Type of work: Strategy, Identity, Digital
Type of project: Music
In 2009 I co-founded Stereomood, a streaming service that plays music according to your mood. In 2011 we were attracting over 1M unique users per month and we raised €700K from Italian investors with the chance to emerge from the world-crowded music scene.
Stereomood had a music database of more than 60K songs automatically aggregated into emotional playlists thanks to an algorithm, with topics such as ‘Happy’, ‘Spring Cleaning’, ‘Sunday Morning’ or ‘Night Drive’, offering the perfect accompanying soundtrack from new and independent artists, whatever the activity or mood may be. “Stereomooders” were also able to submit their own music to the service and share their customized lists with fellow users.
“If Pandora stands as the reigning brain of internet radio, new competitor Stereomood may be its heart.”
Daniel Papalia, Forbes
The platform’s success was underscored by industry recognition, earning accolades such as the
Webby Award 2011 ‘s Official Honoree in the music category and RCS Digital Publishing 2011 as the most innovative Italian startup in Digital Publishing. This last recognition propelled Stereomood onto the global stage, leading the team to relocate to San Francisco and participate in Mind the Bridge, an organization fostering innovation between startups and corporations. This experience not only broadened Stereomood’s horizons but also established valuable collaborations with individuals crucial to our success.
At the core of Stereomood’s strength was its extensive music database, aggregating over 60,000 songs into emotion-driven playlists. From ‘Happy’ and ‘Sunday Morning’ to ‘Night Drive,’ users explored a vast array of moods seamlessly. The platform encouraged user participation, allowing ‘Stereomooders’ to submit their music and share personalized lists. Recognizing the importance of an optimized mobile experience, we ensured that Stereomood resonated with users on the go with a mobile app developed in collaboration with the Italian acclaimed agency Mutado under the supervision of CD Mauro Gatti.
Colors and images, being potent emotional influencers, became our primary touchpoints. Weekly background changes sourced from user contests on Flickr and collaborations with brands added a dynamic visual layer to enhance the emotional journey. Stereomood transcended conventional music platforms, leaving an indelible mark on the intersection of music and emotions. Our success, particularly in a digitally transforming Italian landscape, underscores the platform’s cultural impact. Stereomood’s journey stands testament to entrepreneurial resilience, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to shaping the digital music landscape.
In my role as co-founder and product designer, I played a pivotal role in Stereomood’s success. I led the creative strategy and development of all creative assets and campaigns, ensuring a consistent brand across channels. Remaining current on emerging trends in digital technology, I incorporated new technologies into our strategy. Managing production timelines, vendor relationships, and quality or cost controls were integral aspects of my responsibilities. I communicated cross-functionally to understand creative needs and worked closely with marketing, sales, and product teams to create engaging collateral for the market. Maintaining a high standard of design output, I reviewed work and wrote detailed alt text to comply with accessibility guidelines. I created the optimal visual solution for each brief, collaborating closely with non-design team members to achieve the best outcomes. Additionally, I designed corporate and proposition documents for investor meetings and events, contributing to our success in the competitive startup landscape.
As a representative of Stereomood, I attended events and conventions worldwide as a speaker, promoting our services and pitching our innovative ideas to diverse audiences. This multifaceted role allowed me to showcase not only my design expertise but also my leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit.
In the last months of the journey, we dedicated ourselves to enhancing the platform, introducing Stereomood Delphi to personalize mood playlists based on users’ music tastes. Additionally, we developed a new version with a music concierge powered by YouTube, offering an expanded selection of moods, genres, and styles. Despite our months-long efforts, financial challenges arose from a lack of revenue and investor funding withdrawal. Consequently, as of December 2014, the beloved mood music platform no longer belongs to its founders.