Apple’s latest iTunes update launched a streaming music service called iTunes Radio intended, most likely, to recapture the music-lovers now listening through similar services like Pandora, Spotify, or iHeartRadio, and to reconnect them to iTunes purchases. While the system is a late-comer to the genre, it brings with it some expected elegance from the Apple design cabal.
Among the more compelling features is the slider that lets you ‘tune’ a radio station based on how adventurous you want it to be. Do you want only ‘hits’ from the artist or artists you’ve identified? Do you want ‘variety’ around those selections (b-sides, deep tracks from the same artists, or very similar)? Or do you want ‘discovery’ of new artists and music that might be a few steps away from what you already know?
The slider is a proactive and user-driven version of something we often attempt in audience research — clustering arts consumers by purchasing behavior. For example, WolfBrown’s audience segmentation work with the Major University Presenters identified a 10-segment consumer ticket buying model, including types like Mavericks, Remixers, Networked Students, and Serenity-Seekers. Each wanted something unique from their arts experience, or the cluster of arts experiences they selected over a season.
What if we gave our arts audience a similarly simple and elegant opportunity to self-identify, or just voice some of their interests, preferences, and goals for their participation beyond the single event? Investment advisers spend a lot of time asking their client’s risk position and long-term financial goals. How could we ensure a similar conversation about preferred risk and reward with those we’re serving along their artistic journey?