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—-1—0—+1Spotify TeardownInside the Black Box of Streaming MusicMaria Eriksson, Rasmus Fleischer,Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars,and Patrick VonderauThe MIT PressCambridge, MassachusettsLondon, England74334_10932_ch01_2P.indd308/10/181:25 pm
—-1—0—+1ContentsAcknowledgments viiIntroduction1Intervention: The Swedish Unicorn191Where Is Spotify?31Intervention: Record Label Setup692When Do Files Become Music?79Intervention: How We Tracked Streams1053How Does Spotify Package Music?115Intervention: Too Much Data1394What Is the Value of Free?149Intervention: Introducing Songblocker173Conclusion181Intervention: Work at Spotify!193Notes 205Bibliography 255Index 27374334_10932_ch01_2P.indd508/10/181:25 pm
—-1—0—+1IntroductionSpotify welcomes the growing interest in streaming media but is concernedabout information it received regarding methods used by the group of research-ers responsible for this project. This information suggests that the research groupsystematically violated Spotify’s Terms of Use by attempting to artificially increaseplays, among other actions, and to manipulate Spotify’s services with the help ofscripts or other automated processes. Spotify determines that the group of research-ers was aware that such actions explicitly violate its Terms of Use and aimed tomask this violation by technical means. In light of the above you are hereby askedto confirm by 26th of May 2017, in written form, that you have received this noteand that the group of researchers has ended such actions that are in violation ofSpotify’s Terms of Use, and that it does not intend to take up such actions again inthe future. Note that in this context, violation against the Terms of Use may implyresponsibility for possible damages resulting from this violation.On May 19, 2017, legal counsel of the Swedish music streaming service Spo-tify contacted the authors of this book via email to inquire about the methodsused in a then-ongoing research project, titled “Streaming Heritage: FollowingFiles in Digital Music Distribution.” During the autumn of 2013, this projecthad received over $1 million1in grant funding from the Swedish ResearchCouncil for investigating the challenges and consequences of streaming ser-vices, such as Spotify, for the heritage sector.2A guiding question for the proj-ect was how people’s practices and approaches toward cultural forms suchassongs, books, or films—practices including the production, expression,and exchange of those cultural forms—are transformed under the shift fromcommodity ownership to commodified experience.3While research within this project soon went beyond the initial focuson cultural heritage, the project itself had been explicit and open about itscritical approach from the very start. In fact, various forms of public activismwere part of the project’s interventionist research design, for which it had74334_10932_ch01_2P.indd108/10/181:25 pm
2Introduction-1—0—+1—received—in a fierce national competition—the second highest of the coun-

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