Monday, March 18, 2013

Soundcloud Goes Pro

SoundCloud logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
SoundCloud, the song hosting service that provides instant audio streaming of your material, has just announced a new subscription service called SoundCloud Pro. The new Pro and Pro Unlimited plans replace the previous Premium Lite, Solo, Pro and Pro Plus programs.

The company didn't mention many details in their press release last week, but it leads one to believe that this has much to do with its recent agreement to be the audio backbone of Twitter Music. In fact, you could see this coming when SoundCloud basically rebuilt it's platform in December, improving the user interface and making it Flash-free.

My guess here is that SoundCloud saw in Twitter Music an opportunity to scale in a way not possible otherwise. They could get massive growth in a short period of time, which is a way for their investors to make their money back and more. In fact, SoundCloud received $50 million in January 2012 from KPCB, one of the most revered venture firms in Silicon Valley. KPCB also happens to be an investor in Twitter as well, so this collaboration was probably baked way back then and only coming out of the oven now.

While you could look at all this cynically as just a money grab, I don't think it is. On all sides there are well-regarded, highly competent people that have a tradition of caring for the customer as well as for making money. That's why I look forward to both the new SoundCloud and Twitter Music. What we see now is probably only the tip of the iceberg.


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1 comment:

Siggid├│ri said...

I really like many of Soundcloud's features but the seriously need to improve the audio quality of their audio stream. I really like using private playlists when I'm working on mixes and masters for artists, but streaming at 128kbps is not cutting it. Especially if you're a paying customer. Another thing. When my Pro subscription at Soundcloud ran it's course few weeks ago they (with out warning as far as I know) deleted most of my uploads and therefor throwing hours of work in the trash... the song and playlist pages are "there" but I have no idea if the old uploads will re-appear if I start paying again or if I delete some stuff I don't want.

So ... if they improve the quality and stop pissing of paying customers... they might be on to something.


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