Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 383–396 | Cite as

Music as a Service as an Alternative to Music Piracy?

An Empirical Investigation of the Intention to Use Music Streaming Services
  • Jonathan Dörr
  • Thomas WagnerEmail author
  • Alexander Benlian
  • Thomas Hess
Research Paper


Despite increasing acceptance of digital channels, total sales in the music business decreased by 31 % from 2004 to 2010. Music piracy is still considered one of the main causes for this. However, several studies found no effects or even positive effects of illegal downloading on record sales. In the past, piracy has been counteracted especially by prosecution and legal offers. Music as a Service (MaaS) represents a new, differing distribution approach in digital music. In contrast to the well-known music platforms for so-called à-la-carte downloads, such as the iTunes Store, MaaS possesses two important characteristics: transmission (streaming instead of downloading) and pricing model (flat rate instead of pay-per-download). Therefore, the consumption of music by means of purchasing and downloading is replaced by a monthly payment service (paid MaaS) and an ad-supported (free MaaS) service. First user surveys suggest that many music pirates are making use of these offers. To find out if MaaS is an attractive distribution channel for music pirates, we developed a model to explain the intention to use MaaS based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. To empirically test this model, we surveyed 132 music pirates. Among others, the outcome shows that the intention to use free MaaS is mainly affected by the attitude towards MaaS, while using paid MaaS is predominantly a result of the influence of users’ closest peers. The attitude towards MaaS is positively influenced by the desire to receive music recommendations, the payment type (in the form of a flat rate model), and the relative advantage of MaaS compared to illegal choices.


Music as a Service MaaS Digital goods Music streaming Music piracy Business models Theory of planned behavior 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Dörr
    • 1
  • Thomas Wagner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Benlian
    • 2
  • Thomas Hess
    • 1
  1. 1.Munich School of Management Institute for Information Systems and New MediaLudwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)MunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Law and Economics Chair of Information Systems & Electronic ServicesDarmstadt University of Technology (TU Darmstadt)DarmstadtGermany

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