Keywords: Lefebvre; Abstract Space; Social Space; Music Streaming; Trialectics.
This paper demonstrates how Henri Lefebvre's influential theory of the "production of space" can help generate a more critical understanding of transformations in digital music, and in particular, the emergence of data-driven and cloud-based music streaming services. Lefebvre distinguished between "social space" and what he calls "abstract space" - the space of capitalism. Music streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora, can be understood as the latest stage in the ongoing struggle to transform the "social space" of P2P file-sharing into "abstract space." By giving careful consideration to perceived, conceived and lived processes in the production of space - what Lefebvre called the "trialectics of space" - this paper illuminates the different ways music streaming services and their listeners produce new spaces of music consumption, helping us in turn to develop a more robust critique of abstract space in general.