I wanted to chime in on this topic because its gone gone a little quiet recently. In case you didn’t already know – one of my favourite music platforms – Soundcloud fired 40% of its staff and closed many of its offices around the world to cut costs/allow it to thrive a little longer. Basically after forecasting, Soundcloud bosses Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss figured as of July 12 it would have 80 days to survive (full article on the situation here at TechCrunch)
Alarming stuff. Mostly so because its been the platform of choice for many rappers and producers over the years. Chance the Rapper told Twitter he’d been on the phone to Alex and he’s going to save the platform. But how? Alex refused to comment. In light of all this… Its still obvious Soundcloud is in deep trouble. I wish it wasn’t for obvious reasons but weighing up the pros and cons (listed below) its hard to envision a future for the site. Even this article which says Alex has been offered substantial amounts of investment to keep it alive, can’t convince me there are better days ahead for the site. I think people will eventually move on. The site hasn’t been listening to its core for a long time.
PROS – Why I Like Soundcloud
- Its the only true social media site built solely around my first love – music.
- The stats system is great for artists/Labels. You can literally see who plays you most, that kind of thing. Great for knowing who your fans are.
- Its simple and I’ve grown fond of it somewhat as the first place to put music. Its the quickest/easiest alongside Bandcamp for independent artists.
- True music lovers go here and share as a standard function of the site. Love this.
- The community aspect means you get to know other music lovers. Unique to soundloud to be fair.
CONS – Things I Don’t Like About Soundcloud
- It hasn’t moved with the times very well. The design has been the same since 2 or 3 years ago (it feels like)
- They cut their “Groups” feature which a lot of fans LOVED (i didn’t know this until many people said in a recent facebook thread i had started)
- Buggy as hell. At one stage it made all private tracks public overnight. Scary news.
- Doesn’t have a solid business model to pay artists well / pay itself well. Everything has failed up until now.
- Fans of the site will not pay for it because they can go elsewhere like Spotify, YouTube etc. Most of the fans there are there because its free & interactive. However, I don’t think a casual fan will pay 9.99 for a subscription.
- The Go platform flopped.
- Related Tracks algorithm is almost always batshit random & I’m like “what the f is this crap?” almost everytime it comes on.
- Lack of innovation. They’ve just kept it the same since it came out. Spruced up the GUI once or twice, and thats it.
- You can’t tell where the money for your Pro subscription has gone.
I feel like the site doesn’t have the potential it once had. So even though the site isn’t really dead – a lot of us fear that soon it will be.
I feel like the site will soon be archived like Vine & remembered fondly by its users. Our true fans will look for us elsewhere.
Until that day, I’ll be posting music & wondering what the future holds for streaming sites.
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