Spotify Teardown – forthcoming book published by MIT Press

I am extremely pleased and proud that that I and my research group just signed a book contract with MIT Press – the forthcoming book is tentatively entitled: Spotify Teardown. Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music. Manuscript is to be delivered in a years time or so – and according to our proposal this is what we intend to do:

Co-authored by five Swedish academic researchers as part of a multi-year project funded by the Swedish Research Council (2014-18), the book engages in a reverse engineering of Spotify’s algorithms, aggregation procedures, meta-data, and valuation strategies. Written at the intersection of software studies, critical media industry studies, the digital humanities and social anthropology, the book proposal takes its cue not from the promise of a better digital future—but from the longstanding STS slogan, “it could be otherwise.” Our book proposal, however, is not a retrospective write-up of project findings. Instead of summing up research results in standard academic form after the project’s end, we aim to use the book as an organizing device for our ongoing and collectively performed research. Writing about processes rather than ready-made objects requires a form that is processual and dynamic in itself—kind of a “Google doc-approach”. The proposed book will thus combine historical documentation of previous “solutionist” discourses, ongoing (and often agile) experiments, and analyses of socio-technical processes with an auto-ethnography. Interweaving these various analytical layers, we aim to provides insights about the ontology of the digital, and offers a practical companion for researchers venturing into the backsides and the back-end of contemporary digital life. The book will consist of five main chapters, an introduction and conclusion, notes, references, and index. Each of the co-authors will act as section editor for one of the main chapters, taking responsibility for the chapter’s coherence and completeness