Ecommerce Operations. Critical Analysis of the Online Music Magazine "Resident Advisor"

Project Report, 2015

39 Pages, Grade: 90


Table of Contents

1.1. Executive Summary

2. Resident Advisor - Background
2.1. Classification
2.2. User Groups and Functions
2.3. Competitors

3. Qualitative Analyse
3.1. Target Group
3.2. Interview Schedule

4. Key Findings

5. Recommendations for Resident Advisor
5.1. Extend Music and Video Service Integration
5.2. Define and Improve Member Functions
5.3. Develop Mobile Application
5.4. Build strong Social Media Channels
5.5. Increase Usability

6. Conclusion

7. Reference List

8. Appendix
8.1. Appendix 1 - Classification of Electronic Music
8.2. Appendix 2 - Interview #1
8.3. Appendix 3 - Interview #2
8.4. Appendix 4 - Interview #3
8.5. Appendix 5 - Interview #4
8.6. Appendix 6 - Interview #5

1.1. Executive Summary

The present report aims to deliver recommendations for the future

development of Resident Advisor, an international online music magazine and community platform. It provides two million readers a month with relevant content related to electronic music. Additionally, it offers a range of services on Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer level.

The recommendations are based on qualitative as well as relevant secondary research. Five in-depth interviews had been conducted focusing on registered and active members of the Resident Advisor. The interview schedule intends to capture members’ attitudes, needs, experiences and behaviours. Furthermore, Resident Advisor’s competitors had been analysed to gain an understanding what the industry offers as standard services.

Key findings showed, that members trust and value Resident Advisor as a high quality magazine for electronic underground music and therefore reading it regularly as source of information and stimulation. However, members complement their experience by reading other music magazines and using additional multimedia channels such as social media networks, music streaming or video services. Moreover, they demand for an improved usability and availability of Resident Advisor.

In order to fulfil the member’s demand for a holistic experience it is recommended to extend the music and video service integration complementing the written content. Furthermore, to increase the registrations of members and stimulate a higher usage of the features involved it is recommended to define and improve member functions. Moreover, to offer the magazines’ services everywhere, every time and with the highest usability possible it is recommended to develop a mobile application. This not only fulfils the respondents demand for availability but is also aligned with the industry standard. Additionally, Resident Advisor should increase the websites usability by following standard design guidelines. Finally, Resident Advisor needs to increase its reputation and presence by building strong, relevant social media channels. Consequently, the magazine will stay competitive and profitable due to an increase in user satisfaction and involvement, traffic and brand awareness.

2. Resident Advisor - Background

2.1. Classification

Resident Advisor (RA) is an online music magazine and community platform for electronic music across the globe. It was founded in 2001 and targets on music fans, club goers, DJs, producers, venue owners, promoters and music labels. The magazine provides relevant content within the electronic music scene and showcases artists, music labels, technical products, clubs and events (About, 2014).

According to their activities and services, RA is to be found within the Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business level as shown in chart 1. The magazine offers its services to readers (consumers) which include the presented content as well as the offered option to directly purchase and resell tickets on the website. Additionally, the magazine offers free community elements allowing members to communicate and exchange opinions with other readers either on the platform or as private messages.

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Chart 1: Classification of Resident Advisor’s as an e-business

On the Business-to-Business level, RA offers promoters to list and advertise their events on the website. The magazine charges booking fees and therefore generates revenue. Additional revenue is gained through display advertisements on the website from external stakeholders. Key sources for traffic on the website among to the news feed are the landing pages from artists and music labels which are maintained through these parties directly. Summarizing, RA is an e-business as it ‘is conducting core business activities in a way that is enabled by integrated use of information technology for processing and communication of information’ (Grefen, P., 2010; Groucutt, J., Griseri, P., 2004). In the following section, the functions per user group will investigated.

2.2. User Groups and Functions

RA offers its content and services not only to readers of the magazine but also to a range of business parties promoting their business on the website. Therefore, the magazine needs to target and adapt to six different user groups offering a range of functions as shown explained in chart 2:

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Chart 2: User groups and offered functions

Summarizing, RA offers a wide range of functions tailored to different users which is due to their additional platform approach. In the following the standards within the magazine market and competitors will be examined.

2.3. Competitors

RA’s main competitor is Mixmag online magazine. Both magazines operate worldwide and provide readers with electronic music related content such as news, reviews, interviews, film and more. Mixmag presents nearly every electronic music genres (Appendix) whereas RA is focusing on house, techno, hard-core and industrial, as demonstrated in chart 3. Nevertheless, both magazines present similar artists which indicate that they attract a similar target group. Mixmag distinguish from RA by additionally providing news about fashion and cooperating with the music download platform beatport. The platform approach and therefore actively involvement of RA’s different user groups in form of members, artists, labels, clubs or promoter differentiates the magazine from Mixmag and also other competitors (Mixmag, 2015; Classification of electronic music, 2015).

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Chart 3: competitor analyse

Other competitors are DJ Mag which operates in European countries only and Magnetic which operates in America. Both magazines feature electronic music providing the readers with related content. Furthermore, the music and youth culture magazine fact, which operate in UK only, presents an even wider music genre including electronic music, indie, rock and pop. All competitors differ from RA in either geographic distribution or genre promoted. However, they influence the electronic music scene and their strategy needs to be observed to remain competitive (Fact Mag, 2015; DJ Mag, 2015; Magnetic, 2015).

Summarizing, RA has an outstanding position on the market as it complements its magazine with a platform and self-maintained pages for business parties. Nevertheless, it is essential to increase traffic on the website by constantly growing RA’s reputation and presence. This will lead to a competitive and profitable position on the market. The report will now focus on the method used.

3. Qualitative Analyse

3.1. Target Group

Five in-depth interviews (Appendix) had been conducted to identify potential improvements for the future development of RA. The interviews were focused on the user group ‘members’ aged between 20 years and 30 years with no gender diversification. This group had been chosen as it is assumed that readers converting to members overcome the barrier of creating an own account. They are willing to make an effort in order to use the magazine’s additional functions. Therefore, it is assumed that this target group is familiar with functions offered and based on that share their habits, needs and feelings towards these. Furthermore, the magazine has, as shown above, different user groups which influences the magazines business model. Many members not only buy tickets for events but their future buyer behaviour is also influenced by presented content and advertisement which supports the goal to stay profitable.

3.2. Interview Schedule

Within the following, the interview schedule for RA is presented as shown in chart 4. The Interview is divided into different sections focusing on demographic, overall interest, needs, behaviours and experience. It is intended to first create an atmosphere with related questions to the musical habits and preferences to create a natural atmosphere. Then, questions regarding experiences, needs and behaviours with the website are asked. However, the questions were not necessarily asked in the presented structure in order to be responsive according to the respondents answer. Additionally, the interviews were conducted through open-ended questions to stimulate detailed and rich insight from the respondent (Lapan, S., Quartaroli, M., 2012; Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., 2003; General Guidelines).

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Chart 4: Questionnaire

4. Key Findings

Members have a generously interest in music and have a musical background themselves.

All interviewed members have stated to acknowledge and listen to a wide range of music genres. Some interviewed members do also have a musical background themselves by either having a musical education, studying music or a music related subject, playing/had been playing an instrument or being active/had been active in DJ activities their own.

The main reason to sign up as a member is to purchase tickets.

Respondents said that the main reason for signing as a member was to buy tickets for an event. They either researched events online and found tickets provided by RA or have checked the magazine’s events listing first and then used the ticketing option. The recently released option to resell tickets is highly appreciate by members when already used.

The main functions used by members are news feed, event listing, artists/labels profile and ticketing.

The main function used by the respondents is the news feed.

Additionally, the interviewed members use the events listing to find out about upcoming events in their area. When finding a relevant event, members often use the ticketing option as it is a convenient process. Furthermore, the respondents stated to enjoy following their favourite artists and labels as well as research similar or connected artists. Labels or artists almost always refer to their own favourite DJ’s, albums or tracks and users are highly interested in investigating these as well.

Members would appreciate a personalised news feed. Members read the news and at the same time are highly interested in content about their favourite artists. Therefore, members stated that they would like to have easier access to news related to their preferred artists and labels.

SoundCloud, Youtube, Discogsand Facebook are the main mediums used to complement the member’s multimedia experience.

As previously stated, members like to explore new music, artists and labels and other music related topics either when promoted on the website or connected to their followed preferences. However, if members can’t find recent or valuable information on RA, they often complement their research by using the SoundCloud, Youtube, Discogsor Facebook. One respondent said: ‘RA’s news feed, reviews and interviews are really useful to find new releases, but I quite often use SoundCloud or Discogsto have a listen to new tracks that are not available on RA.’

Members would appreciate a higher integration of music services such as SoundCloud, Youtube or micxcloud.

Members stated, that they find the integration from music services as highly important and useful within the magazines content pages. Respondents said, when reading about new releases this function is almost always available and makes the whole experience of discovering and evaluate music comprehensive. However, when this option is missing, they stated to be dissatisfied as they need to use additional websites such as Youtube, SoundCloud or Mixcloud to listen to the promoted track. Additionally, members stated to research music directly on label’s or artist’s website and claimed that the integration of music services is often missing. Members emphasized they expect an online music magazine to me multimedia and integrative by complementing written content with visual content.

Members almost don’t use the community functions.

When signing as a member community functions such as add other members as friends, send messages, look on their profile, invite them to events and view other member’s friends as well as comments made are offered. Respondents stated that they rarely use these components for several reasons. The main reason is that other community platforms such as Facebook fulfil members’ needs to communicate with friend about music. A further reason is that members often use pseudo names to intentionally stay anonymous. One member reported:


Excerpt out of 39 pages


Ecommerce Operations. Critical Analysis of the Online Music Magazine "Resident Advisor"
Kingston University London
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ISBN (Book)
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Ecommerce, Operations, Ecommerce Operations, Resident Advisor, Online Magazine, Music Magazine
Quote paper
Julia Zöllner (Author), 2015, Ecommerce Operations. Critical Analysis of the Online Music Magazine "Resident Advisor", Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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