Universal Music Group is the largest music corporation in the world, and one of its companies, Universal Music Publishing Group, the most important music publishing company on the planet. Its origins go all the way back to the foundation of Decca Records in 1934. Therefore, when Redwerk’s CEO was contacted by Universal’s Director of Technology with the request to update one of their products, this was a definite vote of confidence by one of the major companies on the market, which shows how far Redwerk’s team have come and what kind of a reputation they have managed to achieve.
The challenge for Redwerk’s software engineers was to update a Facebook application by Universal Music which searches your friends’ “likes” and the music they are listening to and suggests music based on their preferences. It pulls music data from an artist database and then syncs the user’s lists with their friends in order to obtain “compatibility scores”, and then music recommendations are displayed according to these matches.
The following changes needed to be done to the Facebook app in order to launch it on the American market:
Updating the Algorithm for Compatibility Score
In order to show the appropriate list of artists we had to develop an algorithm which we called “compatibility score”. This had to include some kind of data visualization showing the compatibility score and the matched titles. Data visualization had to be implemented both as percentages and visual scores (e.g. red for a no-match and green for a good match) based on how strong the compatibility was.
The initial task was to implement this solution by taking into account a variety of parameters like movies and TV shows. However, the client then changed his mind and let us know that they only wanted to focus on music. This did not correspond with the initial instructions which we received from the client.
Extending links list
The existing application supported only two links for downloading from the online stores: iTunes and GetMusic. It was our task to include links to Spotify and other external resources and to add the match score to each one of them. In order to do this, we needed to come up with some kind of structure in order to allow an easy extension of the links to other resources.
Updating the design
We were given clear instructions by the client on how the layout had to be adapted to update the look and feel of the app. There was nothing radical here, more subtle changes of colors, CSS and images. The design of the mobile version also had to be slightly modified.
Updating the database
The database had to be updated with a new list of artists, album art and music download links.
Creating the updated Facebook app
The code for the updated Facebook app had to be finished, in order to suggest music selections to artists and to enable them to interact with a greater number stores in which to buy these albums and singles.