Find a way to make musical social media apps successful
Image credit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zk86qfr/articles/z8x796f
Povilas S May 31, 2022
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So far the efforts by various startups and even world-famous companies to combine music streaming and social media features, to create a platform where people could discover music through people and people through music, share, comment on, like, etc. exclusively musical content failed. Examples: Ping, Cymbal, Connect, there are many more.
The demand for successful musical social media is obvious – people love to share music, love to discover music and one of the main things that connect people is music.
What is the main obstacle preventing such apps from becoming successful and how can it be overcome?
Things to note:
Platforms like Youtube, SoundCloud, and Spotify all have some features of social media, but none of them are truly a music-oriented social media platform. Picture something like Instagram is for images, just for music.
Feedback, engagement on-page, and identity
Miloš Stanković Jun 03, 2022
All of these apps were started while Facebook was still strong and people shared music there a lot. Now, with Facebook getting passed on to older generations, there might be room for such a music social media app.
- Feedback - we all sent someone a music link only to see them write "I'll check it later" and get no return information. Or to post the song to FB or Twitter and get likes mostly from the people who know the song from before and are just liking to signal they like it too. So how about if the app has the ability to let you know who did listen to the whole track you shared, who left after 15 seconds, and who left mid-way. But also for whom it was the first time they heard the track. On that platform at least. You're not shooting into the void anymore. If they then start listening to that artist a lot, after a while you'd get a notification like "You turned Povilas into a Blue Oyster Cult cult member - he listened to XX hours of them in the last month". That would be satisfying. It would be a conversation starter.
- Overlap - Also have a notification if you and your contact happen to listen to the same song at the roughly same time. Or have listened to five songs from different albums in the same day.
I think Soundcloud was somewhat of a social media app, yet they never kicked off in that aspect because of several issues.
- Their design provided little in terms of content that isn't music. It's mostly recommendations for other artists - content that would interfere with the music you're already listening. No added content to keep you on the page, to keep you engaged. So instead at this new platform, while you're listening, you'd get a slideshow of the photos of the artist if the song is not a music video. Or have the option to see the lyrics in real-time, or to see them explained like on Genius. Lyric explanations then also serve as conversation starters. What else can be engaging while you listen? Quizzes? Having a music map of the artist?
- Soundcloud also suffered from the anonymity of users, that is that most names and avatars are forum names, which isn't the case for most social media accounts. You have some indication of who the person is. So having identity confirmation could help a lot.
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Interactive features to improve collaborative playlists on music streaming platforms
Povilas S Jul 01, 2022
Collaborative playlists are a great social feature available on music streaming platforms. However, they have very limited possibilities and lack some basic functions that could greatly improve the experience for those who use them and make them more desirable for those who don't. This is one of the ways to start bridging the gap between music streaming platforms and social media.
I propose to implement these features that are currently lacking:
- Notify each collaborator every time someone adds a new song to the playlist.
- Possibility to like and comment on songs added to the playlist (each collaborator gets notified of all the reactions and comments).
- Live chat on the sidebar - you can see which collaborators are currently connected and chat with them about the music in the playlist.
- Once you open the collaborative playlist you can also see if any of the collaborators currently listen to certain songs in it (similarly to Spotify's "what friends are currently listening to" feature, just bound to that particular playlist and its collaborators).
With those features in place, people could form certain social groups revolving around music that they share with each other. They could enjoy it together and talk about it.