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How SoundCloud Aims To Recreate Spotify’s Success

SoundCloud took the world by storm in 2007 when it became the only dedicated platform for music sharing. It gave people an avenue to share and listen to independent music away from the mainstream scene.

Back then, SoundCloud was the only platform where independent artists could publish their tracks even without the help of a recording label. It was also a place where avid fans could discover fresh and underrated tracks without leaving their homes.

Together, indie music makers, amateur producers, and avid music fans created a robust community that changed the way digital music is shared and consumed.

Despite facing hard financial times, artists like Chance The Rapper publicly voice their support for the platform — which just goes to show how important SoundCloud is to the community.

The Berlin-based company recently released a new music discovery feature called The Upload, which is eerily similar to Spotify's user-specific playlists. The Upload aims to make track recommendations to users based on the type of music they listen to on SoundCloud, and it also becomes more accurate over time.

Algorithmically-curated playlists have changed the way people discover tracks and content on every platform, and they can also be SoundCloud's saving grace by helping them connect to more mobile users.

SoundCloud vs. Newer Music Streaming Platforms

SoundCloud blew everyone away 10 years ago by being the only web-based community that helped independent and amateur artists distribute their music. It also gave music fans an opportunity to discover fresh and underrated tracks from up and coming artists.

People particularly loved how easy it was to upload tracks and how simple the interface looked. SoundCloud was a straightforward platform that made music sharing and interaction perfectly simple for everyone.

Over the years, SoundCloud became a playground for both independent and mainstream artists alike by solving the hosting issue many of them faced. That’s why you can find some great underground tracks the very same way you can find Drake's latest single.

However, as problems with SoundCloud began to emerge, new platforms arose. Enter the competition: Spotify.

Image credit: TechCrunch

Users began abandoning SoundCloud mainly because many artists were caught abusing the repost feature, which pushed their tracks on everyone’s feed every few days. During this time, SoundCloud was facing an existential crisis and was too focused on striking a licensing deal with as many record labels as possible.

The highlight of it all was SoundCloud pleading for emergency funding from investors early this year. The company was forced to shut down their London office and lay off almost half of their workforce in an attempt to save money.

News broke that SoundCloud only had a few weeks to live but investors stepped in at the last minute and gave the company the financial lifeline they needed to stay afloat.

Alex Ljung, left, and Kerry Trainor, right. Image credit: Recode

Through a new Series F funding round, SoundCloud was able to secure $170 million from its investors, giving the company another shot at life for at least another decade.

The company also had to make internal changes to comply with the demands of their investors. Alex Ljung had to step down as the CEO and was replaced by former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor while the COO position was filled by another Vimeo alumnus, Mike Weissman.

The Upload: SoundCloud’s Saving Grace

Aside from making changes within the management, SoundCloud is also hard at work in creating new features that will make their music and platform accessible to even more users.

Just recently, SoundCloud released a new feature called The Upload, a music discovery tool that learns the type of music you like and gives you a personalized playlist of freshly uploaded tracks.

Image credit: The SoundCloud Blog

The Upload is an algorithmically-curated program that sways in the direction of your music preference the longer you use it. If you're fond of using SoundCloud to discover underground hip-hop music, it will start recommending freshly uploaded tracks that fall under that genre every day.

Although The Upload sounds like an exact replica of Spotify's playlist, it promises to give users a more pleasant and immersive experience by recommending the freshest tracks on their platform. It also has a better playlist interface compared to Spotify in some cases, such as featuring an artist’s album art right beside the track title.

SoundCloud has a library of over 125 million songs to date and most of those songs don't end up being played more than twice. The Upload aims to help tracks get more plays from even more users by pushing them directly into a person's unique playlist.

Having been in the business longer than any of their competitors, SoundCloud has the advantage of curating millions upon millions of songs to their listeners. Now is the best time for an up and coming musician to be on SoundCloud. The Upload can help you reach out to listeners who are most likely to turn into avid fans.

To increase your chances of amassing a following on SoundCloud, you should buy yourself a few thousand Plays to strengthen your credibility as a musician on the platform. The more Plays you have, the more people will want to see why you’re so popular. They’ll play your tracks, and, if they like them, they’ll Follow you to get your latest posts.

Together with The Upload, your bought SoundCloud plays can help you get the initial attention you need to get your career off the ground.

SoundCloud Is Reinventing Itself

After facing what could be their biggest financial hurdle of the year, SoundCloud is slowly but surely reinventing itself. The music sharing company has proven its ability to adapt to every situation it's presented with — at their own pace, but adapt nonetheless.

SoundCloud has and always will be an important community in the music scene. It's a place where musicians can publish their work and slowly build their careers while music fans unearth underrated tracks away from the mainstream noise.

The Upload may not be the most original update SoundCloud has released but it's a great way to make tracks more discoverable to even more listeners. It definitely seems like a feature that belongs on the platform.

If you want to gain the attention of passionate music fans, you need to be on SoundCloud — now more than ever. Being on SoundCloud is the best way to get your music heard by the right kind of listener.

Another way to kickstart your career on SoundCloud is by purchasing an impressive number of Plays from a tried-and-tested provider. Bought SoundCloud Plays will help you stand out in the sea of independent artists that are already on the platform.

SoundCloud has proven you can teach an old dog new tricks and it will continue to evolve as the year unfolds – so you should start sharing your music through its platform TODAY.

Date: September 22, 2017 / Categories: New Stuff, / Author: Mariko



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