Understanding motivations to use online streaming services : integrating the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the uses and gratifications theory (UGT)
Purpose: The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its preventative social distancing measures have led to a dramatic increase in subscriptions to paid streaming services. Online users are increasingly accessing live broadcasts as well as recorded video content and digital music services through Internet and mobile devices. In this context, this study explores the individuals’ uses and gratifications from online streaming technologies during COVID-19. Design/Methodology/Approach: This research has adapted key measures from the ‘Technology Acceptance Model’ (TAM) and from the ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory’ (UGT) to better understand the individuals’ intentions to use online streaming technologies. A structural equations partial least squares’ (SEM-PLS 3) confirmatory composite approach was used to analyze the gathered data. Findings: The individuals’ perceived usefulness and ease of use of online streaming services were significant antecedents of their intentions to use the mentioned technologies. Moreover, this study suggests that the research participants sought emotional gratifications from online streaming technologies, as they allowed them to distract themselves into a better mood, and to relax in their leisure time. Evidently, they were using them to satisfy their needs for information and entertainment. Research implications: This study contributes to the academic literature by generating new knowledge about the individuals´ perceptions, motivations, and intentions to use online streaming technologies to watch recorded movies, series, and live broadcasts. Practical implications: The findings imply that there is scope for the providers of online streaming services to improve their customer-centric marketing by refining the quality and content of their recorded programs, and through regular interactions with subscribers and personalized recommender systems. Originality/Value: This study integrates the TAM and UGT frameworks to better understand the effects of the users’ perceptions, ritualized and instrumental motivations on their intentions to continue watching movies, series and broadcasts through online streaming technologies, during COVID-19.