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The Political Significance of Spotify in Sweden – Analysing the #backaspotify Campaign using Twitter Data

Journal article
Authors Rasmus Fleischer
Christopher Kullenberg
Published in Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 1-21
ISSN 2000-1525
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 1-21
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.152...
Keywords #backaspotify; Twitter; public sphere; social media; digital methods
Subject categories Other Social Sciences, Media and Communications, Other Humanities

Abstract

This article discusses the political significance of the streaming music company Spotify in Sweden, taking as a case a coordinated campaign in late spring 2016, known by the hashtag #backaspotify (translated as “support Spotify!”), which was mainly played out on the social media platform Twitter. The campaign is analysed using a set of data retrieved from Twitter, examining both the content and the interactions in 1,791 messages. Results show that the main political issue concerned the lack of access to rented apartments in central Stockholm, and that the main actors in the campaign were predominantly associated with public affairs consultants and the youth wings of political parties belonging to the centre-right. The campaign, however, was very short-lived and had diminished significantly already after two days. We conclude that Spotify transcends its role as a streaming music company, and additionally can be used as a point of reference in political campaigns to promote issues that are of wider scope than the music industry alone.

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