Music education on YouTube and the challenges of platformization

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The MayDay Group

In this paper, I critically examine platformized music education on YouTube. I suggest YouTube’s platform mechanisms influence music teaching and learning on the platform. The influence is present throughout the production, distribution, and monetization structures that YouTube-based music educators experience. I discuss how creators make videos with broad autonomy over what they produce but with a need to conform to platform affordances and to foment interaction with their content due to platform mechanisms such as datafication and commodification. Distribution is crucial to their work, yet YouTube’s algorithm and governance structures operate in powerful and opaque ways forcing music educators to navigate platform influences on their livelihoods and teaching. Finally, as creators earn money through their work, they encounter monetization structures and programs heavily entrenched in YouTube’s business model and have little agency or voice in shaping these structures and programs.

Music education, YouTube, Internet platforms