Strategic and Competitive Uses of Information & Digital Technologies (SCUIDT)

Paper Type

Complete

Paper Number

1171

Description

Voice-based information transfer via podcasts is increasingly taking root in education, entertainment, and business communication. In mainstream literature, they have been repeatedly associated with the concept of parasocial interactions and relationships, meaning a psychological relationship experienced by a consumer of a mass medium. However, little research has been conducted to empirically examine such experiences in the context of podcasting. Based on the theoretical background of the two-level model of parasocial interactions, we performed an experiment with between-subject design (n = 28), in which participants of both experimental conditions listened to modified podcast episodes. The sharing of personal information, thoughts and feelings by the speaker was found to have a positive influence on the intensity of parasocial interaction. Furthermore, the experienced parasocial interaction correlates with the intention of listeners to subscribe to the podcast and make use of backchannels. These preliminary results may contribute to a better understanding of interactions in auditory media such as podcasts but also voice-operated information systems. Moreover, this study may help practitioners to align their audio-branding in a way that it fosters parasocial interactions and long-lasting customer relationships.

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Aug 9th, 12:00 AM

The Role of Parasocial Interactions for Podcast Backchannel Response

Voice-based information transfer via podcasts is increasingly taking root in education, entertainment, and business communication. In mainstream literature, they have been repeatedly associated with the concept of parasocial interactions and relationships, meaning a psychological relationship experienced by a consumer of a mass medium. However, little research has been conducted to empirically examine such experiences in the context of podcasting. Based on the theoretical background of the two-level model of parasocial interactions, we performed an experiment with between-subject design (n = 28), in which participants of both experimental conditions listened to modified podcast episodes. The sharing of personal information, thoughts and feelings by the speaker was found to have a positive influence on the intensity of parasocial interaction. Furthermore, the experienced parasocial interaction correlates with the intention of listeners to subscribe to the podcast and make use of backchannels. These preliminary results may contribute to a better understanding of interactions in auditory media such as podcasts but also voice-operated information systems. Moreover, this study may help practitioners to align their audio-branding in a way that it fosters parasocial interactions and long-lasting customer relationships.

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