Metrics and decisions-making in music streaming

Arnt Maasø, Anja Nylund Hagen
2019 Popular Communication  
Music streaming enables the tracking of listening behavior in more detail than any previous music-distribution format. While it is well known that streaming services collect troves of data, little is known about how stakeholders, including managers or label executives, make metric-based decisions and how they understand the impact of algorithms. The article uses anonymized interviews with music industry professionals, exploring how they use metrics in streaming services and examining their
more » ... xamining their decision-making processes. The analysis concludes that they rely on a growing volume of data when making decisions about what to promote, and how. Nevertheless, most of the stakeholders focused on fairly simple metrics, such as salient spikes that were noticeable "at a glance." When discussing these findings, we draw attention to the reinforcing feedback loops between metrics, data-based decisions and algorithms, questioning whether datafication acts to intensify trending events and diffusion of new music. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/15405702.2019.1701675 fatcat:2brpx3n3nves3oxsbgstfim23q