Has Great Music Sharing Site Soundcloud Reached a Tipping Point?
Has Soundcloud reached the proverbial tipping point? The fantastic music sharing service, designed for musicians and labels as a way to swap tracks without dealing with Sendspace, Rapidshare and the other advertisement-heavy file download services, has, in recent weeks, started drawing our attention because of the new range of labels and musicians who are latching onto it. For the first few years, the Germany-based company, started by two Swedish expats in Berlin, was used mostly by electronic producers. It was this focus that drew our attention when we wrote about Soundcloud in our 2008 best of the year list.
But in the past few months it's jumped over into the rock world. This week the Kill Rock Stars label out of Portland, Oregon started streaming two new albums on Soundcloud; nu metal band the Deftones have uploaded a new track; and itsy Long Beach recording studio Cali Mucho has offered a few of their bands' recordings (put out on Burger Records).
Co-founder Alexander Ljung recently stated that Soundcloud now boasts "close to 600,000 artists and record labels" who use the site. These users do many things with their pages, including offering fantastic (and sometime not so fantastic) bedroom remixes of their favorite music. Take this one, an ethereal take on Beach House's "Zebra."
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If you want to know the whole history of Soundcloud, you'd be advised to watch this interview with co-founder Ljung:
A few newsworthy tidbits from that interview. Soundcloud is working with Abbey Road Studios to provide seamless integration in the mastering process. Bands interested in getting their music mastered by Abbey Road can upload it straight from the studio's site. And the company is currently working with amazing DJ/production tool Ableton Live to provide further integration.
LA's great Alphapup imprint offers new tracks frequently; a lot of times it's the first place they break. Like this one from Nocando:
You can grab Low End Theory mixes from The Glitch Mob's site. Diplo's Mad Decent imprint has been known to drop exclusives and mixes. As well, dubstep tastemaker Mary Anne Hobbs gave a big shoutout to Soundcloud during her Best of 2009 show, saying that she finds a lot of her favorite music at the site. (For example, Skream.)
And then there are the wildly popular unauthorized remixes. Click here to check out a nice mixtape compiled of Soundcloud-only tracks.
Says Ljung of his goal for Soundcloud: "It's not just a website where we have users coming to use it. It's a platform underneath, as well, which can be used by other applications ... The important thing is to get all of these different functions together so that the musicians and the creators make use of all these different cool things on the web." Exactly. It's for this reason that, what with all of MySpace's reported troubles, we'd bet on SoundCloud to eat into the business of bands.
Oh, and West Coast Sound has been known to have fun on Soundcloud, too. Check out our mixes here.
from Soundcloud Gorney, who made the video, tossed us part 2 of the above interview. Here it is:
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