Peeks of UX in the music industry 2017

Image source: Road Tovr

Have you ever thought about what role does UX plays in the music industry, except players, apps, or websites design?

Well, if you never thought about that, just like me, let’s take a look of some interesting perspectives in this industry. And learn a lot more in the coming Talk UX! (Get an early bird ticket here!).


In most of the time, we UXers focus more on the interface design, while “experience” is always far beyond it. As we all know that the streaming service is taking over the world. Streaming had officially become the industry’s biggest source of income in 2015 and will keep growing. While revenue from downloads and physical album sales both continued their years-long decline. (Ref: Fast company)

So, what experiences and user behaviors are changing under this streaming background?

We will talk about three perspectives here in this article: the Fan experience, the "It's about ME" experience and the future experience.

The Fan experience

Image source: Pixabay

In the old days, if you wanted music, you would walk into a local record store, listen to new music, flick through the vinyl racks, peruse the range of T-shirts and posters, chat with the clerk and other customers, then make a purchase that could include concert tickets.

Nowadays, if you want to hear an album, you just go to your phone, open your favorite streaming service, then... just enjoy!

This is the most talked-about music experience topic recently. But that’s not ALL. There are services focusing on offering real interactions between fans and artists. They create platforms for artists to meet with fans, share their stories, perform and sell their music. Therefore, artists and fans can stay engaged with each other in real way.

Why is it important? 
Have you ever become so emotional, even start shaking and crying, just because you were standing in front of the artist that you admired so much, even if just seeing him/her signing on your CD for 10 seconds?

If you ever experienced it, you know that’s one of the experience will never be replaced by digital music. And it is a valuable experience that people are willing to pay real money for it.

I have seen so many variations of that incident (without the tears) that I grew to know that The Experience was actually important to real fans because it made people feel as if they actually had a connection with someone who they have admired for years. And with people relating that they preferred The Experience to an actual concert, it confirmed that the interaction, however brief, was important. — Dedry Jones

“It’s about ME” experience

Image source: Pixabay
Beyond the surface experience, fans will relate to music by themselves.

Marketers in the music industry used to think about what content, formats and mediums could be use to tell the story of the artist and the music. But somehow, in this process, a key stakeholder’s view is missing — the listeners. Think about this — listeners are not just listening, they transforming the music story into their own stories and make it go on and on and on. They are actually the one who write the next chapter of that story artist once told.

For long, this was not noticed by marketers, but now this a direction that they are putting more emphasis on. A step further, now people measure success by how much money the artist made from their music work, but what if — in the future, the industry will start measuring success by how artists made their audience members feel, and place more value on knowing what makes the audience react to a story?

Music is not about the artist — it is about the stories being lived by the listener and how they relate. Stories transcend any specific artist or song.
We(marketers)’re obsessing over how to tell the artist’s story, and missing the point that the real value lies in knowing how listeners are relating. — Lucy Blair Pettersson

The Immersive experience

Image source: Music Connection

When it comes to the next wave of innovation in the music experience, VR will be mentioned, for sure. A great advantage VR can bring us listeners is the dreamed immersive experience.

Luckily there are some works already being done to inspire the rest of us to take it further. Big names such as Paul McCartney, U2, Björk, Coldplay and Deadmau5 are the pioneers who have already embraced VR in the form of immersive music video or live concerts that invite fans onstage. You can watch some of them here:

But for now, the market is still waiting for more hardware and software (as well as the demand of immersive content) to catch up with its ambitions. Let’s keep our eyes open and see what would be happening soon!


Would like to know more about the music industry and UX? Reserve a Talk UX ticket now for yourself for connecting to the industry practitioners! Reserve here!


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