Symphony

Case Study

Symphony is a custom suite of web applications designed and developed to
automate the daily operations of Concord Music Group's internal divisions.

The Challenge

The objective of this suite of web applications was to replace a group of decentralized legacy tools with a modern system that integrates all major aspects of record label operations, and unifies them around the label’s most important assets — its catalog.

The first and most critical application in the suite is Symphony Repertoire — the meta-data store and media asset management layer.

The Solution

Repertoire serves as the central repository for all assets in the Concord catalog, including albums, tracks, merchandise, and works, along with its accompanying meta-data, including full information on artists, songwriters, and publishers, as well as product and project management infrastructure.

Repertoire also manages audio, video, and still images, combining the meta-data layer with digital media assets making for a rich and efficient content experience that has enabled Concord’s Licensing division to create and leverage catalog assets quickly and easily. Today, the Licensing group can create and share a compilation album with a partner or potential licensee in under five minutes. Full support for distribution through both digital and brick-and-mortar channels on the album, track, and label group level is also integrated into the system.

Going one layer deeper, Repertoire provides critical visibility into the performance of Concord’s catalog through integration of data feeds from Nielsen SoundScan, internal inventory management systems, internal and partner sales systems, social media networks, and industry organizations like the RIAA.

Implementation

For the first time, Concord management has a unified view into their entire catalog supported by real-time statistics and metrics, all through a powerful, modern, and usable interface built with best in class development techniques and leveraging HTML5 and CSS3 — making the entire system fully compatible across modern desktop browsers as well as mobile form factors.

Repertoire was conceived and designed in close integration with actual users. Application of lean UX and data-driven design principles allowed for rapid, iterative deployment of new features. A/B and multivariate testing were employed extensively by the design team in order to refine user interactions and conversion funnels for user goals and objectives.

Today, Repertoire provides real-time access to the Concord library of content to over 300 users in different cities across the United States and different departments within the organization.

Timeline

The project started in August 2010 with several discovery sessions in which our squad of engineers and designers sat down with the client to learn about their current problems and come up with potential solutions to those problems.

DAMMY Nomination

In 2011, Symphony was nominated for Best Strategy Ease of Use for End-User Interface at Createasphere’s annual Digital Asset Management Conference DAMMY Awards. This category recognizes Digital Asset Management systems for outstanding intuitive user experience.