What is your main research question? What are your sub-questions? (use the checklist to validate your questions!)
How do music streaming platforms develop their business strategies to maintain users as digital technology develops?
What drives the variety of content on various music platforms?
How each platform develops its own brand identity and content?
How digital technology like recommendation systems fits into all of this.
What is the purpose or aim of the research?
Utilizing music streaming services becomes a common way to entertain. Since my undergraduate degree, I have been fascinated by the music industry. I can therefore comprehend how diverse music content is given by various platforms and how recommendation systems affect consumers of music platforms. In my master's thesis, I would like to further my research on music streaming platforms and their business strategies as digital technology develops.
What is the relevance of the research? (personal/societal/scientific)
As the information age dawns, a growing number of industries are starting to expand in the direction of digital development. The digitalization of the music business is an unavoidable trend in this scenario. Currently, every music streaming platform has its own focus to create exclusive content to fit different users’ needs. For example, TikTok focuses on short video music, Spotify focuses on Music playback, and YouTube focuses on music videos and concert videos, etc. However, sometimes the trend and users’ needs were created by those streaming platforms. For example, the immersion of short videos on TikTok has created a new way of online entertainment, and it brings the popularity of the music used in short videos. Therefore, I would like to investigate how online music streaming platforms develop their respective strategies and business models, to expand their markets.
Do you consider an empirical/interpretive/critical approach + why?
I am considering interpretive and critical approaches. As for the interpretive approach, I am planning to use survey research (interviews and co-creation sessions) to collect user experience and needs for music streaming platforms among diverse groups of users. In that way, I can better understand the effectiveness of music streaming platforms’ business models. As for the critical approach, I would like to conduct case studies on different online streaming platforms, to discover what kinds of music products each one focuses on providing, how these various music contents attract and retain users, and depending on their different user’s needs, how do music platforms develop their respective strategies and business model.
What type of research is it + why? (Descriptive/explorative/explanatory/design research?)
I am planning for explorative research. Considering of my main question and sub-questions, the research proposal is not clearly defined, and it is conducted to have a better understanding of the existing problem. My research problem is at the preliminary stage, and it is used to answer questions of what and how. In the process of primary research, I would like to use methods like surveys and focus groups. In the process of secondary research, I would like to use methods like literature research and case study research.
Induction/deduction/abduction + why?
The process is going to be an abduction. Both the formulation of the questions and the research process in this topic are based on observations of the business model and content offering aspects of music platforms. The investigation will extrapolate the potential causes from the observed general phenomena.