Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Margaret Padgett


Even with the rise of music streaming services, illegal downloads are costing the music industry $2.7 billion per year. The purpose of this study is to determine what types of advertising appeals will be most effective at enhancing the willingness to pay for a streaming service, thereby decreasing music piracy. This study examined college students’ willingness to pay for, willingness to recommend, interest in, and affective reaction to a music service after being exposed to a digital advertisement that employed either a rational, fear, or guilt appeal for a fictitious music streaming service. It was expected that music involvement, or the level at which students perceive, consume, and interact with music in their daily lives, would moderate both their response to the appeal and their willingness to pay for the service. Overall, it was found that the rational appeal produced less negative affect than both the fear and guilt appeals. The rational appeal also produced greater positive affect than the fear appeal. In terms of music involvement, the guilt appeal produced higher purchase intention for both high and low musically involved respondents than the rational and fear appeals. Additionally, it was found that fear appeals produced the least advertisement recall compared to the rational and guilt appeals.

Included in

Marketing Commons