New Music & Concerts In Town: Feature Suggestion

New Music & Concerts In Town: Feature Suggestion

Why in 2017 is it so hard to be notified when your favourite artists release new music? or are performing in town?

It should be straightforward to integrate such features, as all my music already sit in one place - Google Music.

These suggestions are written for Google Music. Though, I don't recall Apple Music having a better experience when I tried it few years ago.

First the two features are discussed in detail, then some of the details in implementation.


1)  View new albums and songs by favourite artists in chronologic release order. This list should scroll back, and back, and back, for years worth of releases. 

2)  Sort the list by:  
- my favourite artists  [default setting]
- artists I listen to [optional setting]
- artists I may like [optional setting]
See below (Inferring my favourite artists for details)

3)  Include option to show/hide music on this list already in my library

4) One click to add a new song or album.  i.e. I shouldn't have to press to open the album, move away from the list, and from there add add the music to my library.

5)  Show upcoming releases. The list should 'scroll into the future'. Yet unreleased content, should be able to be able pre-lease using the same one click experience from item 4.  When the album is released, show it by placing it on the main screen, listening it under recent albums tab, and in the new release list.

6)  Option to 'automatically add to my library all new music' from favourite artists. (?Perhaps even this would become the default state if the feature works properly)

7)  This New Release List should be in its own tab. It should also show a summary window on the main home screen when there is new content. When new music is added to the list, a deduct small red dot appears beside the tab's icon.

Feature 2: BANDS IN TOWN

Too often you find out your favourite bands were in town only after the fact. Or you have to scroll through a terribly designed ticket sales websites to see when the few artists you actually care about are they are in town. Or you subscribe to weekly 'update' emails from a ticket purchasing service, that has no idea what music you actually like.

1)  Google Music / Apple Music / Spotify / etc should notify me when my favourite artists will be playing in town.

2)  My home city is straightforward to determine. Set it manually, use location services, pull it from my credit card billing details. 

3)  The service should anticipate when I will be in another city. When traveling, if I remember, I will search to see what artists or shows are playing at there. (Last minute tickets to Rolling Stones in Tel Aviv were awesome). 

Google already parses ticket flight emails into Google Calendar and knows what city I will be in. User anticipated location can be pulled from this. Or parse from my calendar the location of future events or meetings.

3)  Store the list of Bands in Town behind its own dedicated tab.

4)  The default is to only show favourite artists in town. But include toggle to view in town Artists I Listen To, and in town Artists I May Like.  

5)  Add ability to view / search for all artists in town. The native search features of ticket sites is so horrendous that any third party skin to search and filter their databases would be good.

6)  Push a copy of new upcoming favourite artists in town to main screen on a semi regular (weekly, bi weekly basis). Allow users to subscribe to a weekly or monthly email digest. Also ensure all these features can be completely disabled.

How to Make This Happen

We need a list of My Favourite Bands and a list of New Albums. When these overlap, magic happens.

1. Inferring My Favourite Artists

A music library has thousand of songs. But there are a limited number of artists that meet the criteria below. Start by looking at:

1.  Which artists do I have all the major / a majority of their albums in my library?
2.  Which albums / songs are most listened to?
3.  Which albums are listened to front-back?
4.  Which artists do I add their music soon after its released?
5.  Which artists were added first to my library when I set up the account?
6.  Which artists have I selected as 'favourites'?
7.  Which songs have 'thumbs up'?
8.  Which artists have I added most to playlists, or shared links to?

2a. Setting: Favourite Artists

1. The whole set-up process should take a matter of one minute.  

2.  The software should Infer (see above) my favourite artists, and provide a list to choose from.

3.  The list should be sorted based on 'certainty' of them being a favourite artist.

4.  To confirm they are a favourite artist, I should just have to click on the artist name to add them. Non-Favourite artists can be pulled/swiped off.  (Don't show each individual artist as their own card taking up the entire screen. It is faster to view a continuous list of artists to select from, rather than individual cards one at a time).

5.  Software should keep proposing artist names until I stop clicking on names.

6.  Artists can be manually added. The autocomplete box should display artists first by using those stored in my library, then based on the entire worldwide index. 

7.  Artists can also be added to the My Favourites list directly on their artist profile. A star or heart beside the artist that can be selected to indicate this. 

2b. Setting: Artists I listen to:

Infer which artists I listen to based on those that are in my library, but that do not make the Favourite Artists list.

2c. Setting: Artists I may like

I have no idea the best way to set this. Look perhaps at playlists and radio stations for artist and song clustering. Use machine learning. Use a random number generator. The current recommendation process is so bad likely anything is better. 

Pandora seemed to know how to do this almost twenty years ago. (P.S. can you believe how ridiculous the Canadian music laws are? Pandora has been around for 17 years, and it is still not available in Canada).

3. Integration With Touring Schedules

Option A)  Integrate with Ticketmaster.  Pull their touring databases. This should increase their total ticket sales without them having to spend money on customer acquisitions / advertisements. 

They should give provide a commission kickback for each ticket sale. Passthrough hidden fields in the URL or use tracking tokens. Whatever.

Don't be held hostage to one ticketing agency, add several competing agencies to the platform. Display their prices onto one screen. (Forcing them to cut down on their silly 'ticket handling' prices.)

Option B) Don't want to deal with evil ticket vendors. Allow artists to merge/upload their tour schedule automatically to the platform. Ideally the major players Google / Apple / Spotify / etc would just use the same CSV template.

Current State

Google Music currently has a "New Releases" tab. Sometimes my favourite bands will be listed there. But quite often not. Most of the music in this tab is new releases, and typically not by artists I care about.

The above proposals would theoretically (a) increase song plays (b) increase user engagement on the platform by creating recurring notifications and news feeds proving actual value to people (c) provide artists increased revenue by increased plays and increased concert ticket sales (d) provide platform with $ via commission for linking to concert tickets.

Design for the product's average user

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