions, Social Learning, Product Adoption, Social Networks
JEL Classification: D83, L82, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation