Author ORCID Identifier

Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Oberlin Community Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Ron Cheung
Kathryn Metz
Paul Brehm

Committee Member(s)

Paul Brehm
John Duca
Martin Saavedra


Cancel culture, Music streaming, Music industry, Spotify, Social media, Digital music


In the past few years, the cancel culture phenomenon of publicly criticizing individuals or brands for their questionable actions has emerged and begun impacting the music industry. This phenomenon has been facilitated and intensified by the widespread use of social media platforms such as Twitter. As a result, customers, particularly music fans, have gained the power to voice their disapproval online. This paper investigates the short-term effects of online cancel culture on music streaming to identify if negative publicity boosts a musician’s career. Results indicate that cancel culture does not have a significant effect on a musician’s streams or popularity in the six months after cancellation. One of my models demonstrates a temporary boost in streams only within the first 30 days. Furthermore, the specific reason for cancellation does not appear to alter the stream trajectory. These findings have broader implications for online culture, extending beyond the music industry.


Additional department: Musical Studies