Evidence for the merits of collecting streaming music

Ofer Bergman, Steve Whittaker, Noa Gradovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Streaming music applications allow their users to listen to music that they did not collect, making music collecting voluntary for the first time in the history of music consumption. Using a questionnaire (n = 370), we aimed to measure streaming collection size and its relations to other variables. Results showed a large variability in streaming collection size, with a median of only 200 songs. Furthermore, most participants drastically reduced their collection size when moving to streaming technology. Our results nevertheless found extensive evidence for the merits of streaming collections, including (a) collection size positively correlated with both listening hours and listening enjoyment; (b) participants wanted to listen to their favorite music for most of their streaming listening time; (c) young participants collected almost twice as many streaming songs as older participants, indicating that collecting is not an old habit; and (d) participants who enjoyed listening to records/CDs more than streaming were found to have previously been avid collectors who had abandoned collecting for streaming applications. In this paper, we discuss why regardless of these merits, the large majority of our participants reduced their collection size and conclude with suggestions about how the redesigning of streaming applications may encourage users to collect more songs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature.


  • Music collections
  • Personal information management
  • Playlists
  • Streaming music


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