Productive play time: The effect of practice on consumer demand for hedonic experiences

Kyle B. Murray, Steven Bellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we explain how practice, prior knowledge and task difficulty interact to affect demand for hedonic experiences. As predicted by the human capital model, we propose that the key determinant of demand for hedonic experiences is the increase in performance efficiency that can be gained through practice. In addition, we argue that the nature of the effect of practice is distinctly different in hedonic consumption, compared to utilitarian consumption. Specifically, for hedonic experiences, practice allows consumers to extract greater value within a given period of time, rather than reduce the amount of time spent on a (utilitarian) task. Finally, we argue that if changes in performance efficiency across repeated hedonic experiences adhere to the power law of practice, then both prior knowledge and task difficulty will be important moderators of the main effect of practice on demand. These predictions are tested in two experiments that use an online panel to examine consumer demand for videogames.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-391
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision making
  • Experience
  • Hedonic products
  • Human capital model
  • Internet
  • Power law of practice
  • Prior knowledge
  • Utilitarian
  • Videogames

Cite this