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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political SciencesPostgraduate study

Mr Jack Webster MSc Web Science, BA (Hons) Music

Postgraduate Research Student

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I am a Web Science PhD student at the University of Southampton. I research how the algorithmic music recommender systems used by music streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, are operating as cultural intermediaries in the music marketplace, shaping how we connect with and consume music.

At undergraduate level, Jack studied a BA (Hons) in Music at the University of Southampton. Jack graduated with First Class Honours and won the Edward Wood Memorial Prize for Best Music Student.

Jack was awarded a studentship from the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training to undertake an MSc and PhD in Web Science. Jack went on to achieve a mark of Distinction for his MSc Web Science and is currently working towards his PhD.

Research interests

The aim of my research is to study how algorithmic music recommender systems are operating as cultural intermediaries in the music marketplace. Firstly, it unpacks how music recommender systems are positioned and organised as cultural intermediaries in the marketplace and what actors are enrolled in the cultural intermediation they perform. Secondly, it focusses upon the everyday use of music recommender systems and explores how, as cultural intermediaries, music recommender systems are shaping consumption practices and the formation of taste. My case study is the music streaming service Spotify.


PhD research

Title: Algorithmic Intermediaries: How are Music Recommender Systems Performing as Cultural Intermediaries and Shaping Taste?


Prof. Susan Halford (Sociology), Dr. Nicholas Gibbins (Computer Science) and Dr. Brian Hracs (Economic Geography)


Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training




(2016) Seminar Leader on GEOG3063 Creative Economy

(2015) Module assistant on MUSI3132 Global Hip-Hop


Mr Jack Webster
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

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