Fat Ear

Branding & UX/UI     Fall 2023

Fat Ear is a music app that centers around the local music scene in the user’s specific location. The app is designed to showcase emerging musicians and smaller venues that may not receive the attention they deserve. Another key aspect is fostering connections between local music enthusiasts and their community, encouraging greater involvement in the vibrant local music scene. Created in partnership with Melissa Polizzi  [melissajo.co].

The Problem

Every day, prominent musicians frequent local cities and towns, often overshadowing smaller, local artists with their extensive advertising. Existing apps fall short in effectively highlighting these local talents and the intimate venues consistently hosting events. Consequently, local shows experience lower attendance, leaving community members yearning for more engaging activities that foster a sense of connection without requiring an entire paycheck to participate.

Our Solution

Enter Fat Ear, a mobile app which helps listeners to find upcoming local events and suggests new local bands based on their preferences. Unlike our competitors, Fat Ear allows users to discover local artists, listen to suggested music customized to their taste, browse local concerts including small venues, and purchase tickets all on one platform. And this app isn’t just for the listeners! Fat Ear allows musicians to create a custom profile, add music and events which will then be recommended to listeners who would love their music. Fat Ear is an exceptional solution as it gathers listeners and musicians alike, allowing listeners to find their new favorite band, and musicians to gain recognition and popularity. Fat Ear also supports small artists by making it free to use, so they never have to spend a dime on promotion through our app.

Industry Research

We began our research by looking into competitor apps, including Spotify, BandsInTown, SoundCloud, and many other music apps. We quickly discovered that there were no current apps that included all of the features we wanted to include in Fat Ear, making it difficult for users and impossible to find new music and buy tickets to an event all in one place. Apps like BandsInTown and Spotify do advertise concert events in the user’s area, but this excluded small local bands. Apps like SoundCloud are great for smaller musicians to stream their music, but didn’t include information on concerts. After looking into a plethora of existing apps, we created our own surveys, designed specifically for listeners and musicians individually. Through this experiment, we were able to decipher what features are popular, what isn’t working, and if there was interest in an app like Fat Ear at all. Our biggest discoveries included listeners almost solely relying on social media to find out about local events, and the overall genuine interest in using an app like ours.

Business Goals

Business Goals Simply put, Fat Ear’s business flow begins with advertising the app to gain users. Following that, as bands sell tickets to their concerts, Fat Ear charges a service fee that is included in the ticket price and therefore paid for by the concert- goers. This service fee is a small charge and is standard across other platforms and apps selling tickets for events. As musicians and listeners continue to use our app, ticket sales will increase. Fat Ear will also produce and sell our own line of merch, which is also common with record labels and other industry businesses, that will gain in sales with the popularity of the app. Fat Ear could certainly increase profitability by charging listeners and musicians to use the app. However, we feel that this would defeat the purpose of our app, which is to promote discovery and local artists. It is part of our mission not to gatekeep our advertising and promotional services from small bands with low budgets. Likewise, we find it unethical to keep listeners from potentially supporting and participating in the local music scene.


By giving listeners and local musicians a new outlet to explore and strengthen the local music community, we believe that Fat Ear can change the music industry. Through our app, small scale musicians are now given a presence, opening them up to new opportunities that they otherwise may not have been susceptible to. Through our app, listeners can feel connected to the music being made right around them, and become a part of a beautiful community. We feel strongly about Fat Ear because it is an app that we have been waiting to use for a very long time. So instead of waiting even longer, we made it ourselves.


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