Bridger

Digitalise music copyright revenues thanks to product design

Expertises
Product Strategy
UX, UI & Brand Design
Front & Back-end Dev.

Platforms

Web (SaaS)

In summary

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Challenge
Digitalise and simplify copyright & revenues management for music artists
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Solution
Build a digital product that empowers music producers to manage their rights themselves
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Approach
A Movify squad from strategy and design to full-stack development
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Outcome
A smart and digital-first product that put the music creators and publishers at the center

The challenge

Following the rise of digital music and streaming platforms such as Spotify, it became increasingly difficult for music artists and producers to collect properly their revenues, or even understand what they are entitled to. Revenue collection in the music industry is organised at natinal and international levels. It was also built in an analog era where music was mostly a physical purchase.

The challenge was to bring music copyrights management into the digital era, simplify all the cumbersome processes while still respecting the industry rules. More importantly, we decided from the start to put the songwriters and producers at the center of every design decision we would make. The administrative complexity had to disappear.

Context

The music industry landscape changed massively during the last decade. New ways to consume music emerged and producing music also became accessible to almost anyone. All it takes is a laptop and some recording gear. We entered a new era of self-published artists, the so-called “bedroom producers” who become popular through social media first.

Objectives

Audiovalley Group, parent company of Bridger, wanted to bring a solution to these millions of artists. The mission was double: first, help them collecting their digital revenue easily and in a transparent way. Secondly, empower them by explaining the ins and outs of the copyright management. It’s indeed a complex matter: a heavy mix between legal and administrative considerations. We wanted to give peace of mind to these artists by simplifying the processes, and allow creators to focus on what matters to them: create music.

Digital solutions from historical players consist mainly of complex and heavy forms to fill in.

The solution

The idea to empower creators was to build a new digital product that would put them in complete control to manage their works copyrights, monitor their revenue and access knowledge on how to optimise this side of their career.

From a simple web platform, an artist can get affiliated to Bridger within minutes. This simple process would take a few days, and some papers, with most historical players. Once signed up, they can manage all their musical projects, wether they are solo artists or part of a band. Their catalogue can be registered, rights for each song can be split between multiple contributors, and each creator get their revenue share automatically. The entire process is transparent, and artists can monitor their revenue on a dashboard.

Building such a new and innovative digital product required as well a strong identity to enter the market. We helped the team to build their brand identity from the ground up. Only the name of the company, Bridger, was already defined but everything else had to be imagined.

A simple but smart digital product, from affiliation to works registration

Our approach

To deliver such a large scope, from product strategy to branding, UX/UI and full-stack development, we worked as a Movify squad, fully integrated with the Bridger team. A senior product designer, a senior brand designer and a team of 3 full-stack developer.

Defining the product values

Before diving into any UX activities, we sat down with the key stakeholders and spent quite some time understanding the industry, its challenges but also the vision they had for this new product. What did they want to achieve, and why? After this process, we were able to put together the gist of our discussions: 5 core product values we decided to abide to. User-centricity, transparency, accuracy (of data), simplicity and educational. These values remained central to every product decisions we took later down the road.

“These values remained central to every product decisions we took later down the road.“

Putting the creators at the center

What was clear from the competitors at the time, was that they were very much focused on their own goals as a company: complex processes, technical language in their interface, long and heavy forms to fill-in, … They also were still lagging behind in terms of digital solutions, where PDF and e-mails are central elements of their user experience. Following our product values, we quickly decided to completely shift this mindset and start building from the creator point-of-view.

As a lot of processes are standardized across the industry, we had to face a lot of constraints. We spent a lot of time to analyse standard user flows, deconstruct them step by step and simplify everything that could. We went through multiple iterations, until we managed to simplify a 26-steps process into only 5, without taking any shortcuts or losing efficiency.

Leveraging data & automatisation

One way to reach that level of optimisation was to leverage data and services already existing elsewhere. Why do everything yourself when someone else already provides what you need? For instance, we decided to connect to open source databases (such as BOWI) which already centralises a lot of technical data (IPI, ISWC numbers, …) about a specific musical work and their authors.

Another example was to leverage Spotify APIs to collect all the songs data of a specific artist (title, duration, genre, …) so we didn’t have to ask our users to provide it. To ensure data accuracy and completion, we developed our own layers of verification to cross-check the data with our own databases. This technical automatisation alone helped us to improve the user experience drastically: instead of asking the user to register all their songs data manually (which could take many hours), we now do it for them in a few seconds. New album coming up next year? No need to think about it either, it will automatically get fetched once it’s published, and added to the artist catalogue.

The outcome

Thanks to our integrated squad approach, we delivered a digital product from A to Z in only 7 months. The product vision, the user experience, the branding and visual design… but also the front and back-end development of the complete service.

Self-published artist can sign up in a few minutes and manage their revenue collection autonomously. Everything is transparent and the user always remain in control: they decide which song to add in their repertoire, they can manage rights split with other contributors and they can access detailed numbers on how their revenue is calculated.

Bridger is not only an innovative tool for music artists but also became a strong brand in the industry. Following its product values, Bridger also provides lots of educational content about copyrights management to its community. Its long term mission: empower the creators.