Streaming Music, Streaming Capital

Regular price $ 29.95

by Eric Drott

Duke University Press

2/7/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781478025740


In Streaming Music, Streaming Capital, Eric Drott analyzes the political economy of online music streaming platforms. Attentive to the way streaming has reordered the production, circulation, and consumption of music, Drott examines key features of this new musical economy, including the roles played by data collection, playlisting, new methods of copyright enforcement, and the calculation of listening metrics. Yet because streaming underscores how uneasily music sits within existing regimes of private property, its rise calls for a broader reconsideration of music's complex and contradictory relation to capitalism. Drott's analysis is not simply a matter of how music is formatted in line with dominant measures of economic value; equally important is how music eludes such measures, a situation that threatens to reduce music to a cheap, abundant resource. By interrogating the tensions between streaming's benefits and pitfalls, Drott sheds light on music's situation within digital capitalism, from growing concentrations of monopoly power and music's use in corporate surveillance to issues of musical value, labor, and artist pay.


"Eric Drott offers a much-needed analysis of recorded music, online streaming, and their mutual mediation. With its incorporation into digital platforms, music's oft-celebrated power to connect takes on new significance as it becomes, simultaneously, a lucrative asset, a service to rent, a means of data accumulation, and an extraeconomic resource. Drott's fascinating examination of this new music economy's coherences and contradictions deserves to be widely read." -- Marie Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Popular Music, The Open University

"For those awaiting the definitive critical interrogation of the global music streaming economy, Eric Drott has provided a consummate account. Drott refuses the fallacy of music's exceptionalism, and in this skilled reading music portends many of the wider crises characterizing our world." -- Georgina Born, Professor of Anthropology and Music, University College London

About the Author:

Eric Drott is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Music and the Elusive Revolution: Cultural Politics and Political Culture in France, 1968-1981.