Study Title: Algorithmic Music Recommendation Systems as Cultural Intermediaries in the Digital Age

Researcher: Jack Webster (

ERGO ID: 28339

Summary: My PhD research examines how music taste and consumption is being shaped by the use of music streaming services specifically the service, Spotify. In particular, I am interested in the impact of music streaming services' attempts to 'curate' our consumption experiences through the use of playlists and personalised recommendations. I am aiming to interview people who use Spotify to learn about their music consumption practices and invite these people to reflect on how their consumption practices are being shaped by the use of Spotify.

Study FAQ

How long will the interviews take?

Interviews are expected to last around 45 minutes.

What will the interview consist of?

The interviews are split into three parts: (1) a set of questions about your music consumption practices (2) a set of questions about your use of Spotify (3) a final discussion section reflecting on how your use of Spotify has shaped your consumption practices. I might invite you to show me how you use Spotify on your phone or computer to aid our discussion.

Where will the interview take place?

I will work with you to find a convenient location. Normally my interviews take place in a coffee shop/bar so I can buy you a drink to say thank you for helping me with my study.

Will my participation be confidential?

Yes. I will create pseudonyms (i.e. a fictional name) for all of my participants. Interviews will be transcribed by me and I will anonymise the data (e.g. any identifiable information referring to you or anyone else will be omitted). Data is stored in accordance with the university regulations around data protection.

Are there any risks involved?

The risk is low because we will be having a chat about music consumption and music streaming.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you decide that you no longer want your contribution to be included in my PhD study, you can contact me at any time to discuss this.

What will happen to the results of the research?

The findings will be written up as part of my PhD thesis. There is a chance that I may write some academic journal publications using the findings from this research. If you would like to see any of the work I produce, or want to keep informed of my progress, do get in touch or check my homepage, as I keep it up to date with all of my activities.

Here's the official study information sheet, which outlines in detail the nature of my study (PDF)

If you are interested in taking part, please email me using the following address: