Since our mission is to know as much as we can for our future research, we should be most time listeners rather than potential users giving advice. I suggest: first, we should ask them to do a brief introduction of what they already accomplished. We take notes carefully and fill them into our questions (then we will skip them). Then we start asking through our structure.
A. How long has this project run already?
B. How is this project funded and what expectation are you holding financially?
C. How many users registered till now? How are they formed? Percentage of musician/ broadcasters / consumers?
D. Feedback from users? What are they satisfied by and what more do they want from you? What progress and future plan are you sticking to?(Well this is the next two parts:))
E. How do you assess your competitors? Who are they and what do you think your advantages are?
II. Assessment of 'market'
A. How do you define your target users of your service? How do you estimate amount of potential users? The percentage?
B. How do you estimate the broadcasters' demand of songs?
C. How do you estimate the amount of supply (artists and labels) and what do you think of the imbalance between the two? Or you don't care at all...
A. What product does this service cover? Only Music or plus videos or even more?
- do they have interest from all genres, as well as different industries, or sway towards certain ones (i.e. dance music and DJs). If they do, could this alienate users from other genres adopting their system?
- Customer service – what kinds do they offer (email, phone or online ticket style systems)?
B. What are the conditions of admission? Only verified or anyone? If verified, go to C; or else, go to D.
C. How do you verify users? How do you deal with massive workload and impossible verification?
D. How do you deal with massive users and abnormal behaviours? Upload old music for fun? For entertainment? Upload leaked out or piracy albums for sharing? Harassment towards broadcasters?
E. Confidentiality in certain condition to protect from leaking out? What functions do labels have?
F. Technology which is too much so I put it as the next part.
G. How do you level your user's privileges by fees? And by characters(artist broadcaster label and listeners)? Or you don't at all?
H. Do you have your own recommendation system If yes, go to next one; else skip next one.
I. How do you decide what to recommend? How does this work? Front page? Or email? Or message in site?
J. Are you going towards social media service like myspace? If yes, How do you distinguish yourself from then? Why should the media choose you better than them?
K. Can labels recommend themselves? How?
A. What is your capacity? How many users, music length and formats? Expiration period?
B. Format and quality?
C. Response time? Speed? Downloadable or stream-able? Or Both?
D. Do you send music files out by Email? If yes, how to prevent spam?
SPECIFIC Questions for providers
FatDrop: explain fee for use (£50 sign up / £30 subs), verification (anyone who pays)
Fastrax: everything put onto CD - how would they get around this? how does the system work?
Soundcloud: verification of users (professional vs fun), how to prevent harassment (spam), how to create work environment for professionals
We need trials - can this happen?
This is very incomplete and some questions are maybe too trivial. As the meeting goes on, our assumptions might be thoroughly changed and we gotta be flexible. But I do think it is very good for us to have a complete question list in advance so that we can make sure to get the whole picture and not lose key details. After all, we have only this one chance to contact directly with distributors.
However, I still remain one biggest question of my own: I don??t think it is a good idea to be open-register and available to the public. No DJ or editors need another Myspace to seek out new music, which is a sea of noise content and impossible to work out things. In my opinion, this project should be based on and serves professional process (rather than the mass) and daily works demand (rather than the mass entertainment). What do you people say?