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Abstract

This study describes consumers` movie choices in conjunction with other group members and attempts to reassess the effect of the online word of mouth (WOM) source in a joint decision context. The tendency of many people to go to movies in groups has been mentioned in previous literature but there is no modeling research that studies movie choice from the group decision perspective. We found that ignoring the group movie-going perspective can result in a misunderstanding, especially underestimation of genre preference and the impact of the WOM variables. Most of the studies to measure online WOM effects were done at the aggregate level, and the role of online WOM variables(volume vs valence) is mixed in the literature. We postulate that group-level analysis might offer insight to resolve these mixed understanding of WOM effects in the literature. We implemented the study via a random effect model with group-level heterogeneity. Romance, drama, and action were selected as genre variables; valence and volume were selected as online WOM variables. A choice-based conjoint survey was used for data collection and the models was estimated via Bayesian MCMC method. The empirical results show that (i) both genre and online WOM are important variables when consumers choose movies, especially as group, and (ii) the WOM valence effect are amplified more than the volume effect does as individuals are engaged in group decision. This research contributes to the literature in several ways. First, we investigate movie choice from a group movie-going perspective that is more realistic and consistent with the market behavior. Secondly, the study sheds new light on the WOM effect. At group-level, both valence and volume significantly affect movie choices, which adds to the understanding of the role of online WOM in consumers` movie choice.

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