The metaphors we stream by: Making sense of music streaming


  • Anja Nylund Hagen University of Oslo, Norway



Music streaming services, metaphors, user experiences, sense making, practices, Spotify, WiMP, listening, internet


In Norway music-streaming services have become mainstream in everyday music listening. This paper examines how 12 heavy streaming users make sense of their experiences with Spotify and WiMP Music (now Tidal). The analysis relies on a mixed-method qualitative study, combining music-diary self-reports, online observation of streaming accounts, Facebook and scrobble-logs, and in-depth interviews. By drawing on existing metaphors of Internet experiences we demonstrate that music-streaming services can make sense as tools, places, and ways of being. Music streaming as lifeworld mediation is discussed as a fourth framework for understanding online music experiences, particularly those arising from mobile and ubiquitous characteristics of contemporary Internet technology.

Author Biography

Anja Nylund Hagen, University of Oslo, Norway

PhD Candidate in the research project Clouds & Concerts, University of Oslo (Department of Musicology and Department of Media and Communication)




How to Cite

Hagen, A. N. (2016). The metaphors we stream by: Making sense of music streaming. First Monday.