SoundCloud – video may have killed the radio star but audio is far from dead

25 days into 2012 and I thought it’s about time I reinvigorated this old blog of mine.  My muse deserted me in 2011 and inspiration was hard to come by – but I’m feeling positive about 2012 and what better way to start things off than with a little music…

I downloaded the SoundCloud app for iPad over the weekend and feel like I contributed to the 10 million user milestone reached by the online audio distribution platform on Monday.

From my brief trawl through the site it’s a way for DJs, bands and artists to upload  live and recorded tracks and remixes – a way of promoting their music which will entice fans to purchase their recordings or attend their live shows and earn them money as they build a following.  Users can also record tracks using the site.

Some of the tracks are available as free downloads, or you can livestream the music on your preferred device.

The “Share” feature (pictured) allows members of the site to embed chosen clips on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and other sites as pictured, with an easy embed code facility.  This social sharing feature allows artists to build a following both on SoundCloud itself, and across other key social media platforms.  It’s a great way of distributing music and leveraging the social networks of others to increase your reach.

When you register on the site, you can search for either “People” or “Tracks”, and once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can “Follow” the people in the same way you do on Twitter, or “Favourite” a track, which will then appear in your Dashboard.

Alternatively, the site has enabled social login via Facebook.

Other users can follow you if they like your selection of music, and you can also join groups or create your own groups to collaborate with others.  In addition, the DropBox feature enables members of SoundCloud as well as others who aren’t using the service to share their tracks with you.

There’s also a “Comments” feature for artists to engage with their community and vice versa.

The above screenshot also shows the stats an artist obtains from site (right hand side) including number of comments, downloads, favourites and plays.

Branching out beyond pure music publishing, the company released Story Wheel on Monday, to celebrate reaching the 10 million user mark.  The web app allows users to create an audio slideshow, incorporating photos published to Instagram.

“Storywheel.cc allows Instagram users to import their favorite photos and then simply record an audio narrative via Flash in their browser while clicking through their slides.”

It will be interesting to see what other applications the site finds for the audio content it hosts.

Alex Ljung, SoundCloud‘s co-founder and chief executive, said the audio-hosting and streaming site aims to be the YouTube of audio.  Grand aspirations indeed.  Though 5 million new users in the past 7 months, a community that’s largely grown by word-of-mouth, definitely deserves some attention.

Oh – and the reason for the promotion of The Magician?  I saw him at Space in Ibiza last year and he was awesome!  Since then I’ve seen him twice, in small London venues, and he hasn’t disappointed.  Plus I like his use of social media.

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6 thoughts on “SoundCloud – video may have killed the radio star but audio is far from dead

  1. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to
    ask!

  2. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any
    widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this
    for quite some time and was hoping maybe you
    would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I
    look forward to your new updates.

    1. Because my blog is hosted on wordpress.com, they have a selection of pre-built plug-ins including the ability to autotweet new blog posts. Alternatively, you could sign up to a service such as http://twitterfeed.com/ which allows you to add the RSS feed for your blog and then auto-post this to Twitter.

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