SoundCloud announced via email to its subscribers today that the “Classic” version of its site would be discontinued in one week. “We appreciate that this represents a change that some of you have been hoping we wouldn’t make,” the email stated, “but it’s something we must do.”
New SoundCloud users are mostly unaware of “Classic” Soundcloud, which was the browser experience previous to a design change in December, 2012. The change met an unfavorable response among some portion of SoundCloud’s paying subscribers (mostly people who upload audio files to share on the platform), and the company generously kept the old version running in parallel with the new version for all this time.
In a private Facebook group of SoundCloud uploaders called The Piano Cloud, the mood was uneasy today in anticipation of the “Classic” closure. A few members noted that some legacy SoundCloud features exist only in “Classic,” and the company has not announced whether they will be retained. In addition, some users prefer “Classic” because of purportedly superior social functions. When SoundCloud revised the site a year and a half ago, the strategic emphasis was on growing the listening audience, and some creators/uploaders who rely on the platform for collaboration felt that side of the experience to be reduced.
SoundCloud made news in January when it closed a $60-million funding round, during which the new investors voiced the goal of becoming “the YouTube of audio.”