SoundCloud

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Dylan Ratigan, who had been using his SoundCloud account in a great way for sharing recordings and sounds, just found another great way to make use of audio: responding to emails he gets using audio. He calls this Dylan’s Inbox and it’s very cool.

Listen to a first set of audio questions in this set.

Pro tip from team SoundCloud: why not try out http://takesquestions.com and enable people to also use audio to ask questions instead of email.

SoundCloud Showcase: PRs

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 Karen Piper over at Radar Maker about how she likes using SoundCloud, and some of the features she finds most helpful.

How did you first hear about SoundCloud, and how has it helped you as a promotional tool for your artists?
We’ve had a think around the office and we’ve decided that we heard about SoundCloud either through someone here who runs a blog receiving an email about it OR spotting a dropbox on a blog. We aren’t entirely sure. We use SoundCloud with all of our artists to varying degrees - we’ve integrated SoundCloud into the company site’s artist pages using a custom player, so all of our available music is there to play / link / download / embed. More often than not we use SoundCloud to send music to sites for review or posting. We have also used SoundCloud to run remix competitions, social strategies (Share to download, etc), integrated with Facebook campaigns, featured artist mixtapes, website integration, and to build password-protected digital promo pages for artists and run full album stream exclusive with partner sites (Hype Machine, The Guardian).

What feature do you find is the most useful so far?
It’s hard to choose just one feature that we find most useful. The secret link / private sharing has changed the way we use SoundCloud the most, so perhaps we’d choose that. We can now host all of our assets without making them public for the world and build on top of the API to create any number of interesting access points. We have yet to use the REC button feature, but we are just waiting for the right artist and the right opportunity as I think it could be an incredibly interesting way to push SoundCloud into a new area of creative promotion.

What do you like most about using the secret widgets for promo pages? Any awesome examples so far?
It’s just easy. When building promo pages for our artists previously we needed to code it from the ground up with secure Flash players, password protection, individual users, etc. After realising that we could use SoundCloud to integrate the music into a page we’ve managed to customise the backend for our site (and some clients) to make building a promo page a matter of minutes instead of hours. We use this exclusively now to build promo pages for Wichita Recordings as part of a WordPress backend.

With SXSW coming up this week, how have you used SoundCloud to integrate in your promotions?
We often use SoundCloud as an extention to text-based press releases. It allows us to give a bit of colour to an otherwise (if we’re honest) fairly boring piece of writing by including some music. We will be sending out mixtapes of our artists playing. We will also be using SoundCloud to create digital samplers for some clients to highlight the artists they have playing at the festival. We have Wolf Gang out there playing some amazing shows.

Wolf Gang - Dancing With The Devil by wolfgang

Dam Mantle - Movement by Wichita Recordings The Dodos - Black Night by Wichita Recordings Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) by The Vaccines No Room To Live by Wichita Recordings Understand At All by Wichita Recordings

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

Don’t forget to follow Radar Maker on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/radarmakeruk) and Twitter (@radarmaker_hq ) for all their latest updates!

SoundCloud Showcase: PRs

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 Adam over at Toast Press 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 can’t recall as to whether someone told me about SoundCloud or if I’d seen the player used somewhere, it’s more likely I’d have seen the SoundCloud player, It’s eye catching, clean and simple. It fast became an immediate recognisable signifier, just like a brand/logo, it’s unmistakable.

With so many varying blogging platforms from Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal and Blogspot, my usual practice in the past was to simply use YouSendIt or MediaFire in which to service a download, if we wanted to use a stream we either had to use our own custom built Flash player and grab some messy embed code or direct people to Myspace. SoundCloud managed to fill a void that provided a platform for people to stream and download the tracks easily - while being compatible with the numerous blogging platforms.

On the flip side, we also benefit from being able to have a centre-point for our artists in which to continue servicing their music to a community of fans, be able to track their plays and downloads.

What feature do you find is the most useful so far?
Aside from the ease of functionality in the front-end, the back-end is clean and simple, the numerous options to apply meta-data, group tracks into sets in which to set up album playbacks, playlists and service releases are all a great benefit.

The secret link/widget is a very resourceful tool when servicing music upfront of release. From getting music to writers in consideration of premiering exclusive content through to sharing music amongst other team members, it’s a forward thinking solution that seems so simplistic now but stepping back two years ago you’d be embedding an MP3 in an email or again, setting up some custom built Flash player.

What do you like most about using the secret widgets for exclusives? Any awesome examples so far?
As with any ‘exclusive’, it usually lasts as long as it takes someone else to rip it and post elsewhere, nothing is essentially full proof but SoundCloud again make it a hell of a lot easier in which to work with exclusive content when lining up a premiere in advance or it’s wider release.

In the past I’ve utilised the secret widget in which to service The Guardian with a week long album playback of the No Age ‘Everything In Between’ album released on Sub Pop in 2010. More recently Jamie Woon’s new single ‘Lady Luck’ was lined up with Pitchfork so they were able to publish the track as soon as the song had premiered on Radio.

Any tips for artists going to SXSW to make the most of the digital space?
The SXSW website is a comprehensive hub of what’s going on at SXSW but the most impressive I’ve seen leading up to this years SXSW is The Guardians’s ‘guardianhacksSXSW2011’ database (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/sxsw/listing/index) listing, or at least attempting to, every artist playing at SXSW and linking through to all relevant online data from SoundCloud, Last.FM and YouTube.

Keeping your SoundCloud page up to date with the music you want people to hear for the first time is essential, the very nature of SXSW is for people to discover new artists so if they’re coming to your SoundCloud page for the first time then make sure you have the most relevant tracks for people to hear, whether it’s the latest recording or upcoming release. Make sure your tracks have the ability to be ‘Shared’, that way if people want to post any previews or reviews they can embed the player into their site. It seems simplistic enough but you’d be surprised how people fail to maintain their housekeeping.

Utilise the ‘About’ section to the right of the page, providing a concise amount of information and upcoming shows at SXSW.

With SXSW coming up next month, how have you used SoundCloud to integrate in your promotions?
With so many bands descending on Austin for SXSW, it’s easy to have your artists very much lost in the shuffle among the hundreds of previews and ‘ones to watch’ features. Setting up a ‘Set’ on SoundCloud featuring tracks from our artists appearing at SXSW allows a quick link to preview tracks ahead of the shows and being embeddable means the track can run alongside the preview itself.

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

Don’t forget to follow Toast Press on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/toastpress) and Twitter (@toastpress) for all their latest updates!

SoundCloud Showcase: PRs

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 Leslie over at Charm Factory about how she likes using SoundCloud, stats, and some of the features she finds most helpful. 

How did you first hear about SoundCloud, and how has it helped you as a promotional tool for your artists?
I think I heard of it first when someone sent me an invite ages ago - I think SoundCloud was still in beta-testing.  I’ve been using it ever since, both to check out new artists and to promote artists we’re representing. It’s great for sending tracks out to bloggers and journalists.  It’s immediate and not as easily misplaced as a CD, and the secret links are a godsend.

What feature do you find is the most useful so far?
I like the secret link function - David showed us a little tweak so that we can modify the embed code slightly so that we can “lock” a player to a website for an exclusive.  This is especially useful for giving exclusives to websites who don’t have the server space to host their own streaming media.  Previously we’d only been able to do these kinds of exclusives with more mainstream sites, and therefore higher profile artists.  It’s opened up a lot of options for promoting our more niche and upcoming artists with audiences who will appreciate them.

We’ve used this to great effect with exclusive album streams for Robyn Hitchcock on www.thelineofbestfit.com, Family Fodder (http://soundcloud.com/charmfactory/family-fodder-the-onliest-thing) on www.thequietus.com, and a track premiere for Saint Saviour on www.blahblahblahscience.net.

What do you like most about the SoundCloud stats? Any interesting feedback from clients or aspects which work best to show?
I like seeing where the music is being hosted via the sharing function.  Bloggers often pick up tracks from our newsfeed of their own accord, so the stats will give us direct links to the pages where the SoundCloud player is embedded.  It’s also interesting to see how much traffic comes from within SoundCloud itself (the answer is: a lot!).  Sometimes I feel like we’re cheating a bit when I upload a track and come back a couple days later to find hundreds of plays have racked up.  Not a bad return for a couple of clicks.

As for feedback from clients, one artist who’d thought his audience was primarily in the US, was extremely pleased to find that he has far many more listeners from within the UK than he’d previously thought.

With SXSW coming up next month, how have you used SoundCloud to integrate in your promotions?
We send out a playlist of the artists we have playing, and have a SXSW Group set up on SoundCloud:

CF @ SXSW

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

Don’t forget to follow Charm Factory on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/charmfactory) and Twitter (@charmfactory) for all their latest updates!

SoundCloud Showcase: PRs

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 Brian over at Nettwerk 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?
We stumbled upon SoundCloud while looking for a simple self-service remix contest platform. We opened an account to deliver stems to fans and then funneled remix entries into a SoundCloud Group. A year later we had a collection of over 300 tracks and over 50 sets on SoundCloud.

As a promotional tool, we use SoundCloud songs and sets to service press, push to fans on our web properties, and integrate into various third party applications and mediums. For us, it’s all about making music accessible and open. SoundCloud helps us achieve that.

What feature do you find is the most useful so far?
We use SoundCloud sets and groups quite often. We also really love private song functionality and sending secret links. We get a lot of use out of the varied widget sizes/displays, and ultimately the track time comments that fans leave is tops when it come to usefulness and feedback. We sometimes will disable widget embedding to keep a song exclusive to a particular destination while other times we distribute free music through a complete set. The comprehensive features is what makes SoundCloud a fluid solution for our fan needs, our artist needs, and our partner needs.

What do you like most about using SoundCloud for streaming music? For pushing out music to blogs and other online publications? 
Online press is inundated with music and pitches daily. If you can get these people to click on the link to your artist’s music, you better be sure that the player is reliable and extremely user-friendly.  SoundCloud is not only that, but it’s also quick and aesthetically sexy. Another key aspect is the player’s mobility and the fact that it can be picked up and passed around by anyone.

Through all of that activity, we still have control of the song and that’s powerful. We can turn the track from downloadable to streaming-only and we can plug-in purchase links upon availability. We can update sets on the fly and we can take down or replace a track just as easily. Our blog/press partners are receptive to the widgets as with our fans, and that’s the ultimately validation.

With SXSW coming up next month, how have you used SoundCloud to integrate in your promotions?
We’ve created a lovely SXSW sampler for press servicing and public enjoyment. Go ahead…enjoy.

Any tips for artists going to SXSW to make the most of the digital space?
Where to start… engage, interact, be assessable. Super-serve your fans, give them what they want, and commit to technology that works for you. Being savvy in the digital space in one thing but unless you complement that savvy with a lot of hard work and dedication, you won’t get there.

Nettwerk SXSW 2011 by nettwerkmusicgroup

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

Don’t forget to follow Nettwerk on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/nettwerkmusicgroup) and Twitter (@nettwerkmusic) for all their latest updates!

SoundCloud Showcase: PRs

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

Don’t forget to follow Terrorbird on SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/terrorbird) and Twitter (@terrorbirdmedia) for all their latest updates!