Soundcloud, too good to be true


#1

Soundcloud is in financial trouble again. There is a possibility it might shut down this time.
I like how Soundcloud’s platform makes it feel like you can put anything you want up there. I also enjoy following folks and then playing what is effectively a radio-station of their latest releases.
Listening to music on YouTube seems fundamentally different than listening on Soundcloud.
Y’all got thoughts on Soundcloud and what a potential new version or replacement might look like?


#2

It’s so frustrating to see it potentially leaving us because that site worked very well for getting unknown start-up musicians and podcasters a platform. It’s one of those rare sites where anyone who used it could get seemingly just what they needed from it, from the upstart people finding a place to distribute their work for the first time to the established artists using it do drop demos and previews. I hope something springs up in Soundcloud’s spot, because that was a valuable place.


#3

As a remixer who became well-known mostly due to SoundCloud and then had my account deleted from the site , I’m bitter about the whole thing. SoundCloud was amazing when it first started, a platform specifically for musicians, sound artists and podcasters to really put up whatever they want, like you say, @Clyde. It’s hard to imagine now, but there were forums for remix contests, and freedom of expression, even when that didn’t necessarily line up with copyright law, was encouraged. Then the forums became locked off to paid members after too much spamming, and I don’t know if the site even has forums now???

I thought that it was the right place for frequent remixers to be.

However, SoundCloud was not able to sustain itself, I guess, and around 2015 they started floundering, wiping remixes off the site to please media companies and clean up their act. Trying to get bought, while simultaneously snuffing every report that they were trying to get bought. No one bought them, as we now know, and so all that backstabbing of the original user base was for nothing. I had songs that were up on SoundCloud for two years and were all of the sudden getting copyright takedowns. It’s a three strike system, so after I lost three songs without a chance to argue my case, I was out.

But it’s not just remix rats like me. Famous producers who got their start on SoundCloud also have a hard time. Artist Groundislava recently said on Twitter that it was hard for him to work with the site anymore, because his backlog is always hanging out on his page. This is because SoundCloud tries to serve up a Spotify level of coverage and will pull songs from your distributor, which should be a completely different thing, without you even uploading them. And it’s super hard to make changes to stuff that goes through distro.

I think that if SoundCloud, in the face of crackdowns on YouTube, Twitch and other sites, were to become the safest place for remix culture on the Internet, like put some real fucking walls in and make the deals that need to be made, even if they charged everyone and had no free usership, it would still be around. It would be a smaller company but it would still be around, and the Internet would be better for it.

But instead you’re 10 years in and you’re still blowing money like a startup, so fuck it, then.


#4

soundcloud was a great service but i can’t remember the last time a website so well-known and widely used had to close because they did math so badly they went bankrupt. and idk there’s still bandcamp, which i’ve personally had way more success with as an independent musician


#5

It sucks because I was slowly moving more to Soundcloud. Years ago I bought a lifetime premium subscription to Tindeck because it was on sale and I had disposable income lying around, but Tindeck’s had a big “we’re for sale! any buyers?” banner appear on every page of the site for over a year now so I figured they were on the ropes. Soundcloud definitely seemed to be the more stable of the two music hosting services.

But… I guess not.


#6

I liked SoundCloud because it felt like every time I went back to it I could find something new an interesting to listen to. Friends and I have a bot in our Discord server that can play songs from the site and some nights we just go find things to have it play.

If SoundCloud does go under does anyone have any an alternatives they know of? I came across Fanburst awhile ago because Roll20 switched to it and it seems alright but I haven’t used it enough to really have an opinion on it.


#7

I couldn’t believe it when I heard that they were recently giving new employees Macbooks and everyone these really lavish-sounding catered meals every day, while there were consistently news reports saying they were not doing that well. That’s nice and all, but at the end of the day I’d rather you still be a company and me still have a job. I’ll bring my lunch in!!

So as far as some other sites, Mixcloud is where a lot of DJs have already gone after Soundcloud started to get ridiculous with copyright stuff.

Audiomack used to be a partner with SoundCloud and is attempting to position themselves to be the successor after it goes down, but I don’t know if I trust them to not just get in the same position.

There was one other site that was claiming to be able to host remixes completely without risk of copyright strikes, but I can’t find it, so I guess that went well.


#8

Uh…


#9

I can comfortably say I didn’t see this one happening, haha.


#10

It’s not my money, but here is hoping that he gets enough of a controlling stake that he can put someone into a position where they can solve some of the problems mentioned earlier.


#11

even though i think SoundCloud as a site kind of sucks and i’m no fan of Chance The Rapper (especially after the whole MTV News thing about him forcing them to pull an essay that was mildly critical of his music), for the sake of the community that exists on there i’m glad SoundCloud will still be sticking around for awhile. there just aren’t many places for artists who don’t have big PR buxx behind them to get their music out there and noticed, and the fact that it doubles as a social network makes that a little easier. that said, it seems like it was a lot easier in the earlier days than it was now - the landscape for most artists sucks in so many ways right now. the landscape is oversaturated and artists who have a lot of PR and money have a huge advantage in getting coverage, and the big sites only tend to write about a handful of popular artists. so much musical culture exists on the margins right now. and that’s why losing SoundCloud would have still been a huge blow, even though it’s not a great place in many ways.


#12

Update!

SoundCloud’s investors have the ability to tank the company today. Their only other option is to keep it around and work as hard as possible to liquidate it or sell it. Either way, it’s probably not gonna make it through the year in its current state.


#13

This does seem like a massive shame, but also like Soundcloud failed to identify where it needed to exist in the online music ecosystem. While it definitely helped artists get their start in the interesting, but the pivot away from remixes sounds like it put the site on a definite downwards trajectory. What a bummer?


#14

Yep. I already had my rant in here, but they definitely saw what completely different services like Spotify were doing and tried to chase it (along with everyone else trying to chase it) instead of strengthening their own brand and community. I feel like there’s another universe in which they stayed smaller and prosperous. I wouldn’t mind being there.


#15

Well good news sounds like they got their money at the cost of one ceo.