The platforms people use to listen to music have evolved rapidly in the last fifty years. Digital streaming and digital downloads are the most popular platforms to consume music, but physical platforms like CDs and vinyl are still common or, in the case of vinyl, even growing in use. This study investigated the needs being met and the reasons behind listening to music on these different platforms. This study also compared the differences in gratifications sought between physical music platforms and non-physical music platforms. A survey shared via email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, as well as via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, used a snowball sampling method to recruit participants who listened to at least two hours of music a week (N = 594). Factor analysis revealed four gratifications for listening to music: personal identity, mood management, diversion, and personal relationships. Physical platforms were found to be preferred by users to satisfy personal relationship needs while non-physical platforms were found to be used by users to satisfy mood management needs, with no significant difference between platform types used to satisfy the needs of personal identity or diversion.
Communication and Media Technologies (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Communication (CLA)
Kelly Norris Martin
Hawk, Emily, "“Take Those Old Records Off the Shelf” A Uses & Gratifications Study of Different Music Platforms" (2020). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus