The impact of nostalgia and social setting on consumer motivation to watch a movie at the cinema vs. through streaming

  • Madalena Sofia Andrade Dias de Sousa Inês (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Movie theatres have long been considered a social space, where people come together and sharethe experience of watching a new movie on the big screen. Consumers often hold a sense offamiliarity with cinema. The ritualistic nature of the dark room, and the popcorn machine,contributes to the creation of an emotional experience and a sense of Nostalgia.Over the years, technology posed several threats to theatres. Streaming has become widelypopular, even on-par with cinema not only through fostering its own ritualistic nature –associated with the culture of binge watching and escapism – but also when it comes to carryingexclusive releases. Thus, understanding how consumers choose in this industry has becomeincreasingly relevant.This thesis explores the role of Nostalgia and Social Setting in driving consumer motivation towatch a movie at the theatre and through streaming. Through two experimental studies, we findthat Nostalgia is particularly relevant for streaming, increasing Inspiration to watch a movieand Intention to watch a series. For cinema, we find no effect of Nostalgia on motivation, likelydue to a naturally high Nostalgic Value making our Nostalgia manipulation redundant.Inversely, Social Setting is particularly relevant for cinema and non-significant for streaming. In the cinema context, we find that watching a movie in groups increases Inspiration, Intention,and Willingness to pay. Our study is theoretically and practically relevant, contributing to literature on the role of Nostalgia in fostering Inspiration, and providing managers of streaming platforms and cinemas with relevant ways to increase consumption.
Date of Award28 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Niza Braga (Supervisor)


  • Cinema
  • Streaming
  • Media
  • Nostalgia
  • Social connectedness
  • Inspiration
  • Willingness to pay
  • Perceived risk
  • Escapism
  • Movies
  • Series


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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