What happens when you combine the Recording Academy, raw musical talent, the most watched music awards show on television, and the Drupal CMS? Grammy Amplifier. Grammy Amplifier, an online music initiative, started several years ago with the hopes of giving aspiring artists a boost into music careers by uniting them with some of the most successful musicians in the industry, thanks to a generous sponsorship through Hyundai.
Knowing that they were embarking on Grammy Amplifier’s biggest year yet, with names like Grammy winner, Mark Ronson, The Band Perry, Ziggy Marley, and Allen Stone endorsing the project, Grammy Amplifier needed a new, highly dependable platform for its 2015 online competition. Grammy Amplifier chose the Drupal CMS, and the site was hosted on the Acquia platform for extended flexibility, integrations, and performance. The white glove service provided by Acquia was extremely important for a site that received the majority of its lifetime traffic over the course of a single night.
A Simple Idea: Connecting Musicians With Their Dreams
Every year, aspiring musicians are given the opportunity to compete in an online social contest by submitting a track of their music on the Grammy Amplifier website. Viewers are then encouraged to visit the site, explore the song submissions, and view the artists’ stories. If the viewers like what they hear, they are encouraged to “amplify it,” or more specifically, share their favorite tracks through social media.
The top 25 most amplified artists (the ones with the most track plays and top social platform activity) are then ushered into a review process where a panel of curators select their favorite musicians. From there, the 2015 Amplified Ambassador, Mark Ronson chose three winning artists.
The prize? Each winner was awarded one of three unique artist experiences. The winners of 2015 which were announced at a Grammy Amplifier showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX, and won a recording session with a Grammy winning producer, a music video with a noted director, or an opening slot on a major tour or music festival.
Coinciding directly with the 2015 Grammy’s, it was anticipated that Grammy Amplifier was going to be a big deal. The Achieve Internet team worked with The Recording Academy successfully on previous Drupal based projects, so when Grammy Amplifier needed a complete rebuild, they knew that our engineers would deliver exactly what they needed. The new Grammy Amplifier website was custom built from the ground up on the Drupal CMS platform. Grammy Amplifier was also hosted as well as optimized for an onslaught of traffic by Achieve’s partners at Acquia.
The Grammy Amplifier site required a smooth integration with SoundCloud. The competition required that the general public would have the ability to play tracks and share via social channels. After uploading their music, contestants were also highly encouraged to promote their music to get “amplified” (votes). The more track listens and social shares each artist received, the more likely they would be to move onto the next round of the Grammy Amplifier competition. Because each rising artist’s “vote” was dependent on this SoundCloud integration, it was vital that it be seamless, uncomplicated, and dependable
There were three main goals to accomplish in this Grammy Amplifier project.
- Enterprise Content Management System: The team handling Grammy Amplifier needed the flexibility, security, and performance that Drupal offered. (Their content team was familiar with and trusted Drupal.)
- Time Sensitive: They needed all of the components of the Grammy Amplifier website to be completed and working perfectly in time for their big launch, a live promo at the Grammys.
- Performance: With big name Grammy winners like Mark Ronson promoting Grammy Amplifier, the substantial TV spot during the night of the Grammys, and rising artists promoting their music, the website needed to perform well and had to be able to sustain high volumes of traffic with ease.
Our team of engineers at Achieve Internet built Grammy Amplifier’s solution with precision from the beginning. Integrating SoundCloud and social sharing was seamless. The site’s performance was able to sustain a slew of traffic, and three new artists fulfilled their dreams of breaking into the music industry.
Equally important, the Grammy Amplifier content team has the flexibility to make changes easily via the Drupal CMS. When our team of engineers updated the Grammy Amplifier site for the 2016 competition with a UX overhaul and mobile optimization (pictured below), the process was simplified because they already had a dependable Drupal platform in place. That’s the best tool of all: a website that is future-proofed and sustainable built with a solid CMS.