Reconfiguring the relationship between technology and its audience, Spotify is a key example of the notion of produsage (Bruns, 2007). This term refers to the invitation for all consumers to be produsers of knowledge and endorses audiences to collaborate, create and contribute.
This is a vital component of Spotify’s success, as the technology could not function without its users creating playlists, setting up virtual radios, buying merchandise and sharing their activity across social media.
Welcome to 2014, the year where at every opportunity – you are offered to share your thoughts, comments and activities on social media.
Welcome to MacDonalds – share!
Welcome to Uni – share!
Welcome to Woolworths – share!
Spotify is no different in their eager attempt to get users to share their favourite songs and playlists onto their twitter and facebook pages – in fact, when your facebook activity is minimal, Spotify comes along and posts for you! Letting all your facebook friends know what your listening to, and that you’re using Spotify.
According to Bruns, the notion of Produsage holds four key characteristics – all of which, are glistening in bright lights waiting for you to create a playlist on Spotify, share your favourite songs, build a radio or even release your own music!
The four key characteristics of organisational shift, fluid movement, the notion of unfinished content and permissiveness are each portrayed though Spotify. The technology is equally reliant on user generated content, as it is on releasing the actual music. Where the holistic music experience once involved you driving to your local Sanity store to buy your favourite album two weeks after it was released in America for $12.99, now how, when and for no cost – it all awaits your click on the Spotify discovery page. This centralised music experience evokes a sense of community as the rules and structures of the past are forgotten through following your favourite artists Spotify profile. This notion of an experience and fluid movement is exemplified through users ability to now purchase merchandise from their favourite artists profile, and then share it on facebook! Uploading a single to Spotify is only the beginning – as users star, add it to their playlist or start a radio from the track the simple song evolves and emerges as new user-transformed content that will never be condemned completed or unable to further grow. These characteristics of the technology are essentially unified through the main feature of permissiveness – the allowing of excessive freedom of behaviour.
Spotify is essentially a microcosm of collective intelligence. As a dialogic media technology, the platforms collection of music almost perfectly reflects modern media consumption whereby audiences are not only consuming – but creating, sharing and producing participatory media.
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Bruns, A., 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation’ in ‘Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6′, Washington, DC, retrieved 7 April 2014 <http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf>.