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Streaming the culture industries (STREAM)

The culture industries are changing. Streaming is increasingly popular. STREAM studies streaming services in TV, music, film, and publishing at the intersection of technology, economy and use.

Stream står det med bokstaver. Logo.

About the project

Streaming the culture industries: Analyzing the technology, usage and economy of streaming media services (STREAM)

Streaming, understood as on-demand access to vast digital catalogues of works, combines technologies and business models in a manner that has the potential to profoundly change cultural practice. Since the introductions of YouTube (2005), Netflix (streaming since 2007) and Spotify (2008), users access cultural products instead of owning them.

Drawing on Actor-Network Theory and Social construction of technology, the STREAM project studies 1) design, technology and repertoire, 2) use, and 3) business of streaming within music, television, film and book publishing.

To capture the impact of streaming on cultural production and practice, STREAM combines two large survey studies with qualitative interviews with both users and media managers across the cultural sectors, and innovative software studies and digital Methods.


The primary objective of STREAM is to provide new knowledge on streaming media services and how they impact the culture industries and cultural practices. This entails examinations of various streaming services' technological and economic foundations, as well as reliable data and a comprehensive understanding of how users relate to and use the services.

The secondary objectives of the project are to provide the culture and media industries with a better understanding of the changes made possible by streaming technologies, and the opportunities and challenges they imply. Through this we also aim to develop analytical concepts to update media theory to better grasp current media technology and its usage.


The project consists of three work packages, thematically organized according to research questions and study objects.

  • Work package 1 (The technology, design and repertoire of streaming media services) addresses RQ1 and will be led by Fagerjord. Maasø, Lüders and post.doc will act as co-researchers. Repertoire and user interfaces of the cases will be studied in Q1 through Q4 2017, and updated in Q1 2019 and Q2 2020. The software analysis study is carried out in 2018 and 2019, using the user interviews, the first survey, and the business interviews as background materials. Results will be compared with the results from the second survey, and followed up with a series of user interviews and observations in Q1 through Q2, 2020.
  • Work package 2 (The modes and practices of streaming media usage) addresses RQ2 and will be led by Lüders. Spilker and post.doc will act as co-researchers. Preparatory work needs to start in Q1 2017 with a literature review for developing research models and hypotheses, and adapting the findings from the qualitative study to relevant constructs and hypotheses. A pilot of the survey will be conducted in Q4 2017. The final survey will be conducted in Q1 2018 (dataset 3), and repeated in Q4 2019 (data set 4).
  • Work package 3 (The business models and value networks of streaming media services) addresses RQ3 and will be led by post.doc. Co-researchers will be Fagerjord and Maasø. WP3 is primarily based on interviews with informants in the media industries and data from the surveys. Two sets of interviews in the four media sectors will be conducted in 2018 (Q1-Q3) and 2019 (Q2-Q4). Additionally, available statistics will be collected to supplement the above sources. A detailed plan of progress for WP3 will be sketched out in cooperation with the post.doc.


The Norwegian Research Council


1 March 2017 – 28  February 2021


NTNU Trondheim
OsloMet - Storbyuniversitetet


Published June 26, 2017 10:54 AM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2020 1:01 PM