The uses and gratifications of music, by personality type, of a central South African radio station's audience
Various methods of communication exist and the understanding of the subtle differences in each form of communication may aid the compassing of this complex process. An example of one such method is music. At any given moment, worldwide, in restaurants, homes, offices, vehicles, night clubs, etc. people are listening to music. Music surrounds us, whether our listening to the radio, being put on-hold during a telephone call or going about day-to-day activities. Music has become a significant part of our lives – a ubiquitous social phenomenon and is the centre of various social activities, like concerts, where people gather to listen to and talk about music. Even in social gatherings where music is not the primary focus, for example weddings, it is an essential component – imagine a wedding without music (Rentfrow and Gosling 2003: 1236-1237). Radio stations may be regarded as some of the largest users of music as a method of communication. Wimmer and Dominick (2006:361) indicate that music is the main product of many radio stations and is of utmost importance for their economic sustainability. Furthermore, the audiences of radio stations – thus the receivers of the communication – also play an important role in the communication process employing music specifically as a method of communication. It may, therefore, be valuable to gain insight into the music preferences of a radio station’s audience. As music is mostly the main product of a radio station, it is of cardinal importance to be able to identify the music preferred by the audience of that particular radio station. The audience figures for commercial radio stations are directly related to the radio station’s advertising income (Wimmer and Dominick 2006:361). Despite the prevalence of music in our lives, the study into the personality psychology of music has remained mainly mute. Various questions remain regarding the individual differences and different uses of music, as well as individual differences and music preference choices. It is a given fact that people differ from one another. Precisely how and why they differ is less apparent and forms the focus of personality or individual differences research in the social science and, in particular, psychology (Rentfrow and Gosling 2003). It has been identified that there is currently a lack of knowledge and research specifically related to the relationship between personality traits, the uses and gratifications of music and the music preferences of radio audiences. The aim of this study will be to investigate the possible development of a predictive measurement tool in order to predict the music and genre preference for different psychographic groups of respondents who represent the audience of a central South African radio station, as well as their uses and gratifications of the music. Examining the patterns of music use and the relationship between music use and psychographic profiles, by employing the Ten- Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the Uses of Music Inventory (UMI), may contribute to the development of a more efficient model in the construction of a radio station’s music content and diversity. However, it should be noted that this will, by no means, be an exhaustive study into neither the exact influences on music preference nor the patterns of music use amongst the audience of this radio station.
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