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Liquid streaming  : an actor-network analysis of streamed music with the case of Spotify  
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2250-3939
2017 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Currently music streaming services are starting to dominate the music industry. Streaming out rule physical records as well as digital download, and by doing so music streaming has contributed to shift ownership of artefacts with access to ditto. This presentation aims to describe the affordances and surplus values that are connected to such an access service taking the Swedish founded company of Spotify as a case example. By employing Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of Liquid Modernity as a way to comprehend contemporary society in an encounter with Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory (ANT) I will show how and in what ways accessed music streaming indeed are an networked actor of a liquid nature.

 

The presentation will focus one main part of my forthcoming thesis Liquid Music Streaming, namely the actor – the Spotify streaming service. According to the ANT analysis, the feature of music streaming needs a number of networked actors in order to act as a music-streaming actor. Foremost music streaming needs an actor e.g. a company that can create a practice of musicking. The analysis of the Spotify Company and its service shows in summary how the company management structure is agile with autonomous working squads that constantly update the service based on user-generated data. Hence the Spotify music streaming are a runaway object, to use Yrjö Engeström’s terminology, a result of subject’s activity and impossible to master or overview from any single point of lookout. Secondly, music streaming needs the actor of distribution channels to reach its primary final cause – the end-user. Distribution of musical goods, e.g. musical files, are networked by Internet Service Providers (ISP) as well as providers of digital devices, the right holders of music and political jurisdictions. Besides these major actors the service is associated to yet other services and products, developers and public institutions, not to forget the end-user. These entities are not solid and static but constantly changing and reshaping. The conclusion will present the Spotify streaming service as an liquid actor that are inescapably intertwined and dependent on several other liquid actors in order to preform its liquid service of streaming.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 28- p.
Keyword [en]
music streaming, Spotify, affordances, actor-network theory ANT
National Category
Arts Other Humanities Pedagogy
Research subject
Music Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-63617OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-63617DiVA: diva2:1103618
Conference
Femtonde nationella musikforskningskonferensen Musikforskning idag!, Piteå, 12-14 juni 2017
Available from: 2017-05-30 Created: 2017-05-30 Last updated: 2017-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Liquid streaming – an actor-network analysis of streamed music with the case of Spotify(84 kB)44 downloads
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Abstractbok(759 kB)8 downloads
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