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Spotify and the democratisation of music
Popular Music Pub Date : 2021-04-26 , DOI: 10.1017/s0261143021000064
Thomas Hodgson

The corporate rhetoric of streaming platforms often assumes a tight link between their scale-making ambitions on the one hand and the creative interests of musicians on the other. In practice, most musicians recognise that claims of musical ‘democratisation’ are deeply flawed. The creative ambivalence this produces is an understudied pillar in scholarship on digital music platforms and suggests that these systems can be more creatively constrictive than empowering. Based on ethnographic research among Spotify engineers, record labels and musicians, this article explores how music recommendation systems become inculcated with a corporate rhetoric of ‘scalability’ and considers, following Anna Tsing, how this impacts musical creativity further down the value chain. I argue that the ‘creative ambivalence’ that these technologies produce should be more fully understood as woven into a complex web of social relations and corporate interests than prevailing claims of technological objectivity and ‘democratisation’ suggest.



中文翻译:

Spotify和音乐民主化

流媒体平台的企业言论常常假设一方面规模创造雄心与另一方面音乐家的创造性兴趣之间存在紧密联系。实际上,大多数音乐家都意识到音乐“民主化”的主张存在严重缺陷。由此产生的创造性矛盾情绪是数字音乐平台学术研究中被忽视的支柱,并表明这些系统比赋予权力更具创造力。基于Spotify工程师,唱片公司和音乐家之间的人种学研究,本文探讨了音乐推荐系统如何灌输公司“可扩展性”的口头禅,并在听了安娜·青(Anna Tsing)的思索之后,考虑了这对价值链下游的音乐创造力有何影响。

更新日期:2021-04-29
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