SoundCloud continues product updates for creators

In what could be described as the Kerry Trainor era of SoundCloud, starting when the Vimeo ex-CEO took over the Berlin-based streaming platform, a quickened pace of product development seems to be in progress. It’s good news for the creator/uploader community which pays a lot of SoundCloud’s bills via subscriptions for cloud storage of tracks.

Most recently SC announced this week that creators may private-share tracks via mobile, which (perhaps surprisingly) was not available before. Private track sharing harks back to SoundCloud’s founding premise as a collaboration tool for music producers. The company’s consumer proposition and business strategy have evolved radically over the past five years, since a dramatic product shift in December, 2012, which sought to build out broad consumer listening.

Also this month SoundCloud revamped its analytics dashboard that many uploaders consult daily. Part of that work was cosmetic, making the metrics easier on the eyes. Also, creators can now see which of SoundCloud’s music discovery features drive traffic to their tracks — a sharpened view that creators could only guess about (and very often did) before.

While it is too early to know how SC’s new leadership will guide and adjust broad strategy, fast and targeted product development iwould be good news to creators, who, as a generalization, have felt marginalized during the company’s effort to attract a gigantic listener base — even though the result has also driven more traffic to user-generated uploads. According to creators we have spoken to, there is a sense of unfairness to the “YouTube for audio” strategy — the Pro Unlimited uploader plan costs $15/month, while unlimited YouTube uploads are free.

Brad Hill