The purpose of this article is to use an extended model of self to understand the consumption of music and similar entertainment products.
In-depth interviews using experts within the music field were used to penetrate the private worlds of musical theatre enthusiasts. Multiple qualitative analytic techniques were used to explore the different aspects of the self underlying music consumption.
Repeated exposure to musical theatre allowed subjects to refine their consumption of specific performances that reflect the preferred aspect of their extended self. It is found higher order consumption needs are an integral part of the extended self, and form an important basis for consumption decisions. Of particular importance is the reflection of the self that assists others in their consumption choices.
Present research widely recognises consumers are seeking more than just “entertainment” when they consume an entertainment product, but struggle to characterise what it is consumers are actually seeking. This research provides this insight through an elaboration of the extended self-model.
The authors would like to thank and acknowledge all of the staff and students at the Australian Institute of Music who assisted with this project. With a special thanks to Thomas Heymann for his support of this project, and Natalie Herenda, Laura Manning, Daniel Neurath, Vanessa Hu, Brendan Moylan, Mardi Broomhead and Elliot Skeoch for their hard work. The authors would also like to thank Suresh Sood for his invaluable comments during the development of this paper.
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