- Get listeners streaming more regularly
- Help them easily find interesting music
- Build in a cost effective manner
- Avoid algorithmic-based solutions
After using Resonate for the last month and brainstorming, I’ve come up with some different ideas for music discovery and content curation. The idea which I feel is probably the least work for the biggest reward is a feature I’m nicknaming Segue.
Imagine you are listening to the album Intermission by No Vacation on Resonate. The final song Mind Fields finishes. Normally at this point, the music stops. If you want to listen to more music, you have to go find a new album or return to your Favorites. It’s a bit stark: whatever you were doing, you now have to stop and find a new record.
If you’re new to Resonate and haven’t discovered much stuff you like yet, this can be a big road block. It’s a lot of work to find your footing on Resonate, especially if your favorite artists aren’t on the platform yet.
Instead, imagine a pop-up appears. It says “Intermission has 6 Segues recommended by users. Interested in a follow-up album?” You’ll be given some options:
[Recommend a Segue]
[See all Segues for this album]
If you [Begin Segue], you’ll be taken to a random album out of the six which those users each recommended. All We Left Behind by Highland Kites starts playing automatically. Someone – some person – in the past recommended it as a good follow-up album to No Vacation.
Now that you have begun Segue mode, it continues until you turn it off again (a Segue On/Off button would be added to the main interface). Every time you finish an album with Segue mode enabled, you will automatically be taken to a user-recommended follow-up album. If you end up on an album which doesn’t have any Segues recommended, then you are invited to recommend one yourself.
Segue is an idea which invites each Resonate user (or perhaps co-op members exclusively as an membership incentive) to act as a kind of radio DJ at the album level. It’s not merely about finding more music to listen to, it’s about picking a specific transition between albums, themes, etc. You are invited to get engaged with the platform, to be creative and personal in each of your Segue proposals (you only get one proposal per album!).
This feature would ease music discovery significantly for listeners without requiring any tagging, genre categorizing or algorithms. Also this eases the work load for current curation volunteers.
Every time a new album comes on through Segue, you know that some other human out there on Resonate listened to the same album you did, and then hand-picked this follow-up album for you. Whether you love the specific Segue album which was recommended or not, that’s a deeply human touch on a streaming platform.
I imagine it would be difficult to implement Segue on a song-to-song level, and it could even be annoying at that point. Implementing it strictly for albums would likely be easier to build, and it would incentivize artists to upload full albums rather than just songs, knowing that only albums can be discovered through Segue. It would also encourage listeners to listen to full albums, which equals more plays on the platform.
Surely there will be people who spam the same album as a Segue on everything they can find for exposure (it’ll be a hell of a lot of work though), and there will be people who intentionally pick bad Segues to be silly. If wanted, that could be curtailed by adding a sort of vote up/down feature to review Segue albums as you are listening to them (perhaps affecting their likelihood of being selected on Segue mode). Not sure if that’s worth it though.
Once again, if desirable, an up/down voting feature could in some way reward users who made well-liked Segue proposals. Perhaps they would receive a tiny portion of the credits used to listen to the album. That’s complicated and more long-term stuff, just brainstorming. Co-op members earning microcredits by making popular Segue recommendations? That’s fancy.
Personally, I would use this feature constantly, even in its most basic implementation. It would be rare for me to turn it off! Segue would make it a lot more fun and interactive to use Resonate. Let me know what you think – or riff on it and propose a variation.