HometownSound Meghan Dripchak, Ryan McGee, Genevieve Severyn, Colin Smith
TABLE OF CONTENTS Problem & Solution..................................................3 Business Model.....................................................4-5 Target Market.............................................................6 Competition...........................................................7-8 Website & App Overview.................................9-10 Mobile App Development............................11-14 Website Development...................................15-17 Search Marketing.............................................18-19 Social Media.............................................................20 Mobile Strategy.......................................................21 Promotional Strategies..................................22-24 Budget...............................................................25 Team Bios............................................................26-27
PROBLEM Many music oriented apps address the national market and popular artists, however they disregard the local market. Consumers are unaware of local artists within their area as well as where the artists originated. Therefore, fans are unable to connect nor follow their favorite local artists.
SOLUTION HometownSound provides a solution for people who have a desire to support small artists, who originated within their own area, and therefore, hold the same roots. While other apps provide users with the opportunity to discover concerts within a certain radius of their location, HometownSound introduces users to concerts put on by artists who not only are performing in the area, but also originated within the area. These small, local artists are more likely to play regular shows in this area, so the HometownSound community will be closer knit than those of our competitors. Being that HomeTown Sound takes a local focus, our user base will likely cause a boom for small businesses as a secondary benefit. Not only can users attend these artists shows, they can communicate with the artists before and after the event, and share concerts with their friends in the area so they can make plans to get together. 3
MODEL Our business model operates on advertising revenue. Small banner ads within the app, and on the desktop site will be displayed users. These ads will either be general, national ads, or localized depending on the users geo-location. Preferably, these ads could be for the venues that the artists who are local play at, or for restaurants and additional entertainment venues nearby to where the concert will occur. When a user searches for a show, or tags themself as ‘attending’ the app could have the option to lead the user to a screen of dining establishments nearby, as if to say “Why not make a night out of it?” Restaurants can pay to have themselves featured in partnership as the preferred place to stop and eat before a show at a certain venue. Or, if a venue provides food such as a small pub, they can pay to lead users to their menu to pick out what they’ll be having before they even get there. Users searching out of their general location or markets without a lot of activity will feature internal advertising or national ads. Partners for this could be Spotify, Pandora or other listening services where the artists being feature within an area, or searched for, can be heard.
MODEL The community model would also be a possible route for HometownSound. When companies focus first on meeting the needs of the people they serve, they don’t have to spend big money to attract new customers. Our entire business is locally focused and since we will exist within many communities we can provide a service people will want without a lot of market research. The community model also gives our business a sense of authenticity, which promotes customer loyalty. We considered using a subscription model for this service, but figured that users on either end would not find it worth it or can’t aﬀord it when weighed in comparison to other free services and promotional tools, such as Facebook, SoundCloud and myspacemusic - this applies especially to small start up artists.
As a company we are looking to demonstrate the Wikinomics principles of openness and peering. We are an app-based company that relies on local bands and musicians to continue playing shows. If there aren’t enough bands playing in an area we cannot exist there, so outside contribution is key. We need either fans or the bands themselves need to inform us of performances and continue to have a dialogue with them for future shows. 5
TARGET MARKET Our ideal target market is male and females ages 16-34. We are seeking out individuals that cover all walks of life, but have one thing in common: their love for music, specifically local music. Everyone’s hometown is special to them and with our app a user can get to know bands and music that remind them just why they love where they’re from. Our audience wants to go to an intimate, live show rather than a sold out concert. We are also targeting social users. Ones who will tweet or post about a local show they are attending and bring traﬃc. The more people who attend local shows that more possible users who want to see local bands that we will get. Our users are typically youthful and mobile, seeking out unique experiences rather than the same types of activities everyday. They want to maintain their musical roots and to them, the music isn’t just notes and words, it is a lifestyle. Target users will be from areas where the local music scene is alive and possibly even be musicians themselves. They also have some income that allows them to attend shows frequently. When they attend a show they want to be able to go and see the band and maybe, if the location accommodates it, also meet or mingle with performers from their area.
COMPETITION HometownSoundâ€™s competitors are both websites and applications. Our direct competitors are MySpace, Bandsintown Concerts app, and Timbre. Today, MySpace has attempted to relaunch of itself, stressing the music aspect of the site even more since its decline after Facebook took dominance in the social networking market. Along with the relaunch, MySpace also created an app for itself, which features an app called MyRadio. The app allows the user to stream music from radio stations that are managed by community members as well as musicians such as Pharrell, Lil Wayne and Justin Timberlake. The strengths of the relaunch of the website and their app include the ability to interact with popular artists. It makes the fans feel like they have a way of personally connecting with celebrities. The app also allows for easy use and access. Personal accounts allow each user to conveniently listen to their favorite music on their phone and their computer. Weaknesses include the previous image the website had among its users. It is seen as a social networking site of the past and despite its eďŹ€orts to shed this image, many former users still see it in the same light. It also does not give the user the ability to view when and where their favorite artists are playing. While it provides them with their favorite artists songs, albums, and music videos in a personalized way, it disregards the aspect of the artistsâ€™ live music and concerts.
COMPETITION Bandsintown Concerts is a free app which allows users to track their favorite artists and create a personalized calendar for their concerts. The app has features such as concert lists for every city and concert notifications for all of your favorite artists. It also can sync to iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, while also allowing users to buy concert tickets directly through the application. As our competitor, Bandsintown has a more national focus while our app is more personalized and niche focused. It gives local bands and artists a chance to connect with their hometown fanbase.
Timbre is another free app which helps users find concerts and live music that are based on location. The app automatically searches based on your location but also gives the user the ability to search concerts in any city across the country. Timbre can also play music from artists live concerts and allows users to share with others through their app. The app has a competitive edge by providing interactive features for the users as well as personalizing to each users location. The weaknesses of this app are similar to Bandsintown, due to the fact that both apps oďŹ€er similar features. Timbre is more nationally focused and does not allow for fans to connect with locally founded or based bands. 8
OVERVIEW App Overview HometownSound will start out as solely a mobile application, to build awareness and users on the mobile application, which is more practical on a mobile platform because it has many “on-the-go” features. Both platforms will be available for free, however some features on the app will be made for purchase, including removal of ads and use of the mobile player that enables users to access exclusive content.
Website Overview Initially, our website will serve only as an information and promotional tool for the app download and our company to build awareness as a newly established competitor on the market. The blog will be a forum to give more lengthy information on updates and things that are in the works for future versions of the app.
App and Website Strategy HometownSound relies on its strong community-building abilities to drive user engagement and an increase in user base. Our purpose is to on-board as many users as possible to increase views on advertisements and to incentivize these users to make in-app purchases, as we use a mix of advertising and freemium model pricing as revenue sources. We provide a unique service in comparison to our market competitors that we identified earlier. We are a service for local music lovers, by local music lovers – we establish similar interests with our prospective users in the beginning so that they know we want what they want. Utilizing already existing connections with users on social media sites, and partnering with Yelp! will help our start-up eﬀorts increasing our prospective user base on launch. Users come to HometownSound to find local music within their area, for the community experience and to record and share experiences with their friends in a new way. Sharing that common interest, we as app owners want to make that experience as rewarding as possible. 9
OVERVIEW App and Website Scope
MOBILE APP HometownSound as an application has virtually everything a user could want from a music app in one place. It boosts the social experience and nature and provides an organizational tool to make sure you don’t forget when the next big show is and so you can check up on where your friends are headed and plan with them to meet up. It boasts an in-app calendar, chat function, map and direction tool, music player, friends list, photo-gallery and “nearby” show locator. In combination, our goal is to successfully, and with ease create the most immersive experience supplemental tool to a “night out” that anyone could ask for.
WEBSITE The website has only a few purposes and functions. It provides information on the app, and outlines several of the key features. It hosts a blog, for information on updates and future additions and a forum for users to post feedback, and finally it provides links to our social media and a download page. The purpose of the site is purely to provide information and drive awareness of the app. We want to encourage users to take advantage of the “on-thego” personality and drive that HometownSound creates, and for them to get out of the house and explore.
HometownSound thrives on the creation of user accounts so that individuals can share and keep track of their experiences and people they meet. Account creation will be required, but users can use their personal information already linked to their twitter or Facebook to set these up and expedite account creation. This personal information and linking of accounts can synchronize likes of bands’ music pages and the accounts that users follow on twitter. It will also help geo-locate individuals and provide suggestions for new bands and venues for them to check out.
DEVELOPMENT Login Upon opening the app, users will be greeted with a login screen where they have the option to Login using Facebook, Twitter or their HometownSound account. Despite being able to login with Facebook and Twitter, users will still have to create an account with us to do that it will only serve to log them in using those credentials, which they may have saved to their phone. This screen will also be where they can access refer-a-friend to earn $5 towards their next ticket purchases.
APP DEVELOPMENT 12
Profile On login, users can access profiles for themselves, and their friends through the â€œconnectionsâ€? tab. Profiles will host information on venues attended, give gallery access, show badges that users and bands have earned, and a stream of posts. It will also host Facebook, twitter, phone, e-mail, and location information and chat contact functions. For bands, users will be able to see which of their friends also like them.
Events The first stop when searching for a show is to check out the calendar of events. This aggregates all of the upcoming and scheduled shows in one convenient location. Users can check out what is coming up on their free nights, and from this see where the bands are playing and at what time. The calendar gives access to links for the band profile and the venue.
Chat The chat function is a basic messaging service that connects users to their friends and the artists so they can share stories with their friends, and give feedback to the artists. Chat requires connection approval for users to contact artists. This provides and amazing opportunity for artists and users alike to connect with each other and keep up-to-date on upcoming shows and tailor sets to their local audience.
Map The map feature aggregates concerts going on within a certain radius defined by the user. These are shows going on during the current day and the map gives direct links to event information via a channel of the artistâ€™s choosing whether it be Facebook, HometownSoundâ€™s calendar or a personal website. This feature is great for last minute plans and people who have time free-up unexpectedly.
Music Player The music player is one of the two features on HometownSound that is a paid option. It allows users access to exclusive content that would otherwise be unavailable to everyone. These are live recordings, pre-release tracks and unreleased versions of songs from artists they are a fan of. Artists also have the opportunity to do peer-topeer sharing within the chat feature by providing links that can be opened within the music player.
Connections are established by mutual approval. These can be with artists or people who attended the same show as you and your friends. When you establish a connection with someone you gain full access to their profile, can invite them to events and share photos and videos with them.
The homepage features a screen preview of what the menu looks like, complete with all of the features and a picture of a sample profile. There will be a link to “Download On App Store” as well as a menu for four auxiliary pages on the website located at the top. These include a features page, download page, blog and contact page. Near the bottom will be links to all of our social media pages, a twitter feed and a brief “About” section. The website structure is designed to drive users to the download button, without much additional material to cause users to stray from that. After all, our main goal is to drive downloads and get users out and experience the venues, sights and sounds and increase revenue for us and our partners.
MARKETING Search Marketing & Organic Search Marketing The first step is to index HometownSoundâ€™s site with Google. Indexing will guarantee that our site appear whenever a relevant search is made. Making the websiteâ€™s tag simple and succinct will allow the search engines people use to work for us. Title Tag: Hometown Sound - Locate Entertainment near you. All day, Everyday. Meta Description Tag: Hometown Sound: Locate and attend local music concerts with ease. Meta Keyword Tags: local music, local bands, live music, concerts, local performers By using similar tags within our social media, particularly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we can link all of our sites while also positioning us in the forefront of trendsetters and music fans.
MARKETING Paid Search Marketing HometownSound will utilize Google AdWords and Google Analytics to set up a paid search program. Planned Search Keywords: bands, “bands near”, concert, “concerts near”, hometown, “hometown sound”, “live music”, local, “local bands”, “local music”, local performers Bidding on keywords that include location terms like “near” will link to our organic search and also bring in more searchers looking for a show based on its location. On Google AdWords we discovered that the terms were reasonably priced for a startup company like ourselves.
We wanted to have a budget of $10,000 that would pay for 6 months of advertising for roughly $41 per day. Each day, we will average 233 clicks, over 7,600 impressions, a CTR of 3.1%, and an average CPC of $0.18. Putting our average position at 1.49.
SOCIAL MEDIA FACEBOOK HometownSound can utilize Facebook by creating a page that allows users to interact and learn more about the app. The page will promote the app’s features and motivate users to interact. HometownSound will give the user the ability to post through Facebook which concerts they have attended. Facebook will also be used for promotions such as sweepstakes and contests. One of the sweepstakes will allow users to win free passes to the next local venue for a concert. This will support local bands as well as motivate our target market to download and use HometownSound.
TWITTER The twitter handle will be @hometownsound and can be utilized in several diﬀerent ways. It can spread brand awareness about the app, enable customer service support, as well as motivate followers to interact with various posts. Users will have the ability to tweet questions and problems concerning the app and someone will reply with a solution through direct message. Other posts can include questions that motivate users to interact and reply or retweet. An example post could be “What is your favorite local artist?” This twitter account will also include general news about the app.
INSTAGRAM Instagram will be a great way for users to watch bands rehearsing and prepping for the shows they will be seeing. Users can also instagram photos with “#hometownsound” or “@hometownsound”. Those in charge of monitoring the Instagram account will have the ability to repost their instagram photos while crediting the creator. This will motivate users to be more interactive as well as generate interest and buzz about the upcoming shows. 20
Our mobile users would fit “Social & Curious” and “Up-to-date” consumer profiles. Since our target market is 16-34, this demographic is almost always using their second screen. Due to this prevalent factor, we are stressing and emphasizing the development and use of our mobile app as opposed to the website. In-App Alerts/Notifications The app will use location-based technology to alert users of local concerts. The alerts will tell you about concerts coming to your area when you are in proximity to the venue. It is a captured target market. Advertising through Social Media We will be supplementing with advertising in order to ensure that our target market and consumers are aware of HometownSound. We will be advertising through Facebook and Twitter adspace. The banner and display advertisements will be used through other apps such as Shazam to promote brand awareness of HometownSound in convenient and subtle ways. Microblogging Opt-in Through microblogging opt-in we can motivate consumers to follow us on various social media outlets. It encourages interaction on other social media platforms while still promoting the use of our app. Developing a mobile site is not something HometownSound will benefit from. Since HometownSound is primarily a mobile application, our website will emphasize simplicity and therefore will not need a mobile site component. We will be using in-app notifications and location-based technology while building a network of bands and music lovers.
STRATEGIES As a business that is inspired by local music our promotions will focus on other music platforms. Banner Ads Our Banner Ads will exist on sites and their mobile apps that music lovers use often. We want to give local music the attention it deserves. Shazam users are all looking to discover when they start to ID a song, our banner ads will introduces them to us and we will introduce them to even more music they love, from their area.
Radio Ads HometownSound exists to make local music more accessible. Much like Shazam we targeted Pandora and Spotify because they are also music apps. For these two though we thought that 15 second audio ads would be more eďŹ€ective because people tend to rarely look at the screens of these apps because they are mostly for listening purposes. Ad Script:
Every city has its own sound and we want to help you find it. Download Hometown Sound from the app store to discover great bands that could be right around the corner.
STRATEGIES Promoted Posts Word-of-mouth advertising happens all the time on social media. When a user logs in their profiles they will see our promoted posts at the top of their feeds. This way we can always be on their minds. We can promote artists’ tweets about concerts on Twitter and have music nostalgia posts on Buzzfeed, a common and popular topic on the site.
Email Marketing Email marketing will be targeted at users who utilize the “check in” feature through the app. We can email them asking for their feedback on the show they just enjoyed live. We can personalize each of the emails to the consumer. This will also enable the option for email opt-in marketing. We can inform our consumers about our mobile coupons and oﬀers through these emails.
STRATEGIES Each month, we will offer a different promotional incentive within the app and at venues.
“REFER A FRIEND” Receive $5-$10 oﬀ if you refer a friend to purchase a concert ticket. You will receive a code to give to a friend, and the friend will also get $5-$10 oﬀ. You won’t receive the deal until the friend uses it to purchase their ticket.
“LIBATION LIBERATION” The first 50 people to check-in at a concert will receive a free drink at the venue bar or at an aﬃliated restaurant.
“COVER CHARGE COUPON” HometownSound representatives will stand at the doors of aﬃliated restaurants handing out small cards to customers with 50% oﬀ concert cover charge just for eating at that restaurant. The card will have HometownSound’s information, directing customers to download the app. The customers can bring card with them to show and get the deal. 24
BUDGET Rationale We have already alloted $10,000 for a 6-month search engine optimization campaign. Online visibility, especially on Google, is important to any startup. Though our business is mostly based on the mobile app and not directly online it is still important to have a strong online presence. The remainder of our budget will be used to pay for our advertisements on Shazam, Spotify, and Pandora, as well as promoted posts on Buzzfeed and Twitter. Banner ads on Shazam and 15 second audio commercials on Spotify and Pandora will get the word out about Hometown Sound on the music apps our potential customers use most. It is important to get the local bands our users love into the public eye for the benefit of the band and also the entire community they come from. The sponsored posts and tweets will get the attention of our audience because our target audience is a group that is very mediated and therefore are likely to use use these sites.
Overview Spotify radio ads - $25,000 Pandora radio ads - $15,000 Twitter promoted tweets- $15,000 BuzzFeed promoted posts - $15,000 Shazam Banner ads - $10,000 SEO - $10,000
TEAM BIOS MEGHAN DRIPCHAK Meghan Dripchak is a senior Integrated Marketing and Communications major with a double minor in Psychology and Sociology at Ithaca College. Originally from North Jersey, Meghan is extremely involved in the Ithaca College Television station and is producing The Directorâ€™s Chair this semester. After graduation, she is looking to join a public relations firm in Los Angeles. Meghan listens to a variety of music but thoroughly enjoys experiencing boy bands live in concert.
RYAN MCGEE Ryan McGee is a junior IMC major at Ithaca College. Originally from Ithaca, Ryan acted as Station Manager for WICB Radio on campus, and currently acts as a representative for Spotify. After this semester, Ryan will be studying in New York City - hoping for an internship in consumer products or promotions for music streaming services. Ryan enjoys local music, and has a soft spot for pop-country having been raised up beneath the shade of Georgia pine.
TEAM BIOS GENEVIEVE SEVERYN Genevieve Severyn is a senior Cinema and Photography major with an Integrated Marketing Communications minor. She was born and raised in the small north country town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. During her time at Ithaca College, she has been heavily involved in Ithaca College Television and Senior Class Gift Committee. After her post-grad trip to Europe, she plans to move to New York City and find a job in public relations. Genevieveâ€™s favorite singer is Ed Sheeran, especially when she gets to see his live acoustic performances.
COLIN SMITH Colin Smith is a senior Television-Radio major and Integrated Marketing Communications minor. Colin is from Avon, CT, a small town outside Hartford and Bristol. While at school he is active in Ithaca College Television and is looking to move to the Los Angeles area after graduation. When going to see bands Colin likes alternative and soft rock music, especially when the music is live.