Distinguishing Users and Their Benefits on Resonate

Hi all,

Resonate has been working hard to go live with an updated version of the Resonate Player, and it is coming along well! Huge thanks to @auggod who has led the way on this!

With this said, we wanted to start a conversation around what benefits different potential users could have for the Resonate Player and other Resonate features as a whole.

@Nick_M, @richjensen, @Hakanto, and others have done some great work on this already, so I will try my best to break this down and explain things.

Please ask questions however, and feel free to correct me if I described anything inaccurately.

To my understanding, Resonate will be dealing with 3 different types of users.

  1. Visitors:
  • Have access to the player
  • Do NOT have a Resonate account/log-in information
  • NOT a Resonate co-op member
  1. Listeners:
  • Have access to the player
  • Have a Resonate account/log-in information
  • NOT a Resonate co-op member
  1. Members:
  • Have access to the player
  • Have a Resonate account/log-in information
  • Also a Resonate co-op member.

Our goal here is to determine what benefits each user should get.

I am still unsure of my full thoughts on this, but my initial ideas for this would be the following user tiers:

Every user has access to the same, most up-to-date, player and features.

1. Visitors - 45 second song previews (currently setup) with an initial landing page that explains how the full player is intended to work, and that this is just a preview.

*We could also maybe give visitors full track access to only the “Staff Picks” playlist (or something similar), but this wouldn’t count toward stream2own credit since we would probably need to track this with an account that they wouldn’t have yet.

2. Listeners (with an Account) - Free Play Credit (like what is set up now), full song access with stream2own capability, and the option to add more credits.

3. Members - Free Play Credit (maybe a little more than what only listeners would get), full song access with stream2own capability, the option to add more credits, access to the community forum, and co-op member privileges (voting rights, ownership rights, co-op dividend potential, etc.)

*For the forum:

  • Another thing to think about is the value of the player and the value of the community, both separately, and together. On the one hand, a (free) larger community is better for connecting with others and expanding your network with, but if we have a members-only forum, it could give more incentive for people to support the co-op by joining as a member, it could add more value to the co-op membership, and potentially allow for more dedicated forum users too. *

We could also…

  • Ponder the idea to offer certain users different players, like visitors get the old player while listeners & members get the new player.

  • Talk about giving exclusive access to additional player features that could come in the future, like only listeners and/or members have access to credit gifting, (advanced) playlisting, offline support, analytics & play history, etc.

  • Segment this community forum into visitor, listener, and member specific categories and topics.

  • Etc.

Lots of ideas here to sift through, so the floor is open for more brainstorming, idea generating, and conversation. The goal is to come to a consensus for a few strong ideas, and then we can finalize our decision via a final vote tally.

I am interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this, and I am excited to get the conversation going!

Thank you,
– Sam Martyn

P.S.

I think the biggest thing right now is to keep things simple, and to make sure there is a strong distinction between/reason for different types of user involvement.

We can always improve these benefits and their distinctions as we go, but I think it is important that we come up with something that we can all live with, implement, and test for a while. We can then listen to feedback on how things are going, and as we continue to use the player and hear from users at different levels, we can adjust benefits accordingly, to fit everyone’s expectations.

Thanks!

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Visitors:
I think our goal with visitors is (a) serve as an open house for the public, i.e. let people know what we are and how we operate and (b) convert them to listeners.
The possibility of free full track access for visitors (vs paid access of the same tracks for listeners), this does not sit quite well with me, even if it’s for a limited selection. It feels like “register to lose something”. Could we choose a few of the currently free-for-all tracks instead, and highlight those at the landing page? An example I love:

Listeners:
I think listeners are an end in themselves (a more-ethical-than-usual option of economically supporting artists and listening to their music in return) and we do not need to convert them to members unless they really want to get involved in the coop.
Improvements to the player (playlists?), as discussed elsewhere and same for all user categories, would be very welcome.

Members:
I think members should be people that want to support the site rather than just the artists.
On the idea of more free play credit for members: how about rising the fee for coop membership and in return half of what you contribute to the coop you get back in play credit? To me, this would feel like an upgrade at a discount and motivate a larger contribution to the coop membership.

Forum:
I think members-only forum and an absence of visitor/listener forums are optimal, even if it can feel comparatively lonely/slow. The motivation for contributing good quality post is much higher, and the energy investment in moderation much lower. I may be wrong, especially if/when there is a strong community of commited listeners.

Player differentiation:
On the other hand, the possibility of giving visitors the old player, or artificially restricting their player features gives me bad vibes: we would be making an extra technical effort to offer artificially worse service. I would only limit the history-related features that seem naturally linked to registering on a site.

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@agaitaarino,

Thank you for your thoughts, and I appreciate how well you were able to articulate them.

I am definitely on the same page as you when it comes to a lot of these topics, so I am glad that is the case!

I forgot about some of the free tracks that Resonate offers, upon the artists’ request, and a playlist of these tracks would be a great replacement option for my original “staff picks for free” idea for visitors, maybe in addition to the already present 45 second preview for visitors of any other tracks on Resonate.

I also enjoy your takes on both listeners and members, and I agree that Resonate has an opportunity to increase the membership fee to not only offer more to users, but to grow the co-operative itself.

I really appreciate your insight, and I look forward to hearing from others on everything as well.

Thank you!

@agaitaarino Great insights! Thanks. By the way it is possible to open up this Forum selectively, giving unauthenticated users read-only access to certain categories only (eg a ‘news’ area, an FAQ, a support area and so on…) while reserving access for members to special content areas and only allowing posts by members. We might do well to show off our community a little more, and encourage people to join? What do you think?

Membership fee income and supporter share contributions are hugely important to us, but we haven’t been very good at collecting renewals, or getting the ‘price point’ right. We could also do much more to encourage top ups and listener spend, especially ‘buy now’, on their favourite artists. I know ‘pop ups’ are horrible… but maybe some discreet reminders?

For new casual visitors I wonder if we are clear enough that they are listening to a 45s sample only? For those that do go on to sign up, there’s a lot of listening that those initial free credits give… maybe too much, so I like the idea of steering users to a few free showcase full tracks instead… and therefore encouraging that critical ‘buy credit and try us’ step a bit earlier… I think it would also encourage more ‘active listening’. Would it deter too many folks?

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@Nick_M, I like your idea of having member and non-member forum access.

I think the non-member access could allow people to view all of the category titles that we have, but limit non-members (visitors = view only; listeners = view & interact) to only having topic access to general topics like the ones you mentioned:

Co-op News
FAQ
Etc.

Hopefully this will encourage them to become a part of the community more by becoming a member to get full access.

It is definitely worth talking more about what membership means/is, and other ways to turn interested people into members, but perhaps these topics are for another thread? I think there are many things that we can get into there which may not necessarily impact how we create separation between visitors, listeners, and members, but I am open to exploring this more as well.

Lastly, I may also get a bit more into marketing in touching on this, but one thing to consider in coordination with your final comments is how do we plan to drive listeners to Resonate? My initial thoughts tell me that we may have more success by connecting with artists on Resonate to have them spread the word about us, as opposed to us going to the public and asking them to listen and become members. I think both avenues are key, but if I am a fan of an artist who releases music on Resonate, I would at least want visit Resonate to hear a clip (45 sec. preview or something) of their new release, instead of only having access to full tracks from other artists.

I am not sure if this is what you meant, but feel free to clarify, and either way, I think these last few points may be important to touch on in a new topic on the forum.

Interested to hear everyone’s thoughts, and it is so cool to see the power of community synergizing this decision!

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Yes, visitors would always have 45s… I meant that on sign up we should perhaps not allow so much free credit for several hours listening in full without top up.

Okay, yea, I agree with that. It is kind of a lot starting out…depending on how people listen, but there could be some room there to save the co-op some credits while also getting people to still top up after a good few handfuls of listens.

So, with all of this said, who else has any opinions?

@Hakanto, @richjensen, @auggod, @sganesh, @brndnkng, @aforeigncar.cabral, @tamimulcahy, @RobertaFidora, @terry, @zetto.plus? Feel free to tag anyone else as well!

Thinking we could collect any additional thoughts until Wednesday (2/10) and then I will put up some votable options that we can all vote on until maybe Friday (2/12) evening, and then I can spend next weekend finalizing, documenting, and relaying everything to the dev team for implementation.

Let me know thoughts, and any apropriate next steps.

Thank you!

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Hi Sam… although a survey on here is a great way of capturing feedback and ideas, I think we’ve got a lot more work to do on research, consensus-building and design before we jump to ‘implementation’. So it’s great if we can use the discussion to get more ideas and test opinion, but I think we are a few cycles of refinement off implementation at the moment? Maybe I’m too cautious, but I worry about the big implications in any decision in this area for:

  1. the financial health of the co-op (and its members) and the drive for more income, and
  2. the need to couple this carefully with the opportunity for a campaign, coinciding with our launch as a .coop domain, with a new player, a new website and a new-look Community Forum.
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Hey Nick,

I agree that I am probably a bit short-sited in my finalization of this topic, so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I am definitely still learning how decision making works at Resonate, so feel free to mention any other ways I can help to finalize this work.

My idea of finalization and implementation for this topic sounds more like 1/x within your overall plan. Perhaps I misunderstood, but my idea for this thread was to just solidify who Resonate’s different users are, and then to come up with an initially agreed upon way for how we will tangibly distinguish these users through certain access of Resonate’s features/services. These unique features for each user type would have to be authorized, or built into the software somehow, so that is where I see the implementation part for devs coming in…down the road.

I am not too concerned with if our collective decision around this topic is the best or not, but I am more so concerned with getting everyone at Resonate “on the same page” for this topic, so we can use this as a building block for all of the great things that you just mentioned (i.e. driving more income for the co-op, conversion strategies, the opportunity for a .coop launch campaign, etc.).

Although we can plan and debate more (which I am in agreement with), I think it’s important that we at least move to solidify this first decision so that we can have something ready for the devs when they start coding these permissions into the software.

I feel like there is a lot of ambiguity within Resonate because we always try to look for the best solution possible, or we try to think too much into other areas of the co-op that sometimes sidetrack our initial topic. Although it’s important to consider the “ripple effect” of these decisions, I am afraid that too much consideration of other topics ultimately prevents us from moving onto the next step in an efficient manner.

This is only my opinion on these things, but keep me posted on what next steps could look like. Thanks!

Absolutely Sam! Let’s keep this discussion going and encourage others to weigh in!

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Agree a survey could be helpful, even if certain ideas and features aren’t ready for implementation just yet.

Just wondering too, is there a listener referral system at the moment (with or without credits or perhaps linked to badges in the forum that celebrate having friends join)?

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Hey @RobertaFidora - we have long planned a listener referral system and with our Community Credentials product (busy working on that now) we will soon have the means to do that. Here is an outline update on the sort of things that are possible. Grateful for your views and suggestions!

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IMO I don’t see a reason to distinguish between 2 and 3. The goal should be to sign up all listeners as co-op members. That will make it easier for communications down the line.

Two suggestions to do this:

  1. A Koodo Tab system: https://www.koodomobile.com/tab
  • Charge listeners a small fee premium each credit refill (0.25 euros, or something to that effect) until they have made up the membership fee.
  1. A peg city car coop system: Personal | Peg City Car Co-op
  • ie. Listeners pay more per track because they are not members, push them to sign up for membership.
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@SolarDesalination, Thanks for the suggestions!

Is this still in coordination with Resonate’s stream2own (#stream2own your music on Resonate | streaming music cooperative) pricing model, or would this be separate?

Either way, to clarify, you’re saying that in order to listen on Resonate, you should have to be a Resonate member, and still pay money for listening credits as well?

Or, if they aren’t a member, they pay a “premium price” for listening credits in accordance with the stream2own model?

Just trying to understand better because I do think that it’s important that Resonate has a strong base of members and revenue that we can grow the co-op with, but I also know that it’s important to keep costs and fees reasonably priced…if I understand you correctly.

Thank you!

I think the issue has to do with limited capacities of an essentially all-volunteer organization (ie one full-time dev until about a month ago.) I recommend staying in synch/communication with the circle of folks engaged full-time. There is obviously more the co-op as a body and coordinators in particular can do to help with this process. The good news is that progress is being made at every level: economic stability, service area definition, feature development, listenership volume and definition of roles and goals.

Also, specifically, our NGI - TRUST grant provides resources for developing this Forum as our ‘Public Square’. With the help of everyone here, this can evolve as the central place in the co-op to express opinions, share progress, provide general orientation to community members and design/build a host of exciting features for Members through the implementation of our decentralized, privacy respecting authentication service aka “Community Credentials”.

I encourage everyone to follow and participate in the Forum Governance Circle thread to contribute to the evolution of this space.

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Thank you for clearing this up!

Apologies for misunderstanding, as I originally thought my goal with this topic was to create a specific deliverable within a short amount of time.

I am glad that progress is being made, and I am excited that this forum will become a place for more ideas and feedback for topics like these.

Oh, and I will definitely work to get in sync with the full-time folks as well. I know I am probably trying to go like 4x as fast as what the speed of the community seems to be, so I will work to align to these operations better.

I just see a lot of opportunity and potential with Resonate, and I want to help capitalize on that momentum! Thanks!

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Hey Sam,

I don’t see it being different than the Stream2Own model. But in your proposal at the beginning you suggested that there would be listeners (not member-owners). In Peg City Car Coop for example, that’s allowed, but they have to pay a premium. So if there were non-members paying to listen their Stream2Own pricing should be higher, for not contributing to the cooperative’s capital base with their membership share (or participating in the coop).

However, I would argue that yes, there should be no listener-only tier because that I think would cause business model issues later on if the co-op became popular.

To be candid I think this co-op is running into the same issue as SnowDrift Coop - a great idea, a great model, but little focus on development of the actual app that prospective members would use. In essence it risks becoming more of a thought experiment than an economic tool to help decrease inequities in the music industry. I’m eagerly awaiting the latest app update to make it usable for me (ie. categories/genres and tagging) because as a casual listener-member, which most members will be, I have no interest in listening to a bop one minute and moody experimental music the next with little ability to make that decision. There’s an argument against this feature but it’s an esoteric one that’s not in line with the market realities of today.

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Ahh, okay, that makes sense! Thank you for clarifying that, and providing some great insights too!

Also, I don’t know too much on this front, but I believe there is a player update coming soon, so we will keep you posted on that. I know the developers are working on a lot of different things at the moment, and we are looking to communicate that better on the Forum in the future, but perhaps @Nick_M could touch on some of this work, if available.

Thanks!

Yes, I’ve heard about the new update and I’m looking forward to it. No need to provide an update @Nick_M - it’s ready when it’s ready as they say. :slight_smile:

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