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

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.201809180

Keywords:

#backaspotify, Twitter, public sphere, social media, digital methods

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.

Author Biographies

Rasmus Fleischer, Stockholm University

Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economic History

Christopher Kullenberg, University of Gothenburg

Researcher in Theory of Science

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Published

2018-09-18