Study: People exaggerate interest in new music

Despite claims to the contrary, new research says people prefer listening to the same old songs they always do

Published July 25, 2013 10:06PM (EDT)

      (<ahref=‘’>Eugenio Marongiu  </a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(Eugenio Marongiu via Shutterstock)

Discovering unknown bands on Spotify is way better than cycling through your tired iTunes collection, right? Well, you probably think you like streaming music you've never heard more than you actually do. A new study from Washington University found that consumers claim they want to hear new music but end up choosing songs they already know. So given the choice, you're probably skipping over underground Swedish EDM and double-clicking on "Hey Ya." Familiarity is especially appealing when people are busy or performing cognitively difficult tasks.

Study co-author Joseph K. Goodman said in a released statement that consumers overestimate their interest in expanding their musical horizons: “Our results suggest that the emphasis on novelty in the music domain, by consumers and people often protesting the current state of the music business, is probably misplaced.”

Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel's delightful Coachella exposé, we already know that people indiscriminately lie about listening to fictional, cool-sounding bands. But even if the bands were real, people may not really be that desperate to download their b-sides.

By Theresa Fisher

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Consumer Data Consumerism Music Spotify Technology