Online movie ratings: A cross-cultural, emerging Asian markets perspective

Hean Tat Keh, Wenbo Ji, Xia Wang, Joseph A Sy-Changco, Ramendra Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of volume and valence of online movie ratings on consumers? risk perceptions and purchase intentions, as well as the moderating impact of cultural values, in four emerging Asian markets. Using a survey questionnaire, data was collected from 204 respondents for Study 1 and 376 respondents for Study 2 in four emerging markets (China, India, Chinese Macau, and the Philippines). The analysis was conducted using analysis of variance. Results indicate that moviegoers express higher risk perceptions and lower purchase intentions when the volume of online ratings is smaller and when the valence (average rating) is lower. These effects are enhanced for more conservative consumers, but are not influenced by consumers self-transcendence. Indian consumers were found to be more conservative than the other Asian consumers in the study. Taken together, the findings make significant contributions to the literature on services marketing, online ratings, cultural values, risk perceptions, and emerging markets. In contrast to correlational studies, the experimental design controls for potential confounding factors and provides evidence of causality between online ratings and consumer responses. In addition, by using cultural values, the authors avoid the problems associated with using national culture scores to characterize individuals or sub-groups within countries. The study suggests that despite the geographical proximity of these emerging markets, key discernible differences exist due to the moderating impact of cultural values on consumer responses. When targeting consumers in relatively conservative markets (e.g. India), a large volume of positive online ratings may lower consumers risk perceptions and increase their purchase intentions. This study is one of the pioneering studies examining the impacts of volume and valence of online movie ratings on consumers risk perceptions and purchase intentions in emerging Asian markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366 - 388
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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