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Eriksson, Maria
Publications (6 of 6) Show all publications
Eriksson, M., Fleischer, R., Johansson, A., Snickars, P. & Vonderau, P. (2019). Spotify teardown: inside the black box of streaming music. MIT Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spotify teardown: inside the black box of streaming music
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2019 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An innovative investigation of the inner workings of Spotify that traces the transformation of audio files into streamed experience. Spotify provides a streaming service that has been welcomed as disrupting the world of music. Yet such disruption always comes at a price. Spotify Teardown contests the tired claim that digital culture thrives on disruption. Borrowing the notion of "teardown" from reverse-engineering processes, in this book a team of five researchers have playfully disassembled Spotify's product and the way it is commonly understood. Spotify has been hailed as the solution to illicit downloading, but it began as a partly illicit enterprise that grew out of the Swedish file-sharing community. Spotify was originally praised as an innovative digital platform but increasingly resembles a media company in need of regulation, raising questions about the ways in which such cultural content as songs, books, and films are now typically made available online. Spotify Teardown combines interviews, participant observations, and other analyses of Spotify's "front end" with experimental, covert investigations of its "back end." The authors engaged in a series of interventions, which include establishing a record label for research purposes, intercepting network traffic with packet sniffers, and web-scraping corporate materials. The authors' innovative digital methods earned them a stern letter from Spotify accusing them of violating its terms of use; the company later threatened their research funding. Thus, the book itself became an intervention into the ethics and legal frameworks of corporate behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MIT Press, 2019. p. 273
National Category
Media and Communications Cultural Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157393 (URN)9780262038904 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, D0113901
Available from: 2019-03-18 Created: 2019-03-18 Last updated: 2019-04-04Bibliographically approved
Eriksson, M. (2018). Unpacking Online Streams. APRJA, 7(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unpacking Online Streams
2018 (English)In: APRJA, ISSN 2245-7755, Vol. 7, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151237 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-1139
Available from: 2018-08-30 Created: 2018-08-30 Last updated: 2018-10-11Bibliographically approved
Eriksson, M. & Johansson, A. (2017). "Keep Smiling!": Time, Functionality and Intimacy in Spotify’s Featured Playlists. Cultural Analysis, 16
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Keep Smiling!": Time, Functionality and Intimacy in Spotify’s Featured Playlists
2017 (English)In: Cultural Analysis, ISSN 1537-7873, E-ISSN 1537-7873, Vol. 16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As one of the world’s largest online music providers, the streaming service Spotify has a profound capacity to shape everyday realities through digital technology. This article explores how both openness and control are embedded in Spotify’s ways of delivering recommended playlists to users. After analyzing over 500 pre-designed playlists, we argue that Spotify’s music recommendations evoke individual freedoms and flexibilities, at the same time as they prescribe normative temporalities, neoliberal subjectivities, functional approaches to music, and monetizations of intimacy. Such tensions between freedom and control speak of the dual inheritance of the digital and its potential to both liberate and constrain human action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: , 2017
National Category
Cultural Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148441 (URN)
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-06-05 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved
Eriksson, M. & Johansson, A. (2017). Tracking Gendered Streams. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, 9(2), 163-183
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tracking Gendered Streams
2017 (English)In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 163-183Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the most prominent features of digital music services is the provision of personalized music recommendations that come about through the profiling of users and audiences. Based on a range of “bot experiments,” this article investigates if, and how, gendered patterns in music recommendations are provided by the streaming service Spotify. While our experiments did not give any strong indications that Spotify assigns different taste profiles to male and female users, the study showed that male artists were highly overrepresented in Spotify’s music recommendations; an issue which we argue prompts users to cite hegemonic masculine norms within the music industries. Although the results should be approached as historically and contextually contingent, we argue that they point to how gender and gendered tastes may be constituted through the interplay between users and algorithmic knowledge-making processes, and how digital content delivery may maintain and challenge gender relations and gendered power differentials within the music industries. Seen through the lens of critical research on software, music and gender performativity, the experiments thus provide insights into how gender is shaped and attributed meaning as it materializes in contemporary music streams.

Keywords
Gender; music; algorithms; streaming; digital methods
National Category
Media and Communications Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151238 (URN)10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1792163 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-1139
Available from: 2018-08-30 Created: 2018-08-30 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved
Eriksson, M. (2016). A Different Kind of Story Tracing the Histories and Cultural Marks of Pirate Copied Film. Tecnoscienza: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies, 7(1), 87-108
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Different Kind of Story Tracing the Histories and Cultural Marks of Pirate Copied Film
2016 (English)In: Tecnoscienza: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies, ISSN 2038-3460, E-ISSN 2038-3460, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 87-108Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pirate copied objects are fiery artifacts that have caused much anxiety and debate. This article explores the cultural biographies of one particular type of such objects; digital pirate copied films. More specifically, it traces two neglected aspects of such object's life histories: their entanglement in systems of standardization and quality control, and the ways in which new types of aesthetics and narratives are inscribed (or added to) pirated audiovisual content. Paying close attention to the layered and multifaceted dimensions of digital pirate copied film, the paper approaches the act of pirate copying as a form of transfiguration, and suggests that pirated objects are much more than plain replications. By housing a multiplicity of material identities and by carrying (and being surrounded by) alternative narratives of production, the article argues that these objects intervene, disorient, and disrupt the power dynamics of cinematic circulation and ultimately serve to queer commodity spheres.

Keywords
piracy, queer theory, transfiguration, copying, inscription
National Category
Cultural Studies Studies on Film
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-132328 (URN)000393481400006 ()
Available from: 2017-03-23 Created: 2017-03-23 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Eriksson, M. (2016). Close Reading Big Data: The Echo Nest and the Production of (Rotten) Music Metadata. First Monday, 21(7)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Close Reading Big Data: The Echo Nest and the Production of (Rotten) Music Metadata
2016 (English)In: First Monday, ISSN 1396-0466, E-ISSN 1396-0466, Vol. 21, no 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Digital music distribution is increasingly powered by automated mechanisms that continuously capture, sort and analyze large amounts of Web-based data. This paper traces the historical development of music metadata management and its ties to the growing of the field of ‘big data’ knowledge production. In particular, it explores the data catching mechanisms enabled by the Spotify-owned company The Echo Nest, and provides a close reading of parts of the company’s collection and analysis of data regarding musicians. Doing so, it reveals evidence of the ways in which trivial, random, and unintentional data enters into the data steams that power today’s digital music distribution. The presence of such curious data needs to be understood as a central part of contemporary algorithmic knowledge production, and calls for a need to re-conceptualize both (digital) musical artifacts and (digital) musical expertize.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago Library, 2016
Keywords
Metadata, Big data, Algorithms, Knowledge production, Music
National Category
Music Other Computer and Information Science Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148443 (URN)10.5210/fm.v21i7.6303 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-06-05 Last updated: 2019-03-19Bibliographically approved
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