FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014|
Posted by: K. Hess
SoundCloud is preparing for a massive overhaul. The platform has been an island in its genre for a number of years now. It is the second largest music streaming platform in the world — coming in behind YouTube, and knocking out Spotify — and yet, it is the only one of its kind that has yet to conform to the realities of the industry: Money. On the one hand, the site is ad-free. On the other hand, it doesn't offer artists any kind of compensation for the streaming of their contributions. This, they have promised, is heading for a change.
The company boasts some pretty impressive statistics. According to SoundCloud, more than 12 hours of music is uploaded to the site every minute. They also claim that a staggering 90 percent of those tracks actually get played at some point or another. This kind of exposure is exactly why the platform that helped launch Lorde's career has managed to operate thus far without having to offer any kind of monetary compensation.
We hear that loud and clear, CTO Eric Wahlforss said in response to the industry-wide calls from artists looking to generate the revenue that has become harder and harder to come by in the age of Internet downloads. The company has announced that they are looking into ways to monetize the platform, and ultimately, share the wealth. Most likely that translates into SoundCloud exploring advertising options.
Phase one of the SoundCloud growth spurt is this week's update of their iPhone app. Within the last six months the company has seen over two thirds of their listeners tuning in on their mobile devices, and so the updates focus on designing a more listener-friendly experience. Although you can no longer record and upload directly to the site from the app, you no longer need to login to an account in order to listen on your mobile device. Even the visual interface has been edited to include larger buttons for an easier quick play experience. A similar update for their Android app is on its way through the pipes.
While the company hasn't discussed any details of their plans to monetize, they have announced to users that their investigation is an active one, and they are working on a spectrum of options.