Behind Closed Doors…

The relationship between producers and consumers – it’s almost like that couple that sits in the corner at a restaurant together and as they share their $14 spaghetti bolognese they complain that it is too salty, there is not enough sauce, and the pasta is over cooked – but despite all this they finish the whole bowl.

Much like the couple at the restaurant producers and consumers are in a constant battle between what the consumers want, and what the producers are developing, what the consumers need, and how the producers meet those needs, it almost seems as though whatever is being sold – is never good enough.

So from this – open technologies are developed, ones that allow users to create their own experience, develop and customise their own content as well as share their designs with the world.

Then… there are the closed ones – where any form of systematic customisation is rejected almost as instantly as maccas breakfast at 10:31am. This rejection is not taken well by a market where the ideologies of prosumption (Jenkins 2004)  and technological convergence are ever-increasing and heightening the demand for a restriction-free technological experience,  of which as outlined in the previous blog post… is also not allowed.

Where does Spotify come into this?

With illusionary tag lines like “Your next favourite songs are waiting” (Spotify, 2013) Spotify is claiming that the platform has the ability to “Soundtrack your life” (Spotify, 2013). With the platform encouraging users to “Share music on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, [or] anywhere” (Spotify, 2013) the company is creating the false perception that the platform is open with a range of possibilities and that the reality that it is closed does not effect users choice to consume the product because even when closed, there is enough possibility to “create” that simple restrictions are deemed insignificant. In a market where new forms of community, participation and knowledge production (Jenkins 2004) is a major change and trend Spotify simply responds with the illusionary utopia of a restriction-free media platform.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.13.12 pm

(Image source: www.spotify.com)

This illusion of a restriction-free technology is visually, aesthetically, and consumer-friendly approach to a quite clearly closed technology – the features of personalisation and customisation such as playlists and radios are the Spotify equivalent of the ability to change your profile picture on Facebook, or cover your Instagram image with a filter.

So where does it end?

The freedom to share your world of music does not end at Facebook, Twitter or your blogs – with a new partnership with entertainment marketing company Topspin – the platform now allows artists to sell their merchandise directly “…from their profile page.”

“You can play any song any time”

Essentially Spotify are creating the ideology that where ever you are, whatever you are doing, whoever you are with and for as long as you can – you can listen to any song you like…

(P.S. you have a 4923 word user agreement you have to comply with but shhh!)

References

Jenkins, H., 2004. The cultural logic of media convergence. International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 7, pp. 33-44.

Terms and Conditions of Use. 2014. Terms and Conditions of Use. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.spotify.com/us/legal/end-user-agreement/. [Accessed 31 March 2014].

Spotify launches merchandise feature, lets artists sell from profile page | Digital Trends. 2014. Spotify launches merchandise feature, lets artists sell from profile page | Digital Trends. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/spotify-launches-merchandise-feature/#!B29BY. [Accessed 31 March 2014].

Music for everyone – Spotify. 2014. Music for everyone – Spotify. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.spotify.com/us/. [Accessed 31 March 2014].

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