Offering high-quality digital music samples increases odds of full product sales

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Washington, June 2 (ANI): A new study by Robert Morris University researchers in Pennsylvania suggests that the current practice of offering short and low quality samples of digital music on the Internet may not be a great marketing strategy.

Yanbin Tu in the Department of Marketing at the university and Min Lu in the Department of Finance and Economics think that an effective digital music free sample strategy should involve high-quality, long samples of the music being marketed.

They say that this makes it more likely that the consumer listening to a sample will buy the full product, whether that's a CD or a track download, rather than being a free-rider.

The researchers came to this conclusion after carrying out a study into digital music samples, and exploring the determinants of the five effectiveness dimensions-evaluation, Willingness-to-Pay (WTP), perceived sample usefulness, sample cost and the likelihood of a consumer being a "free rider"-of online digital music samples.

Their survey analysis suggests that for music samples, the most effective sample is high quality and is a longer rather than a shorter sample. Digital music samples with a higher quality and longer segments were found to increase the sampler's music evaluation and make the evaluation process more useful," the researchers say.

Though the commercial point of view is that a higher music evaluation leads to fewer consumers taking the music sample as a substitute for the original music, the researchers say that the lesson for the industry is that the current practice of offering only short, low quality samples is not ideal.

The researchers even underscore the fact that artists like Coldplay, Radiohead, Rik Emmett, and Paul Simon, who have experimented with high-quality samples and free formats for their fans, have had huge success as well as achieving viral marketing spread that would otherwise be impossible through conventional advertising campaigns. (ANI)

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