An online music sharing platform that provides musicians a place to launch, share and advance their talents. A place for music enthusiasts to discover and support rising musicians.
The music industry is dominated by blockbusters. In 2010, 94% of 7.5 million tracks sold fewer than one hundred units, while 0.001% generated 1/6 of total sales. Digitization of the music industry has increased this phenomenon. By providing infinite storage, ease of discovery and lowered pricing, existing music streaming platforms has changed the way people consume music. This causes amateur musicians to be exploited in expense of larger industry labels. The goal this project is to rethink how amateur musicians can launch their careers and better monetize content.
Because of the dominance of blockbusters, the music industry is almost impossible to break through for a young independent artist because of the winner takes all model. Wide spread use of cheap music streaming services has cemented the idea of free music into the minds of everyday users. These situations makes it incrementally harder for musicians to break into the field.
To read more about these challenges,
In order to find a solution to this problem, I began by trying to better understand it. I conducted in-depth research with three young musicians, who have not been able to make money from sharing their content, in hopes of finding out…
the pros and cons of the platforms they currently post to
what is missing from their music sharing experience
In order for any music platform to function, there needs to be a sufficient amount of listeners. Therefore, I also conducted research with music listeners to try and find out…
what they look for in a music streaming platform
if they would pay for their music
The current Market
I found that bandcamp is the platform of choice amongst most young musicians nowadays because of its direct payment policy to the artists. However, the users reflected that it lacks the engagement and community building that exists in a platform like Soundcloud.
The Content Creators
From talking to the musicians, I was able to better understand their problems with existing platforms and really get to the core of what they need from a music sharing platform.
After conducting interviews, I was able to narrow down the target group to a younger audience who loves discovering new music and is willing to frequently pay to attend concerts and gigs. Those who are less passionate about music and is satisfied listening to mainstream pop are not the primary users.
Luiza may be the primary listener on the platform but another group of users the platform could also attract are those who are seeking young musicians to hire. Because musicians are looking for a place to post their content professionally, this platform could be a connector between artists and talent recruiters.
The hardest part of the research process for this project is realizing that it is almost impossible to get people to pay to listen to music online.
Today, the streaming of music online is virtually free. This makes it increasingly more difficult to incentivize individuals to pay to listen to music. Therefore, in order for artists to successfully monetize their content, they must try to reinvent.
Engagement with the artist may be the key in helping with monetizing content. A digital music download may have no true value anymore but if it came with a personal note from the artist its values may increase. Similarly, a CD signed by an artist is worth more than one that is bought off the self.
Because artists simply aren’t making money off record sales anymore, they are charging more for live concert experiences. A live concert experience is enjoyable because it is a place for people to bond and enjoy music. It became a goal for me to think about how to digitize these face to face engagement and maintain its unique incentives.
To process the research, I used affinity mapping as a way to better analysis and understand the core points.
It was hard to decide where to start approaching this product. Eventually, through talking with artists, I decided that the MVP should be making the platform an organized place for artists to show off their work.
For the artist’s profile place, I wanted there to be a clear separation between their feed, their music content, their live concerts and their other paraphernalia. I wanted a place where the artist can show off his or her individual voice while remaining professional.
The access from the side of the content consumers also needs to be clear and well directed. From the main feed page, the user can see updates from their favorite artists as well as the recent activities by other users.
The MVP of the project is to rethink a space where artists can share their content.
How to Monetize Content?
The next step was to find ways for artists to monetize off of their content online.