Tech

Published on March 20th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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The Future of Music (According to SoundCloud, Anyway)

I find myself using Soundcloud for something every day.  What was originally designed as a collaborative songwriting tool has become much, much more.  It’s nowhere near as big as YouTube, but it’s an extremely easy to use way of posting and sharing audio.

Vice’s Motherboard spoke with CEO Alexander Ljung about where the company is headed.

Motherboard: When you conceived of SoundCloud, what hole did you see in the world that it could fill or improve upon?
Alexander Ljung: Eric and I both felt that sound was an untapped territory on the web compared to images, video, and text. We wanted to make it as easy to share audio online as it was, say, with pictures, on dedicated services such as Instagram. At the time, there was a clear deficiency in the tools that were available for sharing audio, so we focused on changing that. We certainly were not the first to identify this pain point, but our differentiator was to offer a dedicated platform for sound creators, and build it with the community’s needs in mind.What do you think attracts people to SoundCloud and how do your users typically engage with the content available?
SoundCloud is the largest community of music and audio creators on the web, so we like to think we have something for every taste. Creators on our platform now upload 12 hours of content every minute, spanning a huge range of artists, producers and organisations, from bedroom artists uploading their first demos to Nine Inch Nails and Beyoncé debuting their latest singles. Users can repost their favourites to their own profiles, effectively curating their own channel of content. Since launching at the end of 2012, this has proven to be a very popular feature.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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