Datafied Mobile Markets: Measuring control over apps, data accesses, and third-party services

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The increasing use of mobile applications (apps) has turned data harvesting, mining, and distribution into commercial as well as functional backbones of mobile communication. Acknowledging that contemporary markets for mobile communication are increasingly datafied, this article maps and discusses how infrastructures for mobile datafication are controlled. It combines perspectives from critical data studies, political economy of communication, and app studies in an empirical analysis of the 500 most downloaded apps in the Google Play store (November 2020). Focusing on control over and ownership in the three interdependent markets for apps, data accesses, and third-party services, the analysis documents, confirms, and explains established power structures and sheds light on the mobile datafication processes that frame the use of apps and commodification of users. As such, it provides an empirical baseline for future monitoring, and ultimately regulation, of mobile app ecosystems.
TidsskriftMobile Media & Communication
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)136-155
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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