New Releases Now

Rejuvenating NRN: A Digital Renaissance for Online Music Discovery


Branding, Design, Development


New Releases Now

Project Overview

New Releases Now (NRN), a leading music discovery website, came to PTLab to rejuvenate their online presence. Despite an impressive history of over 11 million visitors and top Google rankings since its 2009 launch, NRN's outdated design and lack of updates, coupled with declining advertising revenue, were putting the site at risk of becoming obsolete.

Our mission: to realign NRN's aesthetics with its ambitious vision, reignite its appeal, enhance its usability, and foster a resurgence in advertising revenue.

The Old Site

The old website pre-revamp

What we did

1. Strategic Discovery

Understanding the unique needs of NRN led us to devise a comprehensive roadmap for its transformation. Our focus areas included refreshing the branding, enhancing user experience, adding new features, updating the tech stack, streamlining site management, and revamping NRN's email marketing.

Wireframing: Sketching out ideas for the new user experience

2. Website Redesign

In close collaboration with NRN's team, we redesigned the platform to offer a personalized, nostalgic approach to music discovery. A complete user interface overhaul, alongside the introduction of specific, value-adding features such as spotify integration, genre-based navigation, and a new music discovery algorithm, transformed NRN into a more engaging experience for both music fans and advertisers.

The new design

3. Mobile Experience Redesign

Recognizing the crucial role of mobile access, we reimagined the mobile experience, achieving an app-like user interface with simplified navigation and intuitive touch gestures.

Redesigned mobile screens

4. Branding & Identity

Aligning with the platform's new direction, we created a unique visual language and logo that echoed the charm of a vintage record store, strengthening NRN's brand identity.

The new logo

5. Content Management Overhaul

To streamline site operations, we migrated NRN to Craft CMS, a modern and user-friendly content management system. Implementing features such as an online form for music submissions and automatic image resizing, we saved countless management hours for the NRN team each week.

User-friendly site management with Craft CMS

6. Technical Optimization & SEO

We leveraged advanced coding techniques and tools like Blitz Caching, Cloudflare, and Amazon Web Services to ensure fast loading times. While carefully maintaining search engine optimization (SEO) and Google rankings, we implemented a clear redirect plan to avoid broken links, ensuring a seamless switchover to the new site with zero downtime.

Google PageSpeed: Perfect score on desktop

7. Marketing & Advertising

With the aim of boosting engagement and advertising revenue, we introduced a weekly personalized new music email blast, created new tiered placements and pricing packages for advertisers, and designed a one-sheet sales tool that effectively showcased the benefits of NRN's revamped platform.

NRN one-sheet

The Result

Our diligent efforts ignited an extraordinary revival for NRN. Shortly after the relaunch, advertising revenue had doubled compared to the same quarter the previous year. Alongside this financial uplift, we saw enhanced user engagement, a 132% increase in email sign-ups, a 63% rise in email click-through rates, and received positive feedback from music fans and record labels. Additionally, the new site achieved an impressive Google Page Speed score.

Client Feedback

"Working with PTLab on the NRN project was an incredible experience. They approached our platform like true problem solvers, breathing new life into it and turning it from dated to dynamic. Their exceptional blend of creativity and technical skills was evident as they successfully transitioned us from a platform filled with issues to one that runs flawlessly. Throughout the process, they were more than just an outsourced team. They cared about our project as much as we did, treating it as their own. Their contributions have been invaluable, and I can't wait to continue our collaboration in the next phase."

Vince Hans, New Releases Now

Next steps: Phase 2

Phase 1's success sets the stage for Phase 2, where we'll explore innovative strategies to further boost NRN's growth. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to evolve with New Releases Now.

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