Rethinking Online Radio
I was recently working on a project that required me to design rich media units for a campaign that would play in the Pandora ad space. I'll be honest, I was really disappointed with what I could do with the ad space. And like most of life's frustrations it led me to a bigger thought about the way that we approach listening to music online.
I set out to not only to redesign what an ad experience could be when we are in an endemic listening environment but also look at how artists are being represented in these spaces? One that represented the artist in the way they want to be seen, and give them the ability to control and create their brand story.
Here is what this musical experience might look like.
Artists in the bigger picture.
The primary issue that I set out to solve was creating a listening experience that brought the artist to life. You might listen to many artists in any given session, but are they lost in the grander picture of online radio. Bringing the artist to life was the primary direction for the redesign.
Below is an example of an artists channel page. A customizable marquee image can be set by the artist themselves. The marquee is a versatile media space, that can incorporate still or moving image (video). Below that we have minimal player controls that are unobtrusive, which allow the album art to be incorporated in a more engaging way. Listeners can use this to navigate the artist.
Another feature I incorporated was the ability to create your own channels and share them with anyone via social media. They are also discoverable based on search, and listeners can vote for their favorite channels which elevate them in the search.
Below is an example of a customized channel page. With features that allow you to set background images per song, making this experience highly customizable.
Integrated Ad Approach.
I didn't ignore the necessity to serve ads in this space. As this was very much part of the main reason why I started this project. The marketer in me thought it was a non-starter without it. It's just the reality we live in, but I believe my experience based approach provides advertisers with a much richer and powerful creative environment to serve those ads.
The core feature is 2 stacked ad spaces. The main piece uses the marquee for video, animation, or still image while sound plays. The lower banner acts as a companion banner, which helps solve the problem of needing :30 second ad buys because info has to be verbally spoken. This results in shorter ad buys = getting back to music faster, and less money spent on advertising on the platform. Win - Win. Also more Neil DeGrasse Tyson please.
I also took the time to build out a small example of a CRM stream, that leads potential users from discovery to signing up to some of the deeper content I have outline in the emails below.
The website was basically unnecessary but helped me think out the style of this fictious project.