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    Rasmus Fleischer: The Story of Spotify

    Higher seminar with Rasmus Fleischer from Stockholm University, arranged by Media and Communication Studies at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University

    In this seminar, economic historian Rasmus Fleischer will share some experiences from an interdisciplinary research project on Spotify, running since 2014. Its focus is not on the users, nor on the music industry at large, but rather on the inner workings of Spotify. The project has attempted to trace the transformation of audio files into streamed experience, while also situating the rise of "streaming" within media history.

    The story of Spotify is not only a story of success, but also one of precarity - about a company dependent on the blessing of the record industry and of attracting ever more investments to cover up the constant losses. To keep afloat, Spotify has to sustain a constant hype around itself. It certainly does not allow for scholars to access any internal archives, or for employees to speak freely in interviews. This raises important questions for the study of today's digital media industries. In fact, Spotify even tried to stop the public funding of the research project, claiming that its digital methods were in violation of its Terms of Use; the project thus also became an intervention into the ethics of corporate behaviour.

    The seminar presentation, however, will focus on how Spotify itself has transformed over its 12 years in existence, and how this history relates to the company's own story, and to the general level of hype. Just about right now, the first book on the history of Spotify is published. "Den svenska enhörningen" by Rasmus Fleischer and Pelle Snickars is a popular account built on some of the findings of this research project; it will be available at the seminar, fresh from the printing press. In late 2018, it will be followed by a larger volume co-written by the whole project group, "Spotify Teardown" (MIT Press).

    Tid och plats

    När: tisdag 17 april kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: PC 249, Primus building, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Arrangeras av: Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska