Associations for Disruptiveness: The Pirate Bay vs. Spotify
Remneland Wikhamn, Bjorn
Most studies on disruptive innovations adopt technology-centric assumptions when explaining how industries are affected by a technology’s creative destruction. This paper argues that the power of a technology lies in how it performatively associates with the cultural and social norms of the wider society. Hence, a technology is not disruptive or sustaining in itself but is potentially a productive outcome of network linkages with other social and material elements. To illustrate this claim, two digital music services will be analyzed, respectively a misfit and a maverick both challenging mainstream providers of music – The Pirate Bay and Spotify – in relation to each other and how they are positioned toward the transformation of the music industry as a whole.