Gendering and music streaming: Discourse and algorithms on a music streaming service

  • Ann WernerEmail author
Part of the Jahrbuch für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung book series (JMMF)


In this article, the gendered aspects of music streaming are discussed as both discursive and material processes. Its findings are based on focus group discussions about music streaming, analysis of the functions of a music streaming service (Spotify), and examples of when this service promotes gender equality. Using a science and technology perspective and previous literature in the field, this article concludes that music streaming on Spotify displays several gendered cultural patterns and that gender stereotypes are challenged by Spotify. The main results are that the digitalization of music on Spotify has led listeners to masculinize expertise, and that algorithms promote successful white male rock artists. Spotify’s attempts to challenge this are located within isolated interventions, outside of the main code, with little chance of impacting upon listeners who are not already interested in gender equality. In the context of music streaming, discourse on gender often interacts with code to limit gender diversity while reproducing gender stereotypes.


Gender music streaming Spotify algorithms 


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Copyright information

© Der/die Herausgeber bzw. der/die Autor(en), exklusiv lizenziert durch Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Södertörn University StockholmHuddingeSchweden

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