"Featuring" artists on Resonate: pros, cons, alternatives

What are everyone’s thoughts about the current Discovery page on the upcoming Player 7, in particular the way it features artists/labels/releases?

Some prompts:

  • What do you see as positives and negatives of featuring artists on Resonate?
  • How can the design of the Player foster good first impressions for folks visiting Resonate?
  • Is featuring particular artists a good way to raise the visibility of underrepresented genres/regions/people from our catalog and community?
  • What are designs and tools that could be alternatives to featuring artists?
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Inviting @melis_tailored @tamimulcahy @brndnkng @agaitaarino @NachoB @richjensen @zetto.plus @terry

My experience and behavior as a user:

  • I think I practically do not notice the Featured Artist. (How often does it change?) I do own the currently featured track…
  • I skip the Featured Releases always. Scroll, scroll.
  • I don’t even see the Featured Label, nor do I want to.
  • I go directly to the Staff Picks and go the the “Artist page” of each one. When I like what I see, I check out a few of their songs. I systematically check out the artist page of every single staff pick in the days following each new update.
  • Until I read about it precisely in the original version of this comment, I did not even see that the New Releases tab option existed. For me this is a better default alternative, and I click on it on occasion. I think the reason I did not notice it originally is that the tabs were made less visible by the tags, which for my interests are useless.

What I think:

  • Yes, I’m very much in favor of promoting underrepresented everything, including “in our catalog”, for fundamental as well as for practical reasons. I think this is a priority, not just a good thing.
  • For me the playlist format, and particularly the name “Staff Picks” is what works. I anticipate “Community Picks” would work as well, and if we find a way to do a PotD-wiki-like approach that would be awesome.
  • What about, when we get the playlists running openly, use those and have a “playlist of the day”? Either by some collective decision-making or by a few people that take responsibility of this task, lists of playlists prioritizing diversity could be prepared in advance. Would that make sense?

I also don’t like the featured artist on the homepage - it doesn’t change enough and doesn’t highlight enough music. I have frequently noted in discussions that as a music platform, resonate isn’t highlighting enough music when you go on the website.

For the featured artist slot on the homepage to be successful, it would need to be constantly revolving, pulling from the staff picks, new releases etc.

But isn’t this already due to change with the website update? To pull in more music to that slot - to highlight music on resonate, which is our function (something not entirely clear on the old site).



Love the idea of a community picks list as well.


Staff Picks, Community Picks are great ones!
Also is there a way to feature most streamed of the week? Or is monthly better post reporting? That way if an artist is streamed a lot that month, maybe then there’s that spot light?
Also label highlights? Or a highlighted label? This could always be broken down by genre too. So for example Rock, Hip Hop, Classical, Electronic and so on…
I’ll admit, right now the landing page is underwhelming. I am constantly trying to turn artists and fans on to what Resonate are doing, and if when they get to the landing page they dont feel it, they will go right back to whatever they were using before. The welcome mat could do with sprucing up a bit. Lets make it so inviting that they never leave.

  • What do you see as positives and negatives of featuring artists on Resonate?

I assume here that featured artists are currently picked by the Resonate staff. not by an “algorithm”.

(+) : a good opportunity for handpicking overlooked artists and bring them to the spotlight.

Now, how do we define “overlooked”, and why handpick one artist over the other, I’m not sure. I think if we bank on the “human” aspect of our platform, if this is tied to a curator team that users of Resonate would gradually get familiar with, it could simply be based on each curator’s interests and their own definition of what’s overlooked and worthy of being shared on the front page.

(-) : If the picks are being made by the same restricted group of people, we might see the same genres/styles/types of artists being over-represented.

I’d like to know this is being handled by a team that has a wide range of tastes. Maybe if the “author” of the pick is shown, with a small writeup on their part on why they chose this artist, would allow people to “follow” specific curators according to their tastes, and know where to look when they want to go outside their comfort zone.

As a takeaway from this reflexion, I think I’d like to see a team of curators being put to the forefront of Resonate, get to meet them (who they are, what they like, what they’re like, where they’re from, a bit of background, etc.), understand what to expect of them. Ensure there is enough diversity there so we cover as much ground as possible. Maybe rotate in community members who would volunteer and subscribe to a list to be called upon to pick an artist and write up about it.

  • How can the design of the Player foster good first impressions for folks visiting Resonate?

My first impression when opening the page is that it’s cold. Feels automatically generated, lacks a human touch.

For example :

  • How about integrating some of the artist’s bio in here, in a way that’s welcoming and entices me to explore this artist?
  • Use a “profile pic” if possible instead of a logo. If that doesn’t fit with the artist’s aesthetic (wants to remain anonymous, doesn’t want to bring attention to the person(s) behind the music, etc.), encourage artists to provide something that feels more like an artistic statement than a brand.
  • To follow-up on the curators aspect I was talking about earlier, alternative idea to integrating the artist’s bio : put up a writeup from the curator on the artist instead. Or a quote from an interview. Or an original interview. Foster the feeling that this is more than just an algorithm picking random artists from a library of files - that it’s humans sharing their love of music, and discussing about it like two people sitting at a party/bar/place chatting up about what they like. And keep those tidbits (esp. if they’re content made for/by Resonate) on the artists’ pages forever afterwards - slowly building over time.
  • What are designs and tools that could be alternatives to featuring artists?

I’ve been reading up and building a digital garden lately (thanks Hakanto for sharing the articles about that!) and they have this notion of “backlinks” where you’re shown what pages are linking to the page you are on at the moment.

Ultimately, this could be represented as node graphs (looks a bit like a starmap) where you can see how all pages on the website are linked to each other. Like a web. Which is a notion we kind of lost along the way of building the internet, it seems.

Anyway, it’d be a cool discovery tool to represent artists as an interconnected web - using location, genre, band members, label, tags, references : maybe defined by the artist itself, allowing them to link themselves to other artists they like or are influenced by - but also allow listeners to add links themselves, maybe with a voting system (e.g. 14 people said this artist sounds similar to this other artist - 3 people said this artist sounds like this OTHER artist - etc.)

Pretty sure this is all things that have been done elsewhere already (I’ve seen nodegraph / cloud-type representations of music artists/bands somewhere before, for example…).


More misc. thoughts about the player as a whole. Keep in mind I’m someone who likes long-form texts so my opinions/suggestions are skewed towards making that a part of the platform.

  • I’d like to see bios/text being brought up at the forefront of the artists/labels pages. They’re currently placed at the bottom on both the desktop and mobile players.

  • For labels, I’d like to know more about what they’re about, who’s behind them, their goals, philosphy, etc. I assume there is gonna be less of them than artists, so could it be manageable to run short interviews with every one of them, and feature that (and use that opportunity to put them on the Featured Label roll).