An Analysis of Choice Overload Effects on the User Experience of Subscription-based Streaming Services

Chiara Longo

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The aim of this work is to provide an overview of choice overload research, and to investigate whether the effects of this psychological phenomenon could be detected in the context of subscription-based streaming services, in order to explore the managerial and strategical insights that this perspective could unfold for the players in this industry.
The assumptions developed by Barry Schwartz throughout his work and collected in his book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less” (2004), that examined the causes and consequences of choice overload in great detail, were applied through a survey research modeled on the scholar’s theories, specifically aimed at subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) users. After an initial screening of primary data and further research aimed at collecting secondary data that helped contextualize the phenomenon, the focus of this study was purposely narrowed to a younger demographic, as it was found particularly subject to the prerequisites that cause the occurrence of choice overload.
Therefore, this work investigated three main variables for the identification of the choice overload phenomenon – namely, maximization tendencies, post-choice regret and user dissatisfaction – in a sample of Italian SVOD users below 40 years of age. Furthermore, some mitigating factors identified through literature research – namely knowledgeability in terms of content, preferring TV series over movies and following the suggestions of taste communities – were also evaluated as resources that users could exploit in order to cope with the negative effects of decision fatigue.
The results of the analysis underlined a significant, positive correlation between the three main variables, confirming the occurrence of choice overload among the sample of SVOD users considered, while all the secondary hypotheses that attempted to identify mitigating factors for this phenomenon were rejected. On the basis of these results and after a critical assessment of the outcomes, a series of strategic recommendations were formulated with the aim of starting a discussion to identify alternative content discovery systems that SVOD providers might put in place to help ease the negative outcomes of choice overload.

UddannelserCand.soc.cbp Management of Creative Business Processes , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider99
VejledereAbayomi Baiyere