Datafication and the push for ubiquitous listening in music streaming

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article discusses Spotify’s approach to music recommendation as datafication of listening. It discusses the hybrid types of music recommendation that Spotify present to users. The article explores how datafication is connected to Spotify’s push for personalization and contextualization of music recommendation based on a combination of the cultural knowledge found in editorial curation and the potential for large-scale personalization found in algorithmic curation. The article draws on the concept of ubiquitous music (Kassabian, 2013a) and other understandings of the affective and functional aspects of music listening as an everyday practice to reflect upon how Spotify’s approach to datafication of listening potentially leads them to prioritize music recommendations that entice users to engage in inattentive and continuous listening, and in extension of this, the article seeks to contribute with knowledge about how datafication of listening potentially shapes listening practices and conceptions of relevance and quality in music recommendation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedieKultur: Journal of media and communication research
Issue number69
Pages (from-to)71-89
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Music Streaming
  • Algorithmic Curation
  • Spotify
  • Datafication

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