Case Study: Turntable.fm – Part 1

This is a segment that I have been wanting to do for a while and am excited to introduce. For each case study, I’m going to take a brand that I like/admire, analyze their social presence, and propose ideas for improving their business using social media and online marketing. This is one of my favorite exercises to do with my friends and coworkers and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

The Brandturntablelogo

For the last 50 years (probably more), people have been swapping records, making each other mix tapes, burning CDs, and sharing MP3s to share their favorite music with their friends. Turntable.fm is a music-playing site that allows you to join a room (either private with only your friends, or public) and share music with them. Each room consists of a few DJs who take turns playing their music for the entire room. Listeners can then choose “Awesome” to award points to the DJ, or choose “Lame” to vote to have the song skipped.

The Problem

While I unfortunately don’t have any hard data to go on, I have heard from users on the inner circle of Turntable that usership is declining; according to one report, they are also having trouble with customer retention, which means that users view it more as a novelty than a necessity. There’s also evidence of this in their social media accounts: A Facebook page with near 35,000 likes but is only averaging between 10 and 30 likes per post, as well as a Twitter handle with 12K followers, but one that is apparently only used for users to complain and TT to respond to these complaints.

The Suggestions

turntableroom

A typical room on Turntable.fm

Promote Social Sharing– People love themselves. The whole concept of social media is rooted around people doing things that they think everyone in their social network cares about or should know. While there are “Share” buttons in the corner of each DJ room, they are very passive and easy to miss. Beyond that, all they do is trigger a post that says “I’m in (name of room)” with a link. Would you post that? Me neither. Imagine a trigger that appears every time you play a song that says “I just spun (name of song)  and I got 23 awesomes and 5 favorites. Come listen to what I play next!” Not only is it more inviting, but it’s personalized and most importantly, it’s shoved right in the face of the user as a constant reminder that they should be sharing this awesome service with all of their friends and followers.

Initiate Engaging Conversation- Most critical mistake in all of social media: using your accounts as a corporate soapbox. If you read through Turntable’s Facebook page, you’ll see that most of it is talking AT the consumer, not to them. With an industry as widespread and widely loved as music, why not start an engaging conversation? “What song is stuck in your head today?” “What’s the greatest album of all time?” Start a spirited debate that keeps people coming back and keeps them commenting. As I mentioned, TT’s Twitter handle is use almost exclusively for customer service and responding to inquiries. They could move that conversation to another account to free up their main account for music conversation, updates, contests, and other exciting conversation.

Gamify- Everything is more exciting as a game or competition. Want to make drinking water more exciting? Have a chugging contest. Bored on a long road trip? Try punching your friend every time a VW Beetle drives by (not recommended with a wife or a child). Turntable’s Awesome/Lame feature allows for so much increased gaming to keep people coming back that is so far untapped. As it currently stands, DJ points allow you to change your avatar from one funny-looking character to the next level (out of a total of about 20 funny-looking characters). But why not show you a leaderboard of where you rank against your friends, along with their most recent progress? You could unlock badges for an infinite number of activities that don’t even relate to DJ points: DJing in the same place a certain number of times, DJing in a large number of different rooms, playing songs with the same DJ over and over again, receiving a certain number of Likes on one song, playing a certain number of songs without receiving a single Lame. The options are infinite and would greatly increase the “fun factor” and the user retention rate of Turntable.fm

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll dive into the opportunities for corporate partnership/sponsorship as a means of driving revenue and traffic. (If you know anyone who works at Turntable.fm, please pass this along to them, as I really do love their service and would be thrilled to work with them on this.)

Until then, what music services are you using? Are you happy with them? What do you wish they did better?

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Showing 6 comments
  • Beast From The East

    I take it Turntable didn’t take you up on that offer you had to meet with them huh?

    • Ezra

      Unfortunately not Beast, but maybe this will change their mind. Thanks for reading, always appreciate your feedback. – Ezra

      • Steven

        Very typical from what we’ve heard. That said, we’ve been working on some of these very things you’re talking about. Reach out to us and you’ll get treated a lot differently. Just ask our users.

        • Ezra

          Hi Steven,
          Thanks for reading and for your comment. I will contact you via e-mail to follow up.

          – Ezra

  • Ruxpin

    I LOVE your idea about how to initiate engaging conversations. Nice work, ST.

    • Ezra

      Thanks for reading, Ruxpin. Glad you liked it! – Ezra