Matthew Ogle and Anil-Bawa-Cavia Last.fm
We connect people to music they love, event if they haven't heard it yet.
How does it work?
You just listen - to your own music. - Or the last.fm radio
Share - your taste instead of files. - automative via scrobbling
Discover - via your friends - via people with similar tastes
15 million tracks that we scrobble every day
175 scrobbles per second
6 billion tracked scrobbled since 2003
10 million artists
70 million tracks
700k tracks streamable on Last.fm radio
17 million items tagged.
145k artist wikis
AudioScrobbler was built a university project.
Last.fm in 2004, based in whitechapel.
Early Growth lessons
Don't overextend - scale with your growth, not before. Make sure your revenue scales with your site as you grow. Google ads User subscriptions - scales with your userbase Involve users with your web apps story. Make growth a selfish aim for existing users. Be as open as you can afford.
Started by donations due to open source nature.
Openness and Growth
in 2004 we had a cool service but needed data Audioscrobbler Protocol 1.0
Web services for accessing users' music profile data
Together, provided "round trip" incentive for plugin developers
Winamp, iTunes WMP Amarok, foobar etc
Openness and Growth
Involve non-tech users as well Promote a community around your app Talk to your users, bad news is ok, e.g the sky is falling we need more servers etc.
We started showing graphs of submission rates. When things went bad users didn't freak out.
Error messages say go make a cup of tea, some users took this literally.
ABC: Moving in to the new office in Old Street
process - how does rapid growth affect the team 20 to 40+ employees in 6 months - Communication across tech and non-technical boundaries "People trump process" Simple tools are effective tools radiate information across different channels in the company
We use irc to communicate across the whole company. Simple been around for ages
Excerpt from irc:
Fixes, questions, bugs, patches are all announced on the irc channel
15 million unique users a month. plan for going global, not just a technical challenge Afilliations should enhance the user experience. - Everyone's going to approach you when you get this big. harness critical mass
Events/shows UGC Add buy tickets links is subtle but has a use
Embed your services in others, blogs etc Album Quilts Charts
Transition from service to platform Open up your api Openness is a key to web platforms
Attention and Myware
Powered by Audioscrobbler logo, this is foundation. When you pay attention to something (or don't) data is created. Skipping a track is data. Myware: spy on yourself. The benefits of sharing this data outweighs keeping it to yourself. Attention economy alters traditional meaning of "active user", someone can be sitting back listening to music for example. Social web + attention aggregators = where the action is.
Events dashboard, matches events to where you live. According to your tastes. This is driven by UGC
Same thing with Recommended journals.
Monetizing attention data. 1. Microchunk it reduce it to it's simplest form 2. free it - Put it out there without walls 3. syndicate it - let anyone take it and run with it. 4. Monetize it. Put the monetisation into the microchunk/
Powerplay is sponsored airtime. Individualized targeting based on attention history New attention metrics for reporting
No more CPMs - the scrobble is our attention unit.
Case study: tag cloud moderation
Paris Hilton tag cloud - e.g. Officially Shit, overrated, shit, slut etc.
Censorship is not acceptable in a folksonomy Attention data does not lie Weigh tags by attention People who listen to Paris Hilton could have more say. Attention earns trust
Future of Last.fm
more Growth more streamable music more ambient findability - you should discover stuff more organically. more personalization / things you can do with your data less fewer interfaces fewer barriers to entry fewer gradients
Q: With the attention data being so key do you worry about manipulation of the data.
A: Spamming is a huge problem potentially. There's rudimentary protection built in. You can't listen to the same track over and over.