The best ideas are considered the simplest. There are few things more simple than soundcloud views, which in their seven year existence has sneakily become one of the better things online. How’d it get there? Slowly, surely, together with a cadre of artists as diverse since the internet itself.
SoundCloud is to music in 2014 what MySpace was to bands in 2004. Except, you already know, without all of the blingee bullshit. You can upload every one of the sounds you desire, follow people to hear the sounds they’re posting, and save or repost them. It’s music interaction and discovery distilled to the purest form, house to just as many famous artists as ones that might be soon. It’s as close to indispensable as you become on the internet today.
That’s why it was actually so troubling when rumors started to circulate that Twitter was thinking about buying SoundCloud. Fortunately those purported talks were suspended, because SoundCloud is by and large among the rare pure and positive things on the web how the world, in a artistic sense, can be worse off without.
SoundCloud is more than just backyard indie musicians seeking to be discovered. Want to discover a new track from the favorite underground rapper? Increasingly more often, you’ll believe it is first SoundCloud. Wish to hear the newest from Beyonce or Drake? Also SoundCloud. It’s where music lands before it lands on Spotify, before it hits iTunes, before elsewhere by any means. It’s house to multi-platinum recording artists, random kids recording beats within their bedroom, and everyone in between.
What makes SoundCloud stand out is that delivers a tool for musicians to make and distribute their art with a level playing field. Produce a song, post it on SoundCloud-no expensive record deal or distribution plan required. Every minute, 12 hours newest music is uploaded for the service. So, unsurprisingly it’s pretty generous with space. Around two hours of uploaded content articles are free, four hours is $55/year, and unlimited space for $135/year. For most people which means SoundCloud costs nothing to work with and liberated to enjoy, another increasingly rare find.
That accessibility is why SoundCloud a no-holds-barred destination for artists to plop almost all their sounds, without frill or folly. It’s a no-brainer. Within that idea is perhaps why SoundCloud has blown up in past times year or two, now nearing 300 million users, up from 200 million last July. That popularity’s not difficult to clarify; whenever you develop a platform for musicians, who are naturally inclined to advertise themselves, your merchandise gets promoted in the process. Everyone wins!
“I’ve been achieving this for slightly and I’ve tried several sites and this is actually the only person that worked,” André Allen Anjos of R.A.C. believed to Gizmodo.”The main thing that first got me in it was really the level of tracks you can build. It seems like a particular nowadays however, when I was accomplishing this even just in 2008, and then there were very few sites where you can upload your music and I experienced a good bit of it. That’s what initially drew me into it, but it ended up being a excellent community for my type of music and the kind of weird electronic crossover things.”
Build a spot for music to have and breath, and music will grow in ways you couldn’t imagine. That’s exactly what is happening on SoundCloud.
“SoundCloud is where music culture happens on the internet. It’s where it originates,” CTO and co-founder Eric Wahlforss told Gizmodo.
He’s absolutely right. We’re within an exciting, genre-busting era of music, thanks to an environment in which artists of all the styles can connect through some fibers and tubes. And where they’re doing the work most is on SoundCloud. Artists you wouldn’t traditionally think about as collaborating are coming together.
In 2012, Snoop Dogg discovered Polish artist Iza Lach via SoundCloud. He was considering what he heard, he flew to Poland, recorded what Wahlforss said was “nearly 100” songs, and ultimately signed her to his label. If you go to Snoop’s SoundCloud page today, you’ll see him reposting tracks from a myriad of other artists you’ve probably never heard of. It’s not to imply that each and every artist on SoundCloud is good, but established artists are finding ones which are.
Go ahead and take case of Beyonce’s surprise album, which dropped back in December. Several tracks in the album were made by Boots, an artist who was largely unknown until he revealed to the internet which he was taking care of Mrs. Carter’s album. If the internet is in a rush to determine who Boots was, where did they turn? His SoundCloud page, which was peppered with references to tracks that ultimately ended up on Beyonce. Point being, you could possibly know nothing about an artist, however, you can almost definitely have a look at his / her SoundCloud page to acquire a quick feeling of what they’re about. Fast forward to around six months later, and Boots is dropping their own excellent mixtape. It’s unclear whether Beyonce found originally him on SoundCloud, although the platform was undoubtedly a part of the equation.
Boots may fall inside the lines of electronic, and Beyonce, R&B or pop. Snoop Dogg is rap, sure. And Iza Lach is a thing else entirely. That these particular artists work together is indicative of the new genre lines that happen to be being drawn and demolished, sometimes throughout the same track.
“There’s every one of these different genres and interesting things sprouting up each day. It’s sort of hard to take care of but it’s been interesting to see that unfold on SoundCloud,” R.A.C. says. “I remember actually 2009 or 2010 when dubstep was kinda transforming into a thing, SoundCloud was there and sort of at the center of it. However, not just dubstep. Lots of other genres-the most up-to-date resurgence of deep house and that sort of thing I feel like it was in several ways fueled by that. Nowadays I see it moving not only toward electronic music but everybody.”
There’s a massive music map that’s growing on SoundCloud. Says Sam Sawyer, marketing head of popular indie label Subpop:
“Washed Out is probably the chill-wavest bands ever, that was a subgenre that didn’t exist ahead of the internet, before people could share, before fans can find these matters. You already know you will find Witch House bands and all sorts of the weird subgenres. EDM has changed in a manner that never could have been possible prior to the internet. I definitely don’t feel that would have been possible without using services like SoundCloud. It’s definitely changed the landscape of methods music is produced and sort of opened the entranceway to get weird or finding people around the world who share your love for, you understand whatever weird subgenre of 70s South American disco and totally extrapolating off that and creating some crazy new amalgamation that no one’s really heard of.”
Discovery is just one of those dumb internet words that gets repeated until it loses all meaning, but on SoundCloud it really matters. Mad Decent frontman and producer Diplo offers the page DiploApproved, where he consistently posts tracks from people you’ve probably never heard about. But he feels you should, so he’s posting these people to share a bit part of the pie. He’s not the only one with this sentiment. R.A.C. says he does a similar.
“Obviously as my career builds I want to bring my buddies along along with this repost thing I will give them some my audience. It’s not every on me however i possess a friend’s band called Speak and I’ve known them for a long period and that i just reposted some of their tracks and so on their SoundCloud and other social media things are 80dexnpky to move.”
Reposting, commenting on servings of tracks, etc. Great, easy features that will make SoundCloud an all natural tool to utilize. But there was another word that consistently popped up in conversations I needed about SoundCloud: embeddability. SoundCloud embeds on Twitter, Facebook, this website, any website, and elsewhere really. Simply click your chosen music blog, or any blog for that matter. SoundCloud is everywhere. As it needs to be. But that had been always portion of the plan, as Wahlforss said:
“The way you can interact, became important could possibly be portion of the fabric of your web everywhere. Also you have a great degree of control as a creator of the things you publish and exactly how you publish it and you may kind of spread it around in a fashion that enables virality.”
“Before SoundCloud existed we did the same when we’re promoting an album essentially, it’s just easier now,” Sawyer said. “We employed to host our personal tracks and our downloads on our website maybe eight years back, therefore we would direct people there nevertheless in a more passive way. It was pre-MySpace, people must be far more proactive when it comes to the direction they discovered music, plus they would be required to seek it all out. And now you know, we form of push it into people’s feeds via Soundcloud.”
The only real catch? Nothing good stays free-or at least not ad-free-forever. SoundCloud told Gizmodo that finding out that dirty little word “monetization” is one of its next struggles, but it’s a challenge they’re not implementing lightly. And the Twitter overture, even though it seemingly didn’t pan out, was actually a stark reminder that unless youtube marketing figures out how to be profitable, it could suffer the same fate as any number of promising services that get gobbled up by way of a bigger fish and disappear.
We’ve heard from some music industry sources that SoundCloud is working together with major labels on licensing deals, and from others that it comes with a pre-roll ad model, similar to YouTube, from the works. Hopefully that’ll be enough. There is lots of proper happening in music right now; interesting artists popping up, genres being created, rules changed. As well as the bigger SoundCloud gets, the greater number of possible those evolutions will end up, one mixtape at any given time.