I’ve put time and care into the creation of my eigth album, Study Music, and created something I feel proud of.
Looking backwards, though, I had a hard time with the reception to my seventh album, “Oughta See”, from a few years ago. I was surprised that people didn’t seem to dig it as much my as previous work. It motivated me to ensure that things would go better with my next release.
I determined that I wanted to engage my listeners by soliciting more feedback before I released my next album. I built a stand-alone music feedback web-app - a tool for doing market research of your music within your fan base.
I then used it to test my latest songs before releasing the new album. The feedback that I got helped evolve the songs and album structure, and allowed me to feel confident about the new music before releasing the album.
I open sourced the feedback app to anyone who thinks they will find it useful. Here is the demo, a demo of the data collection page, and the github source.
There are a few slightly technical steps required to install the app: you’ll need an AWS account, a dynamodb service, and a couple of AWS storage buckets. This is all explained in the github readme.
Some use cases I’ve come up with for my feedback tool:
I also hope it can be used by other people in ways I haven’t considered.
For point of reference, I made two posts to my Facebook audience of almost 3,000 people. Without using any ads, a little over 100 people used my new tool, of which almost half left additional feedback in addition to rating tracks. It was a great experiment in programming and engagement which also helped me to dial in my album.
Feel free to sponsor my art through donations.