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“Streaming Music” considers what streaming makes of music. Drawing on theories of musical mediation developed by Georgina Born and others, this chapter examines some of the key ways that platforms mediate music. On streaming services, music is enacted as data, metadata, intellectual property, and much else besides. Taken together, this constellation of mediations conspires to make a change in music’s politico-economic condition appear otherwise, as if it were a change of ontology, imposed by a novel technological system. Stream versus download, object versus event, music as good versus music as service: such commonplace dichotomies, which undergird popular narratives about the development of streaming, deflect attention away from a more significant mutation: platforms’ transformation of digital copies from durable to disposable goods, a transformation that exploits digital reproduction’s enactment of recorded music as a quasi-public good at one level to reinscribe music within the regime of private property at another.

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