PitchPerfect is a conceptual project exploring the next generation of digital jukeboxes – changing the way music fans connect with musicians and each other, musician compensation and how establishments build relationships with their customers.
Music is an inherent part of the human experience. The technology we use to enjoy music continues to evolve, but the desire to discover, share and connect with the musicians who create the music we love remains constant. However, there are many well documented problems with the music industry: music is easier to steal than pay for and musicians are finding it harder to earn a living through direct music sales.
PitchPerfect, LLC, is a consortium of entertainment venue owners and music industry professionals. They came to us for help envisioning the next generation of in-venue entertainment. Our strategy and user experience teams executed a multifaceted study focused on two main areas: Industry Licensing and User Experience.
Eye-catching, easy to use and bold in its scope, PitchPerfect is the digital jukebox for the 21st century. It bridges the divide between the digital music market and real world experiences that are shaping an increasingly connected generation. PitchPerfect is an innovative blend of convenient, intuitive features with a business model that respects musicians and their creative works.
There has been a good deal of press about streaming music and musician compensation, but very little has been written about how most performers make the bulk of their living: live performances and merchandising. While services like Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music give musicians avenues to promote themselves, traditional digital jukebox services largely treat musicians' work as background noise.
PitchPerfect enables musicians and users to connect with each other. Giving musicians a direct outlet to communicate and sell to their fans.
Navigating the Lawsuit Labyrinth
The music industry is a complex web of licensing, royalties and copyright laws where innovation isn’t always easy to achieve. There are over 4.4 million retail, restaurant and bar locations in the United States, with the vast majority of those playing some form of in-venue recorded music. That’s an estimated 167 billion music impressions in 2014 alone. We conducted an in-depth exploration of the laws and terms that govern recorded and and in-venue musical performances to determine a viable business model for the PitchPerfect service.
We came up with a system that makes playing music legal, convenient and easy. By partnering with established music streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora and Rdio, PitchPerfect can focus on the in-venue experience rather than be tangled in legal complications. PitchPerfect venues can relax knowing there is one less thing to worry about.
Get the Most out of Concerts
One of our goals was to adapt the product to work with what users are already doing. We allowed musicians to reward fans by live-streaming their concerts into specific venues. This live-stream takes over the system and displays video from the concert. Listeners in the venue can interact by tweeting with the custom hashtag to display on-screen. This interaction extends the reach of their concerts, while maintaining the exclusivity with tight control.
Read the Room
To support venues, we provide a dashboard that gives the manager insight about their PitchPerfect customers. They can see granular data was well as room trends. Special, high-frequency customers, called “Celebrities,” are called out at the top of the dashboard, allowing venues to focus their attention on the most lucrative patrons. The dashboard also enables venues to easily issue coupons and incentives while tracking their performance.
Perfect Your Atmosphere
When it comes to something as personal as music, we know every venue has a unique mood. We built in the ability to accommodate different styles, so venues can manage their playlists and settings to create the perfect vibe for any atmosphere. Curated playlists encourage desired behaviors in patrons, from “Increase food and drink sales” to “Clear out, it’s closing time.” Venues can set rules for which musicians and songs can be played, and implement smart features, like Auto Volume, which automatically adjusts volume levels based on ambient noise.
Working in Harmony
The PitchPerfect team came to us with open minds and a driving goal to bring valuable tools to musicians. As we worked on this project, we became subject matter experts as well. Each meeting was a opportunity to learn from each other and become more than the sum of our parts. What emerged is a strong tool on the side of musicians and venue owners. It’s a tool we are excited to see and use one day in the wild.