SXSW in Austin, TX is one of the premiere events for labels to showcase their upcoming artists. We thought we’d turn the tables and showcase some of the folks behind the scenes, and one of the many types of users on our platform.
SoundCloud isn’t just a great platform for artists and labels, but one for PR companies as well. With services like private sharing, streaming music, and statistics, it’s got all the essentials needed for running a great PR campaign.
We spoke with Jay at Terrorbird Media about how he likes using SoundCloud, and some of the features he finds most helpful.
How did you first hear about SoundCloud, and how has it helped you as a promotional tool for your artists? I’m not sure how I first heard about SoundCloud. We’re sent a lot of music in many different forms, and so most likely I first experienced SoundCloud through a submission. I recall thinking immediately that the service was both aesthetically neat & intuitive. It’s a helpful promotional tool because of some of it’s features and also it’s ubiquity. It’s nice that I can make a track secret if I need to send it to a publication considering a premiere. Then I also have the option to use SoundCloud as a landing page if I need to. As for ubiquity, at this point most music fans & bloggers know how to get around the platform, so I don’t need to teach anyone how to embed a SoundCloud file or otherwise share it.
What feature do you find is the most useful so far? Well, for my personal use, I like the dashboard where I can see what my friends are posting and commenting on. I think it’s a useful tool for music discovery. I also love stats, so the real-time stats make me happy. Oh, and I like that SoundCloud is integrated with RootMusic since that’s my go-to app for building artist Facebook players.
What do you like most about private sharing? How about the secret links? As I said, it’s helpful when dealing with sensitive files. Sometimes it’s preferable to send files as a stream rather than as an mp3 file. Private sharing is mainly helpful for pre-release tracks or in the case of licensing when we might want to send a music supervisor a song that we don’t want to make available as a download or stream to the general public. Here’s an instance of us distributing a track as a streaming Soundcloud player: http://pitchfork.com/forkcast/15302-without-you/. This particular track didn’t start as an exclusive, but plenty of outlets picked up on the widget.
With SXSW coming up next month, how have you used SoundCloud to integrate in your promotions? We make a sampler every year with songs from the artists playing our annual showcase. We will use SoundCloud to build and distribute. Meanwhile, you can check out some of the bands headed to SXSW below:
Want to learn more about how SoundCloud can be used from a PR perspective? Check out our SoundCloud 101 for PRs here: http://soundcloud.com/101/pr
Intelligence Squared Podcast - turmoil in the Arab World
Intelligence Squared, the world’s premier debating forum, recently held an impromptu debate on the current uprisings in the Middle East and have made the audio free to listen to via SoundCloud. Take a listen and join in with the debate by adding your thoughts in the time line!
“But I think there’s still a lot of action in the content creation space. I’ll be exploring some of the best and most promising content creation services over the coming weeks here on ReadWriteWeb, in a series called ‘The Creative Web.’ The first service we’ll look at is a startup from Berlin, Germany, called SoundCloud. It’s a platform to publish music and audio to the Web - and it’s been experiencing rapid growth.”—
History has proved that predicting the direction of a technology is a very hard thing to do. The general rule seems to be that a technology will, after contact with a large set of variables evolving together, such other technologies, contact with early adopters and culture, find new use cases. The examples are numerous.
Thomas Edison thought his phonograph would be used mainly to record last-minute bequests of the dying. The radio was thought to be the ideal device for delivering sermons to rural farmers and the Internet was planned to be a disaster-proof communication backup. None of these were right, but I think we can agree they found their use case and worked out pretty well.
That’s the reason I’m a bit frustrated every time I see someone being overly skeptical about audio sharing services. Particularly SoundCloud comes to mind, which seems to be very well positioned. The skeptics’ arguments are usually something like; there’s no money to be made in music, people are not excited about podcasts, sound is not efficient compared to text or video is more compelling. I think these arguments demonstrate either a lack of vision of what the web can (will) become, too much focus on existing media forms and use cases, or an underestimation of timing (don’t want to be too harsh though :-).
The web has so far been very silent and I’ve been thinking about this for around two years. I think the web in many ways can be seen as an extension of our senses, so to me infrastructure for ubiquitous sharing of sound is a very logical part of the web. And, with the wildfire adoption of sophisticated mobile phones and the increasing speed of mobile broadband at a more affordable price, it has become even clearer. Just as mobile cameras are the extension of our eyes, the speakers and microphones in our mobile phones will be the extension of our ears and voices. Also one should keep in mind the growing number of new instruments and tools for music creation and potentially a range of machines that either can or need to transfer sound to humans (speculating a bit here…).
Sure video can deliver a combination of sound and images, but sound alone is different. Sound will be an important part of new emerging media forms. We will see a rich variety of new art forms and genres, and audio will no doubt play an important role. Not to forget that the number of people making music is growing and also that sound has the potential to make the web more accessible.
However, I’m sure there are at least hundreds if not thousands of other use cases for audio in many aspects of our lives and across or within fields that might not even yet exist. Only in a comment thread that has been active for a couple of days you can see some interesting ideas. All of them unrelated to music.
Timing is obviously an important factor. None of those building infrastructure for sound on the web today might be getting it exactly right. Most likely they aren’t. However, there’s a fair chance they will figure it all out as they evolve. Regardless, at some point ubiquitous sharing of sound will happen, and as a result we will have a better and more interesting web.
As this week’s SoundCloud Local city, we’re virtually welcoming you to Cape Town, South Africa, and its wonderful SoundCloud users! Have a listen to the diverse range we found by clicking here or the image above.
Decipher this Gang of Four interview & win a prize
Help Drowned in Sound decipher this interview with Andy Gill from Gang of Four! They’re looking for a transcription of the interview below, and the person who is talented/determined enough to do this will win a lovely prize!