Case Study
Pandora Live

Creating a social concert experience for a mobile Platform

About Pandora Live
Pandora is the largest streaming music provider in the U.S. Before the COVID outbreak, Pandora hosted a series of free live concerts around the United States called Pandora Live. In 2020, Kane Brown kicked off the new season with the first-ever virtual Pandora Live concert.

The Problem
Video and live music online is growing on competing platforms. After Pandora was acquired by Sirius XM their monthly users have dropped 13% over the last 5 years. If that isn't enough, it has been reported that during the COVID crisis for a one week period music streaming has decreasedRolling Sto. It is reported that Gen Z is obsessed with video and primarily uses YouTube and Instagram.

Project Goal
The goal for this project was to create a mobile platform for Pandora Live that enables users to watch videos, interact with other fans, and create an immersive concert experience from home.  

My Role
I worked closely with my team to ensure design quality standards and to identify user needs and visuals. I played a key role managing the process for research, user testing, wire-framing, visual design, and prototyping.
Scope of Project
Concept Design
User Experience Design
User Interface Design
Cary Dicristina
Dan Kossoy
2 week sprint, July 2020
Figma, Miro, Indesign, Zoom

Discovery & Research

My team and I performed heuristic analysis, user interviews, and competitor analysis to study Pandora's current stance as a live steaming platform. With these methods we were able to define their target audience, and discover their biggest competitors.
Pandora (not so) live

On June 28, 2020, Pandora Live hosted their first virtual concert, featuring Kane Brown. What we learned from attending this event was that attendees could only interact through a chat box, it was only available on a desktop browser, and the event was prerecorded. It was not a live show.
Hello, young music lovers

To improve Pandora Live's current experience, we interviewed people in the gen-z and millennial demographic, who regularly attended live concerts, were music aficionados, or casual listeners that prefer video content. We learned from these interviewees that they missed live concerts and the experience was always better with friends.
We have big competition

A competitor who does live streaming well is YouTube. According to BusinessofApps, YouTube can provide a better live music experience than its audio-focused rivals. For instance, it hosts a livestream of the Californian music festival Coachella. The first weekend garneshed 82 million views in 2019; a 90% increase from 2018.

You're The One That I Want

Gil needs a convenient way to attend live concerts with friends near and far, so that they may share that experience together.
How might we...

Provide Gil with a convenient way to enjoy concerts with friends when nobody can get together to attend in person?
Problem Statment
After synthesizing our data we were able to define the persona, Gil, who represents our target audience. This painted a clear picture of our user’s age, demographic, needs, and wants.

Exploration & Ideation

We started the ideation process with a design studio session. During this session we were able to rapidly generate design solutions and create a focus for our initial prototype. We took these ideas and created an ideal user flow and lofi prototype. The user flow below shows the ideal happy path of a user finding a concert, purchasing and reserving a suite, inviting friends, and finally, attending the concert.

One feature I would like to point out from our initial plan was that we wanted to use the virtual suite as  as a monetization opportunity. If a user booked a free suite they would not be able to invite friends or use the video chat feature that was included in the upgrade. We saw the suites as a good opportunity for Pandora to increase their annual revenue since 80% of that money comes from sponsorship alone.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Going into this stage of research, our product was in a lo-fidelity state, meaning that it was in grayscale with limited functionality, but capable of taking the user through a few key task flows. We tasked our users with scenarios that should have put them on the happy path we created.

Within seconds of viewing the lo-fi prototype, our users voiced a lot of confusion. These were some of our key takeaways from our user test.
"What am I looking at?"

We decided to skip onboarding introductions and let users into the app immediately. The first thing they saw after the launch screen was a list of upcoming concerts. We found that our users didn't fully understand the purpose or the app or key features we were trying to promote.
"What is Lorem Ipsum?"

Due to time, we used a lot of Lorem Ipsum in our lo-fi prototype. Since we were used to this placeholder text and knew the purpose of the app, we didn't realize how important it was for a user to move to the next steps. We learned that even in the lo-fi version, we should have already established a voice and tone for our application.
"I have to pay?"

Trying to monetize the app was not as good of an idea as we had thought. Once the user RSVP'd a bottom sheet appeared prompting them to upgrade. One, we forgot to add the price and two, the content was not refined enough for our user to understand what they were upgrading too. A lot of the users voiced that it seemed like we were forcing a purchase onto them.
In hindsight: I wish my team and I spent more time on the user flow before building our low-fidelity prototype. We had some unease about decisions we had made during this process and it would have saved us a lot of time to address them during initial confrontations.

The Winds of Change

Based on the feedback we received, we reevaluated our happy path, removed the monetization opportunity, added onboarding screens and defined the voice and tone of Pandora Live.

The Prototype

The resulting high-fidelity prototype brings together our research synthesis and user feedback, to create a platform that allows users to enjoy live concerts with friends by hosting virtual suites.

Reflections & Next Steps

Since my team and I removed the monetization opportunity, we would hypothetically introduce this application in a soft launch. That way we could test this version in a concentrated demographic and work out any further kinks. Once we knew there’s a market and the functionality works then we could slowly introduce payment plans.

But, it doesn't end with a mobile app. We would like to bring the concert experience to a user's home. Using a dedicate Apple TV application, we could take complete advantage of multi screen functionality and create a fully immersive experience.

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