1.1 Objective

Over the past 10 years, marketing research has increasingly investigated the effects of the Internet as an information, communication, transaction, and distribution channel on consumer behavior. Many articles and papers have addressed topics related to marketing in the age of the Internet.

Although all these research efforts are worthy of high praise and valuable contributions to my understanding of eWOM, many knowledge gaps still exist. This thesis picks up one particular research topic that needs further research, i.e., influence of eWOM on the re-ceiver's purchase intentions. There is substantial anecdotal evidence that participation on the Internet influences consumer behavior (e.g., Rheingold, 1993) and, as well, influences the receiver's purchase intentions (Bansal et al., 2000).

The objective of this thesis is to investigate various aspects of eWOM and its effects on the consumer decision (i.e., purchasing) process. This is done by a quantitative study that took place using an online survey. The goal of the study is to generate insight in the influence of eWOM, in the field of music, on the receiver's purchase intention. My research framework is based upon existing theories of word-of-mouth. I assume that these theories can be extended from the traditional context to the computer-mediated context.