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Evolving Bildung in streaming media – Spotify as a case: A border crossing research project within the field of music
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9266-786X
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is clear that new technology has the possibility to provide information and education for everyone. Just a few decades ago only people with the financial means could invest in a good encyclopedia, record or art collection. Today, many people can access the same information for free, which is interesting from a democratic perspective. The new and transformed music industry with which digital distribution sets new preconditions for people’s access to music (and also other forms of art) has been studied from technological and economic perspectives, and also in relation to people’s listening behavior. Research has focused on streaming in relation to the music industry, file following, file distribution and aggregation, human-technology interaction, altered usage, the humanization of technology, broadband infrastructure, click frequency, distribution of specific music, playlists shared through social networks, and peer-to-peer streaming. Even listening habits and listening frequencies, such as causal links between music choice and people’s daily activities, or time of listening during the day, have been studied through analyses of Big Data. Now, however, we need to pose new questions to be able to understand the meaning and function of streamed music and other digital art expressions in people’s lives, and also how technological streaming companies interact with and relate to this. The aim of this project is to investigate possibilities for Bildung, given the current digital media situation, through studies of how Spotify is constructed, ideologically driven, and used.With its 40 million users, dominating the streaming media market, Spotify offers a unique possibility when it comes to Bildung within the Swedish context. In the present project Bildung is defined as a journey from the unknown to the known, in the field of tension between past and future, and between freedom and the unfree. Hence, Bildung can concern the broadening, as well as deepening of knowledge, socialisation, and existential experience. During the 60s, radio and TV media were used to promote Bildung, although directed towards a limited target group. Current technology makes it possible for streaming companies such as Spotify to offer individually adapted distribution through complex interplays between human beings, art, and technology. In a border-crossing project such as this, the breadth, range, and access, in interplay with technology at several levels, make Spotify as a case interesting to study from the perspective of Bildung. Leijonhufuvd holds that other factors than economical and technical influence how the mentioned interplay takes place and develops. The content of music files, for instance, cannot be separated in its relation to Spotify as aggregator, without the relationship with the music business, legal jurisdictions, or to connections between artists and fans, or other companies whose products are connected to the Spotify product. In addition, different ideologies govern what Spotify offers to whom, in what ways, and in which contexts. These ideologies, and also the idea of Bildung, influence how technology has to be used, and what economic resources that are needed. Moreover, there is a risk that human beings become passive receivers of arts expressions through participation in digital technology. From a democratic perspective it is important that the peril of co-dependency as a consequence of over-consumption is thoroughly researched.The present project aims to investigate the described complex interplay, from the overarching perspective of Bildung. In order to achieve this aim, a border-crossing interdisciplinary study is needed to provide access to and understand the multifaceted phenomena that Spotify presents as a case of streaming media in relation to Bildung. Consequently, technicians as well as researchers from both the humanities and social sciences can approach the proposed research problem. This interdisciplinary approach is necessary also in order to form a holistic understanding of the phenomenon being researched, and thus develop expert knowledge of streaming media and their relation to human beings, arts, and technology.The aim of the project is to explore the meaning and function of streaming media as a facilitator of Bildung, using Spotify as a case.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Music Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-35718Local ID: a6049d80-293a-4859-bf52-f21e0ac066b7OAI: diva2:1008971
Musik Focused Interdisciplinary Research and Analasys Center : Vidgade vyer över musiken 25/11/2015 - 26/11/2015
Godkänd; 2015; 20151126 (cefe)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-01-19Bibliographically approved

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