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One Eighth of Internet Users Make a Noise on SoundCloud

If you cre­ate music than you need to be on SoundCloud.

When 180 mil­lion Inter­net users choose to share, upload, remix or lis­ten to music using your web­site, you know you must be onto something.

Sound­Cloud, estab­lished in Berlin in 2008, has just released the lat­est ver­sion of its music shar­ing ser­vice. Sim­ply called ‘Next’, this lat­est offer­ing is cer­tain to fill those on the look­out for media jobs, with hope as it hatch­es plans to make the shar­ing of sounds and music online even more intu­itive, as it adds improved rec­om­men­da­tions, search and dis­cov­ery and auto­mat­ic fol­lows gen­er­at­ed by the social media plat­forms they con­nect with. In fact it’s been so suc­cess­ful that over 10 hours of sounds are uploaded to the plat­form every minute of every day. Now that’s a lot of noise.

This suc­cess has not gone unno­ticed – so far the com­pa­ny has attract­ed over $60 mil­lion in three rounds from investors includ­ing Klein­er, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers; GGV Cap­i­tal, Union Square Ven­tures and Doughty Han­son Tech­nol­o­gy Ventures.

With fund­ing in place, the com­pa­ny is also poised and ready to take full advan­tage of the impend­ing shift to mobile brows­ing and expect mobile to become the dom­i­nant plat­form for their prod­uct, as founder Alex Ljung explains:

“It’s not a bat­tle between video and audio, or audio and text — they are good for dif­fer­ent things,” he said. “But sound is eas­i­er to cre­ate and to lis­ten to in par­al­lel while doing some­thing else. Sound does­n’t need a screen.”

What About the Competition?

We all know about Pan­do­ra, and Spo­ti­fy  – music shar­ing giants, that both offer unique user expe­ri­ences. Spo­ti­fy, yet to make a big dent in the US, offers a fair­ly straight­for­ward Inter­net radio expe­ri­ence – choose to lis­ten to music you like, build playlists etc etc.

Pan­do­ra on the oth­er hand offers some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. It’s inno­v­a­tive Music Genome Project means the ser­vice actu­al­ly ‘learns’ to make sug­ges­tions based on the musi­cal choic­es users make. The secret behind the project is the fact that rather than use data analy­sis and algo­rithms to deter­mine appro­pri­ate sug­ges­tions, it actu­al­ly uses humans to col­late the 800,000 songs analysed since the project began back in 2000.

Sound­Cloud offers some­thing dif­fer­ent again how­ev­er. Some­thing very dif­fer­ent. This is ‘Sound’ Cloud. Not ‘music’ cloud. This ser­vice offers a whole raft of nois­es, from cry­ing babies and dogs bark­ing, to entire Pres­i­den­tial address­es, as well as the lat­est tunes in cat­e­gories as diverse and clas­si­cal, hip hop, jazz and urban. These are avail­able not only to lis­ten to, but also to play with and to remix. Your cre­ations can then also be uploaded to Sound­Cloud and hey presto! You’re a musi­cal genius.

Will it Bring Success?

By offer­ing such a diverse col­lec­tion of sounds as well as music, and by giv­ing users the oppor­tu­ni­ty – via hun­dreds of cre­ation and shar­ing apps avail­able on the plat­form – to make their own sounds and to share them pub­licly and pri­vate­ly there are lost of mon­e­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. Just imag­ine – every time a new pro­duc­tion tool or edit­ing func­tion is added – pro­vid­ed it’s good enough, peo­ple will pay.

Ama­teur cre­ators can access a free account; while more advanced mem­bers can pay to access stats, cus­tom brand­ing and con­trolled dis­tri­b­u­tion. For the more adven­tur­ous – Snoop Dogg and Big Boi are includ­ed in this num­ber – they can upload sounds or whole or par­tial songs and let their fans remix them. A great way of get­ting inti­mate with fans and per­haps bag­ging a great new remix into the bargain.

This new empha­sis on search­ing and dis­cov­ery means peo­ple should find it eas­i­er to find con­tent that’s rel­e­vant to them.

Ljung con­tin­ued: “We have launched an explor­er sec­tion. You can get new fresh con­tent. We mea­sure a lot of things like how active peo­ple have been with the sound, so we real­ly have the stuff that is new.

He explained that they rebuilt the search that takes into account a num­ber of para­me­ters, but at its heart it uses machine learn­ing to under­stand your inter­ests and allow you to find rel­e­vant con­tent more quick­ly. Of course this is not unlike the Pan­do­ra Music Genome, although the Sound­Cloud team firm­ly believe that the abil­i­ty to not only share and lis­ten, but to actu­al­ly inter­act and change it if they want to, and then share it right back, sets their prod­uct apart.

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