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28.01.2024 | יח שבט התשפד

Rediscovering Joy of Music Collection in Streaming

Three Studies led by Prof. Ofer Bergman of the BIU Department of Information Science shows that active music curation within streaming apps significantly enhances listening enjoyment


Three studies led by Prof. Ofer Bergman of the Bar-Ilan University Department of Information Science have uncovered a relationship between music collection and listening enjoyment in the era of streaming music. The studies shed light on the impact of streaming applications on the subjective evaluation of music and suggest that rediscovering the act of music collecting within the apps can significantly enhance the overall listening experience.

In previous decades, people had to physically collect music in order to listen to it. Today, streaming music applications allow users to collect any amount of music at no additional cost (e.g. by “liking” songs and adding them to playlists). On the other hand, streaming apps also allow users to listen to music they like without first collecting it, by searching or using the app’s recommendation algorithm – turning the act of collecting into an optional one, for the first time in music consumption history. In the first study of the series, the Bar-Ilan researchers conducted a qualitative study, which revealed that people experienced diminished excitement towards music in the current landscape. The abundance of songs available at little to no cost was perceived as having devalued their subjective evaluation of music.

The second study indicated a drastic reduction in collection size as individuals transitioned to streaming apps. However, the study also uncovered the advantages of streaming collections. Notably, a positive correlation was identified between collection size and listening enjoyment.

The third study results were published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, showing that current listening enjoyment levels were relatively low. Additionally, participants reported that the act of collecting music was pleasant rather than burdensome. Most importantly, results indicated that listening to the collected music significantly elevated participants’ listening enjoyment.

The three studies suggest that people who embrace active music collection within streaming applications can greatly enhance their listening enjoyment.

Prof. Ofer Bergman, who led the research, expressed optimism about the implications of these findings. "Our studies highlight the vital role of music collection in shaping the subjective experience of music consumption. By actively engaging in the act of collecting withing streaming platforms, users can elevate their enjoyment levels and possibly reignite their passion for music."

This research indicates that a harmonious balance between algorithmic recommendations and personal curation can be achieved, leading to a reinvigorated and enriching musical journey.