"The Open API Effect", Julie Knibbe, Dev. Evangelist at Deezer, #APIDays Paris 2013

all right here I’m who here knows no teaser I know yeah it’s a French company so everyone’s pretty familiar with it I guess so I was responsible for the design platform so if you were not aware of it we have an opening API and SDK for people to use these are with either within their website or within diesel itself in this service and today I want to share my experience launching the desire API so how we did it how that impacted the whole company actually so studying API is just not you know releasing a service or REST API which is also you know impacting almost everyone in the company so I’m all about sharing that with you guys and that’s about it and I have also worked on Microsoft for a few years so I’ve seen also how such a big company and how you know being a platform impacts also such a big company so I took a bit about that later so teaser you know the service launched in 2006 became legal in 2008 and the platform launched actually a year and a half ago and when you see those numbers like API companies all become billionaires with crazy numbers and crazy calls like if you’ve seen Lauren’s talk from Facebook showing how crazy the Facebook figures are like they have tens of millions of active users every day and that’s the same for the API so when you see those numbers and you’re in your startup of diggers and startup which in your small company you’re like I want to do that as well like I would love to have billions of API calls on these as well so you see that and you see also from programmable web that you have silica api’s so everybody is thinking the same that we should all be the api’s that’s the way to go that’s the way to open your company to the world so you you think are you are we really ready for this and you like the numbers and of course who you ready for this come on billions so you start you know making your API available so it’s always starts usually with someone technical from your engineering team so for us that’s an API developer so PHP JavaScript iceberg that started and he starts it and then you think for whom should we make that API available sure we start small and just you know getting an API internally first to get our mobile apps working so that’s how we told you we had some core methods core functions from leader and we started internally just to make sure that we have at least that internally we mutual eyes the developments work then we start building partnerships like one of the most famous one here is with so much and with orange we have a partnership and they’re using our partner API so some advanced tools that they need but ultimately if you want to reach those billions that which were thin you should obviously go open and make your API available to the world so that’s what we did and by whom I told you what that developer so there’s lots of developers talented out there so the one in the middle is Daniel the founder the founder and obviously you know the other ones so congratulations your API here so the API was in 2012 like last year the API so you can just go now to developers diesel.com and you’ll have your API available and now that it made that available you have the rest services you have the SDKs for the players and everything and it’s not like you can drop it like your baby’s born you have your API and now it’s all about getting that you know keeping that life because you if you’re lucky you have price you have people talking about it so it’s not like you can drop it and tell your new partners yeah no we’re sorry we just topping that our developers just left on vacations so you have your API and you wait for the magic to happen like nice we have that API have the product available for everyone we’re ready to enter the app economy and you know get those billions we saw but you should wait obviously wait wait because that’s not magic like you should not open your IP I expect like everyone will use it and love it that’s obviously not how that happens but if you’re lucky at least a few people like a few curious

people always start using it and you’ll be lucky to have those people because their make trick or feedback to you and also something that you won’t like but they will report a lot of bugs as well so you start to have a very very long list of things you should do like you started small you started with a small API but then when people use it obviously they want to go further and they want to get more out of it so you have your list of bugs and your list of features and then your one developers that’s being a bit overwhelmed so if you if that works well enough you should really start thinking about hiring and building a whole team for that and as your product evolves like for example a desire we just announced a new product almost a new homepage so have you seen that one new homepage like last we shipped it last month who’ve seen it great I have something to show you thank you network with let’s see well there’s no sound but doesn’t matter we just released a new homepage we stated music recommendations so whenever you start going together that’s not the old homepage with only barriers on it that’s a whole new feed well it we customized recommendation made by algorithms and yeah editorial team so we had people working with labels and everything to get see these people all around the world picking the right music for you and and we have a filter that makes sure that that actually music that will interest you so you ship that and the product and marketing teams are all happy about it because yeah that’s we see people switching back from other platforms and we are very happy about it but to me platform wise that means new stuff to do in the API and people coming to me and say hey when do I get that API so the list I just showed you just gets bigger and bigger but anyways that’s our job to make that available so we just do it but once we once it’s done we should let people know about it we should tell our small community of developers that they have that available so that makes someone else needed for that like our developers cannot develop the features and let people know and do the marketing about it so you have usually someone like an evangelist a developer advocate that will let people know where things happen so here that’s the g3 account where we let people know when things happened so the platform teams just got bigger from a few developers with advocates and marketing teams and that’s true whatever your IP I type is so whether that’s just your IP is your product or just this project in your product and GAAP I just around everywhere the types here I could get back to that in more detail if you like and once it’s done and you have cool new features like that developers that could get the teaser recommendations within the API so that allows your business development team to find new partnerships so for diesel for example we recently announced a partnership with down drop I don’t know if they’re you familiar with saundra but that’s music chat rooms basically so you can listen to music synchronize with your friends wherever you’re wherever you are and they make some live chats with artists and we have that really very cool up shifting that up that chooses desire API so once the business development team managed to get that up using these P I now that might be of interest of the diesel users for example if I have a live chat with the bloody beetroots maybe the fans of these artisans either I would like to know and then your IP I G API partnership you just built just impacted also the business development and marketing team and they can start you know being creative about it and start queuing new experience and actually enhancing your product which is

probably what you wanted at first watching your API and for us it’s a very critical question like it’s also time when you start building such partnerships to think about your business model because I think you’re familiar with the music mall and how we work these are and the tricky that’s really tricky to find a model for for developers and for apps but then our legal team that’s pretty big for such a small company gets involved and I spare you the details but that’s a sessions discussion to have but anyways you you find some ways to work and you you find some ways to make it work and you start to know man I actually two minutes to spare and share revenue with your developers in your apps and you see that and you you get back and you see okay I have cool apps I have a developer community and we are the billions and we’re all the API calls so I hope that you’ve been smart in conceiving you API and logging everything because you really critically need your numbers also for building your business model you really need to know how many people are using your API what’s your overall usages and for your partnerships you should also be able to tell the people you’re working with how many how many calls they made and how successful the world and loop on that all the time to check back and that’s also useful for developers so at least they know among the thousand features that people ask what’s actually used within the API and certainly you you have a step back and you look at your company and people develop partnerships the sales team is actually trying to sell solutions using your API the product team is being creative and even York tech team is using the API new products like for example the drive we are now we just announced a month ago Desktop of up for Deezer and that desktop app is using the open API so the API starts bus for small and then it’s used by partners customers and also internally and you have yeah that step back and you realize that in your company everybody talking API and the API started just by the side projects just become really the center of the company and I have really funny discussions with the sales team and people in the partnerships was because even though that’s impacting your whole company doesn’t mean that everyone there gets it like an API still remains the technical product and people you know are not all fluent talking API and SDKs and especially in G that when you e are working with encryption the streams and everything so that’s that’s funny how also you should train the people to have the right language about it but and also it’s not like you’re in the middle of everything because the API is just the IPL it’s not the product it’s not desire it’s not the teaser app so you have to find a way to make people understand that but also take the time to get trying so you have the right people to make that and to make sure VI successful within your company so you can either outsource it or like we do a desire get that working internally and you have a look at the people that you should need to be successful with an API into scale you have a lot of people from the tech team but also in this Asian marketing field and for example here I’m not saying that you should have one people for each mother here because I mean unless your tens of thousands of people you won’t have those people but have at least have someone filling those so for example at Deezer we are currently four people and I feel virtually like three or four of these positions like I’m the Evangelist the platform marketing and the partnership port and I’m here today also to talk to you about the platform and half click handling business development and up marketing so some people can just do several types tasks ones just for the time for you to scale and if I take an extreme example like I was also working as an evangelist at Microsoft and I was entirely different like we were tens of hundreds of evangelists and when that’s like that when you’re locally working as an evangelist for example explaining Microsoft api’s and SDKs for Windows that’s not the same at all like you so far away from the product team that you can’t like I’m doing right now get the

right mix of support and have feedbacks on products evolutions so when you scale and when you go international you should be careful really to always keep that link with the product which is critical for me to success so here I just noted that the roles that can be local but that shouldn’t really lose the the contact and the touch with the product and now if I you know switch back to Deezer and I’m you know as you conclusion look at where we are one year and a half after launching the API we are not that billions that would be wouldn’t that would have is nice but we are on the way and if I look at the numbers we are still standing at tens of millions of calls and it’s growing like 20% months so we are on the way and we are looking for people but that’s just talk to me later for that so I hope that sharing that experience is useful to you guys also that all oceans API and thank you thanks you very much for attention I don’t know if we have time for questions just let me check the clock yeah I’ve been pretty fast actually so you have questions whatever on what the API has or how we work or anything so how is your API differ from Spotify and the other music offerings yeah so that comes back to the question and in how these are different from Spotify things both api’s are projecting the products so mostly and that would be first as a matter of how different we are and the difference between these is qualifies mostly I mean we both on music and jamayne services so that would be really similar but Deezer has more work and label relationships and editorial that I told you about so we’re working that locally to make sure that we have the right music for the right people and we tend to be less mainstream in terms of content that we have in terms of content that we push in the discovery service so we worked a lot actually on curation and music discovery and we are doing core and he I’m pretty objective I think better than them in that perspective and you have lots of things also that we will web first and in terms of mobile apps then you make your own choices but the desire apps are really cool and working really well and that it tends to be in terms of just play your work and be better than Spotify and in terms of api’s we made totally different choices in terms of which technology we make available to our users so they kicked actually see library first and a REST API for metadata and what happened to them in that is became pretty difficult to use that see library like since developers and you know good developers in scene and at low level languages or not that you know familiar with the api’s and you rappers are more familiar with JavaScript and those kinds of the BI so they have different they targeted different developer populations and lately they released also JavaScript SDK for apps within Spotify but it still remains very low level like you can see that history in the API in the meantime our choice with teaser was to be the simplest as possible so I think a third of our API usage is made by the widget so that just the player that you can embed in any website or any app and the tools left are splitted between the JavaScript iOS and Android SDK and the JavaScript SDK hours decay is the most widely used in terms of music api’s since you don’t have very much to do to get it to work like you have probably contains ten lines of codes you can just get it to work and get a player a custom player within your app and at the difference with Spotify API as for example is that with the JavaScript the

dessert are scripted decay you can have apps running inside the deserves so with JavaScript you can just build for example a song drop example I just told you about you can get that up running with Indicom but also within the iOS and Android apps since we have what we call an app studio dagnab store on web and mobile and that’s the same as decaying the same code that you will have responsively on web and on mobile and really work he it really hardened that to get that working today get that on mobile because we know that Mobile is you know the not the future is there already and we have more than half of our users using our apps from mobile I have a question these are made new API version completely redesigned one year and a half yeah so and my question is what is the version to the open API effect of the version 2 compared to the version 1 just to share ho by making a new version more well designed more dela parented what it change in the developer adoption for the forties of what it has changed yeah actually the first version was just a trial and we we didn’t invest that much in that API and that was more an API that was born out of the need to work with partners so we didn’t have time to really think about the best practices on the API is like Olaf and I like that should be on the API so releasing that second version at that second cycle really you know took us towards every strategy to developers like we really felt that there was the right thing to do and that was also the time where G they’re hired someone to take care of that and to make sure that we have the right tools for the right people last question so you want to see usable money talking I understand you so thank you thank you so much