Part 1: Discussion Guide
As the music streaming industry becomes an increasingly crowded and hard-to-compete-in space, Company X hired us to create a discussion guide to better understand people's current behaviours, emotions, and experiences while consuming audio-media (e.g. music, podcasts, radio, audiobooks, etc.) so we can identify opportunities and improve the experience. 

Part 2: Diary Study
A diary study conducted with the goal of collecting unbiased, untargeted, and fluid participant data to uncover new insights and set a new foundation for Company X to explore. Personal writing about this experience can be found under the "Empathic Research Methods" journal post.

Completed by: Christian Tymec, James Koutrakos, Lucas Lazdins

Audio Consumption Case Study

Discussion Guide

Research Topics & Questions to be explored in the interview.
Priorities of the listener
• How might we explore the priorities of casual/regular music listeners when using a music streaming service?
• How might we explore the priorities of audiophiles when using a music streaming service?

The Experience
• How might we uncover what drives users to listen to certain music and why?
• How might we discover what experiences listening to music brings, what emotions come about from listening to certain songs?

Added Features
• How might we uncover or develop additional features that users are looking for in their preferred streaming service? 

Diary Study

We developed a question to answer to best design the study
Research Question
When trying to combat, enhance, or realize a current feeling ot mood, what types of audio media are people consuming, and why?

Data Collection - The Survey 
Participant Recruitment:
Our process for recruiting participants was organic and involved through using social media channels. We reached out in our networks and received over 14 different participants, while about six were able to conduct the study to completion. Participants were encouraged to ask the researchers questions throughout the diary study.

Participant Instructions:
Fill out the form at least 2x per day, over the course of any three consecutive days. Entries must be completed directly before, while consuming, or directly after making a choice to consume a form of audio-media (i.e. music, podcast, audiobook, guided meditation, etc.)

Sampling Frequency:
Diary entry must be submitted 2x a day, for 3 days, at the participant’s will, during, or directly after they are consuming any type of audio media.

Live Form for Diary Study


Affinity Diagramming
Identifying Patterns and themes.


In more than one participants’ group of entries, we noted that music was often played in the morning to set the person up for their day. The words “pump up” came up -- even with the use of opera in the morning.

In a handful of entries, the participants’ used music in a way where they could avoid, or disassociate from, their situations. 

In numerous entries, white noise, or music without lyrics were used both for sleeping, and to study better. This was a conscious effort to cool their bodies and mind down and get them in the right headspace.

Music used to maintain a feeling
Participants used music for much more than just entertainment for their ears. Research shows participants were also using music to improve or sustain a positive feeling they were currently experiencing. 

Participants had certain selections that were driven by external sources. That being direct recommendations like a friend’s suggestion, and indirect recommendations like the radio’s current playing rotation. 

Background Noise
Participants would fill both empty noise and time where there is no current task to complete by listening to music. They used music as a way to add colour to otherwise bland scenarios (i.e. commuting to work, showering, waiting alone for a table at a restaurant). 

Diverging from the current Situation
Participants would treat music as a temporary escape in order to alter their present mood or feelings. 

Task Oriented/Functional
Participants used music for focus and for literal use of the music itself. Some listened to meditating, low-fidelity beats that encouraged focus, while one participant listened to music for the intent on learning music, literal use.