Music Radio as a Format Remediated for the Stream-Based Music Use

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


What do music radio and music streaming have in common? The curated flow of music. Radio is featured in the main section of the Spotify user interface. Apple employs radio host for their streaming service, Apple Music. Music streaming and music radio seem closely related. Even in their use of playlists, which govern their flow. Any given flow in the form of a radio show or an accessed stream, is traditionally constituted and regulated by a playlist.
When viewed as formats the role of radio and playlists can be interrogated as remediations for the digital music era. In rudimentary terms, the format is the form used to present music content. Alongside this simple regulation of content the format constitutes complex reformulations of previous concepts of music media and music technology. As exemplified in todays stream-based music use it is possible to develop a theory of radio as a format based on the remediation of both the constituent playlist and the radio. The playlist is a format within another format, the radio.
Stream-based music use conveniently remediates both radio and playlists to re-commodify the interaction with music content. If radio curating is relevant among users of music streaming services, how is the streaming radio format different in its algorithmically auto-generated state now featuring possibilities for instantaneous interaction? To answer this it will be necessary to conceptualise music radio as a contributing format in today’s stream-based music use. With this, I aim to investigate what a theory of radio as a digital format could add to the further studies of the socio-cultural, practical, and material multiplicities of music radio.
My aim is also to further develop the theoretical notion of the format within media studies and sound studies. I propose this theoretical contribution with reference to several empirical studies of everyday music streaming use and the fact that radio holds a significant position as both a stand-alone medium and as a contributing format within streaming music use. Why else does Spotify provide radio(s) and Apple Music likewise employ human radio hosts?
Translated title of the contributionMusik Radio som format remedieret til streambaseret musikbrug
Original languageEnglish
Publication date27 May 2017
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventMusic Sound Radio: Theorizing Music Radio: Ramund Forskningsprojekt - DGI Byen, København, Denmark
Duration: 25 May 201727 May 2017


SeminarMusic Sound Radio: Theorizing Music Radio
LocationDGI Byen
Internet address

Cite this