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Spotify Live+

Spotify is one of the most popular music audio streaming and download apps. Spotify Live+ is a feature within Spotify through which users can watch live and recorded concerts from the comfort of their homes on television screen or while commuting.

Role: Product Designer

Industry:  Music and entertainment

Duration: 80 hours | May-June 2023

Tools:  Figma, FigJam, Optimal workshop, Canva, pen and paper

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Purpose

To sustain in the competitive market with other music giants, Spotify wanted to add a feature that is not available on other music apps or is available but hasn’t gained popularity amongst users, a feature that will add user traction by gaining new users and making sure the current users stay engaged and don’t delete the app.

Challenge

User-centered: To provide users with a unique feature within Spotify app so they don’t have to subscribe separately to other platforms and can get most value out of their Spotify subscription. We want to ensure that the user experience provided is unique and easy to navigate so the user doesn’t drop-off the task mid-way, rather completes the task by enjoying the concert and stays engaged.

Business-centered: To set Spotify apart from their competitors by providing a feature that is not available with other music apps. This feature is aimed at retaining users, increasing subscription and streaming revenue, gaining exclusivity on live concerts, and promoting new talent / artists.

Design process

It was important to understand what users think and feel rather than assuming the solution right off the bat. I followed systematic step-by-step design thinking methodology of empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing to find solution as it highly focuses on understanding user needs  which helps in making designs human-centered.

Empathize

Define

Ideate

Prototype

Test

Design thinking process diagram

I wanted to seek clarity on user's motivations and frustrations with regards to watching live concerts through an app. 

Problem

During research, I got below response from the user interviews.

81.3%

Users said they  would like to watch concerts on mobile at their convenience.

74.6%

Users  said they would like to watch live concerts on bigger screens as well as mobile.

52.7%

Users said they would prefer watching live concerts in-person but would like to try watching concerts through app.

This brought me to the primary problem, how might we motivate users to watch live and recorded concerts from the comfort of their home, stay engaged and keeping using the feature?

Goal

To make it easy for users to watch live concerts from the comfort of their homes or on -the-go, and  to increase streaming revenue, subscription and user engagement on Spotify.

Research

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For this project, I deep-dived into the lives of the people who have mobility and accessibility issues, who commute a lot, who spend lot of time on mobile and who have to travel a long distance to watch live concerts.  

I noticed most of the interviewees acknowledged the idea of watching concerts on mobile. Users with mobility and accessibility issues mentioned facing discomfort during in-person concerts as accessibility facilities weren't always up to the mark. Few users felt in-person concerts turned out to be expensive as they would be far from the stage and ended up watching concerts and their favorite artists on the big screens on the venue. Many users had to travel long distance to watch concerts and many worked over weekends or evenings hence missed watching live concerts. 

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During the empathize stage, user interviews provided a foundation for me in building user personas and discover pain points for my focused user groups of people who required accessibility facilities and busy working professionals who spent lot of time in daily commute.

Synthesizing this data helped me in deriving problem and hypothesis statements. I analyzed competitors through SWOT and narrowed research findings through affinity mapping. This paved way for exploring ideas, deriving solutions and building wireframes. 

 

User interviews

In empathize stage, I conducted user interviews to understand what users actually thought, felt and wanted, and why? I chose 5 questions - qualitative and quantitative.

Number

3 participants

Duration

20 minutes

Interview style

Structured

Research questions

  • What it means for a user to watch live concert virtually?

  • Will people be willing to subscribe or pay per ticket / how much?

  • What length of content display will the user find engaging?

  • Why will users want to access content on our platform / what sets us apart?

  • What will engage users in enjoying the concert experience?

Understanding the users

My list of users include people who required accessibility facilities and busy working professionals who spent lot of time in daily commute.

In the define stage, I conducted thorough user research, including developing personas and user stories.

Synthesizing the data from the interviews, I was able to form two distinct user personas and their pain points. This subsequently allowed me to write definitive problem and hypothesis statements, and formulate their user stories. The user stories helped me understand the problems Kate and Seth faced on their paths. It also helped reduce the impact of my own designer biases, by understanding how the users think and feel though every step.

This new understanding allowed me to recognize roadblocks and pain points to correct, by identifying improvement opportunities. An example of this would be allowing them to share their thoughts, motivations and frustrations about watching live concerts online and in-person.

As a result, I was able to hone the idea of providing them with a feature where mobile can be cast to TV so they can enjoy concerts on big screen from the comfort of their home and users can participate in a contest after the concert to win a chance to virtually meet their favorite artists or win artist merchandise. Concert tickets will be at affordable rates.

Personas

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RESEARCH SYNTHESIS

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Emma's pain points

Economic

Emma is a freelance photographer who feels in-person concerts turn out to be expensive for her. 

Product

Emma needs a feature that can allow her to watch concerts from the comfort of her home with friends and family.

Process

Emma finds it hard to travel long distance for concerts and doesn't always enjoy in-person concerts due to accessibility issue.

Emma's story

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Seth's pain points

Economic

Seth is a working professional who is always on-the-go. Seth works on a budget as he has a big family to take care of.

Product

Seth wants a feature that allows him to watch high quality concerts on Spotify when he commutes so he doesn't have to subscribe to other apps.

Process

Seth travels long distances and misses concerts frequently. He works over the weekends and evenings when most of the in-person concerts take place.

Seth's story

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Analyzing the competitors

Now that we begin with ideate stage, let's brainstorm solutions to our problem statements. For this reason, I have added Comparative research, SWOT analysis and affinity mapping.
 

Secondary research

Spotify has a huge subscriber base hence by providing live streaming for concerts, and artist meet and greet, Spotify will provide great user experience to subscribers, set itself apart from music streaming apps and meet business goals. 

I analyzed six competitors including popular music apps and apps that cover live concerts.

Competitor 1 - Stage It: Offers live music concert viewings that are not recorded or replayed anywhere else after the show. 
This competitor has been in business for 10+ years. The web platform allows fans to interact with each other and the performers during the show. It also encourages viewers to tip musicians directly during the show.

Competitor 2 - LiveXLive: The app streams live concerts from artists across genres and languages, featuring star power like Pitbull and Wonho. They include VIP options with perks like access to video playback for a limited time, merchandise, and virtual meet and greets with performers.

Competitor 3 - Twitch: This live-streaming platform now caters to musicians and music lovers, with 3.7 million people following music-focused channels. While streaming YouTube videos on Twitch is technically allowed, there are some drawbacks to consider. For example, streaming copyrighted material can be risky, and the process of setting up a stream can be tricky.

Competitor 4 - AXS: The site now offers access to a hefty library of virtual live music shows featuring music for all with affordable ticket prices. Some shows offer you free access through credit card perks and other loopholes.

Competitor 5 - YouTube: Is a medium for everything from huge streaming festivals like Coachella to smaller independent concerts. Since this brand is older, consumers might want to try something new. Content can get confusing as there is tons of it.

Competitor 6 - Facebook: Facebook dominates the social world when it comes to artists and publications streaming live music concerts. FB is losing subscriber loyalty due to security issues and other social media competitors.

Affinity mapping

It was a valuable experience to perform research with users from various walks of life. All the participants were co-operative and genuinely answered every question. This process provided valuable insight on the importance of grouping, for the purpose of clarity of thoughts. Obtaining different perspectives from users with varied backgrounds helped in empathizing with their individual requirements. This process helped in recognizing variety of challenges and provided an opportunity to brainstorm on required solutions.

 

During the interview, I focused on questions that provided clarity on what motivates people to participate in watching concerts at the comfort of their home, what will keep them engaged and how will they be encouraged to keep using the feature. Since this project is to add a feature, the research was very specific and concise. All the parameters that I grouped are as below:

 

  • Motivation: All the users were enthusiastic about watching virtual concerts. The motivational factors included no travel, affordable tickets, value for money from Spotify subscriptions, accessibility friendly and incentive-driven feature.

 

  • Engagement: Users mentioned loyalty programs, big artists, exploring new artists, meet and greet opportunities, and upcoming immersive experience features as motivators to keep them engaged.

 

  • Research: Users mentioned they would consider cost, duration, how big and popular the artist is and competitor prices before paying for this feature.

 

  • Spotify habits: Majority users were subscribers and consumed at least one hour of music on Spotify everyday.

 

  • Payment: Majority users preferred paying for subscription over per concert ticket. Affordable tickets would motivate users to utilize Spotify Xclusive feature.

Challenges

  • Some users prefer in-person concerts for the experience.

  • It is not always possible to tie-up with big artists.

  • Spotify competitors are popular and are big.

  • Attention span for virtual concerts could be less to keep user engaged.

Opportunities

  • Some users are enthusiastic about watching live concerts on app.

  • Users are ready to promote and watch concerts by new artists / talent on Spofity app.

  • Users haven’t subscribed to any platform to watch concerts.

  • Users are ready to explore immersive experience.

Identifying gaps and opportunities

This brought me to the primary problem, how might we motivate users to watch live and recorded concerts from the comfort of their home, stay engaged and keeping using the feature?

Following ideas were generated 

Design a feature that -

1. Can be cast to TV so users can watch concerts on big screen from the comfort of their home.

2. Provides affordable ticket prices and reward points redemption for tickets.

3. Provides incentives by encouraging users to enter a contest after the live concert ends where they can win a chance to meet their favorite artist or win artist merchandise.

4. Allows easy access to users with mobility and accessibility issue, and for the ones who are always on-the-go.


5. Introduces immersive concert experiences for the user.


 

Initiating product designing

In the design stage, I made sure user goals align with business goals while keeping technical considerations in mind. Card sorting activity provided strong foundation for building information architecture consisting of sitemap, user flow and task flows. This was followed by low, mid and high fidelity wireframes.

Project goals

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Prioritizing site features

Taking User Personas and project goals into account, I began to brainstorm and prioritize potential app features into four categories: Must haves, nice to have, surprising and delightful, and features that can come later.

Sitemap

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Task flow

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Wireframes

Since I was adding screens to an existing app, I worked as per Spotify design systems to brainstorm UI design for Spotify Live+ screens.
 

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UI Component library

The design components included in this library were brainstormed based on user research data, affinity mapping, accessibility requirement, ease of navigation and to make app visually appealing

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Mood Board

UI Component library

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Hi-fidelity wireframes

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Spotify Xclusive logo

Usability study

In testing stage, I focused on usability testing parameters, analyzed and prioritized results from the test and incorporated the same in my final design.
 

Usability testing parameters

Number

4 participants

Duration

15 minutes

Type

Moderated

Analyzing test results

Analyzing the data from the usability test helped me identify problems and assess the relevancy of each usability issue. I tested two tasks with the participants and implemented iterations. 

Tasks
1.  Spotify subscriber chooses to buy tickets for Imagine Dragons concert by redeeming points in Live+ feature.
2. Spotify subscriber chooses to watch Celine Dion concert by casting device to TV and wins the contest after concert.

Prioritizing revisions

I changed Spotify Xclusive brand name to Spotify Live+ as I re-analyzed and figured that this feature is about live and recorded concerts both exclusive and non-exclusive. 'Xclusive' as brand name was an initial thought as Spotify wanted to focus on concerts that would be exclusively tied-up between Spotify and artists.  

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Spotify Xclusive logo was changed to Spotify Live+ and added to bottom navigation.

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Spotify Xclusive logo

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Spotify Live+ logo

Final product

Post priority revisions, Live+ feature was ready for product development.

Spotify Live+ journey

Designing a feature that makes lives of the people with mobility and accessibility issue easy, felt like an achievement! It was a great experience accomplishing user goals while not affecting business goals. Going forward, I would like to continue the practice of aligning user goals and business goals creating a win-win scenario for the user as well as the brand. 

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