Header image for the PremiumBeat subscription project, representing a cropped image of a web browser showing the PremiumBeat home page. The hero image on that page shows a close-up of an electric guitare and a hand turning a knob on a Fender amplifier. Below the hero image, we see a white card displaying a big price point and information about the PremiumBeat subscription.
Product Design (UX-UI)
Company: Shutterstock
Year: 2020
Don't Stop The Music: launching the very first PremiumBeat subscription
PremiumBeat, a Shutterstock company, is a curated royalty-free music eCommerce platform providing exclusive, high-quality tracks for use in various media projects, including videos, films, television programming, apps and games. From April to December 2020, I joined the PremiumBeat team as their principal designer. Our primary focus was to optimize our customers’ music search experience on the PremiumBeat platform, starting with thorough qualitative user research to complete our quantitative data analysis. I then helped launch the first PremiumBeat subscription, integrating new user flows and components into the existing web experience.
Laying the design foundations for future team collaboration
PremiumBeat webpages mockups were initially designed using Adobe Photoshop. To break silos and foster collaboration between the different Shutterstock teams and designers, I took the initiative to reproduce PremiumBeat designs in Sketch alongside a styles and components library that would be accessible and shareable across the company and serve as a reference for the Shutterstock Music product optimization.

Another responsibility I had working on the PremiumBeat platform was to select imagery for the monthly marketing emails and thumbnails for the Collections page on premiumbeat.com, helping ensure brand cohesion.

Below are a few examples of the monthly PremiumBeat newsletters that customers received in 2021.
Rejuvenating our user research data and artifacts
Our team shortly focused on user research as our insights were outdated. We concentrated our research plan on customers’ workflows to better understand their music search behaviours and their expectations from the PremiumBeat platform. Our Product Manager and I conducted a series of 5 user interviews, which helped us draw insights and design new core personas for the UX and Marketing teams to refer to.
Those new insights also allowed us to prioritize new features and optimizations to improve our customers’ search experience, like further filter panel explorations on the PremiumBeat search results page or enhancing the visibility of the “Search similar tracks” feature.
I also helped prototype a few UI improvements of M.A.X, a virtual assistant that the PremiumBeat team developed during a hackathon before I joined their group. At the same time, some efforts were being put into improving our taxonomy.
Launching PremiumBeat's limited subscription
My most significant contribution during the 9 months I spent helping the PremiumBeat team was the launch of their first subscription, as one critical insight from our user research was the strong appetite of our recurring customers for a subscription model.

At the time, our customers could only purchase PremiumBeat tracks “à la carte” and choose between 2 license options: Standard or Premium. With a PremiumBeat subscription, they would now get access to PremiumBeat’s exclusive music library at a great value. The limited subscription would include 5 Standard Licenses per month, with several conditions we needed to clarify to customers (for example, a small collection of tracks were not included in the subscription for contractual reasons).

I first worked on identifying the appropriate areas where we could surface our new subscription offering in our customer’s journey on the PremiumBeat platform. Then, I designed different variants of an announcement banner across the website: on the homepage first and as an upsell in our cart and checkout flow. Our pricing page and FAQ section also needed to be updated with the new subscription offering.

The Standard License covers many web-based projects: videos hosted on websites, social media, video-sharing platforms (as long as the advertising spend is below $5,000), and podcasts. The Premium License (not included in the subscription) is required for music used in TV or radio advertising, point-of-sale, apps, games and DVDs up to 1000 copies.
In the license dropdown appearing for each track on the search results and song details pages, I integrated the new option to license a track using a subscription credit, designing variants for different scenarios:
→  the customer has not subscribed yet;
→  the customer has a subscription and enough credits;
→  the customer has a subscription but no credit left.
I also revised our cart and checkout flow, added a new “Subscription” section on the Account and Orders pages, and prepared cancellation flows that would trigger a quick survey allowing us to collect feedback from unsubscribing users and refine our offering.
The PremiumBeat subscription launched smoothly on October 14, 2020, and was successfully welcomed by our customers, with thousands of new subscribers within the first month. As expected, the team monitored cancellations numbers over time and, most importantly, identified the reasons behind cancellations. Interestingly the top 2 reasons for our customers to cancel were “not having an ongoing need at the moment” (1st) and “the price being too high” (2nd).

I enjoyed working with the PremiumBeat team as their principal designer for almost nine months. Still, as Shutterstock refined its vision and priorities, new teams emerged, and I was asked to help design a new, exciting initiative that would become Shutterstock Catalog.
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