Social for music lovers
How might we make the discovery process more social for music lovers so they can find good music easily?
Music is ingrained in our culture. Around 90% of the world listens to it. We may not listen to the same things, but the mere act of it is useful to us in one way or another.
In the past, people consumed music less frequently because technology was more analog. Eventually though, the invention of streaming platforms ushered in the digital format, and everything became accessible all at once. However, while we’ve been privileged with the convenience of music on demand, we are also now burdened with years worth of content with no clear way to decide what we truly like.
In my research of users’ music discovery habits, I discovered that about 86.7% of users were selective of the songs they listened to. People are generally picky with their music. Interestingly, a majority of this subset of users, about 62.5% of them, also preferred to discover new songs through other people. These users favored organic recommendations because unlike algorithms, they’ve stated that people can “verify and discuss one’s music choices”.
This led me to believe that there was a positive correlation between one’s “selectiveness” over music and their need to connect. That is, people who are conscious about their music prefer organic means (i.e. other people) to discover new songs.
As research shows, people’s emotional responses to music are intricately tied to the other core social phenomena that bind us together into groups. To put it simply, the pleasure we derive from listening to music results from our need to connect. (Loersch, C., & Arbuckle, N. L. 2013.)
Ultimately, discovering music we love is more likely when other people are involved. Currently, there are no platforms which have fully enabled this process.
User Pain Points
Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features:
One solution here would be to create a user-centric discovery experience. The social aspect is important because unlike algorithms, other people can verify your taste. An organic recommendation cuts through millions of songs and shortens the process significantly. Thus, it would function similarly to a social network but just for music. People will be able to post, save, and share songs as they’d like and everyone would be able to follow one another with their own profiles. Ideally, this creates a feedback loop where users actively engage with the app in browsing profiles, comments, and feeds all to find songs that are special to them.
I learned three main things throughout the 4 weeks: