Hopefully by now, everyone reading this knows who SoundCloud is and that they just received some serious funding from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures a little over a week ago. As a result, a lot of eyes are on SoundCloud wondering what their next move is.
However, this interview was months in the making, so it’s great to post this in the wake of such amazing news for them. I met Dave Haynes, VP Business Development, while at NYC Music Tech Meetup in November. Through email, since he is based out of the London office, I asked him a few questions about the future of SoundCloud and this is what he said:
1. Do you see SoundCloud as competing with Bandcamp or MySpace? Why or why not?
SoundCloud’s main purpose is to enable anybody to create, promote and share their sounds across the web as simply as possible. For example on music blogs and The Hype Machine, on Facebook and Twitter, and on your own band website or MySpace profile. But we also have great tools for collaborating and sharing your music privately. For example sending out demos and promos to labels, journalists, promoters or fellow band members.
We don’t specialise in selling music, instead we allow bands to easily add their iTunes or Bandcamp links to their SoundCloud players. And we have an integration with Tunecore, that allows bands to easily get their music distributed to all the main retailers and consumer music streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody.
2. You currently have a freemium revenue model. Do you think that’s sustainable or are you contemplating other revenue streams?
The freemium model works very well for us right now, so we don’t have any imminent plans to open up other revenue streams. It’s great to be able to offer our users different levels of service depending on their needs. We offer a basic service for free, but users also have a range of premium accounts, offering more advanced features. These include things such as customized players, more privacy options and advanced stats so you can see when, where and by whom your music is being listened to. As a band looking to find and connect with your audience those stats alone can make the upgrade worthwhile.
3. What are some goals and/or site updates for 2011?
SoundCloud gained a lot of traction early on within the music industry with everyone from Domino Records to The Smashing Pumpkins to 50 Cent using the platform . But now with more than two and a half million registered users we’re seeing a lot of use by a wide variety of audio creators who want to easily create, record, promote and distribute their sounds on the web. We’re still very focused on our core music community but will continue to nurture other creators, including comedians, field recordists and audio bloggers.
We have just introduced a record feature, which means people can instantly capture sound and share it, and this is also available via a free iPhone, Mac OS and Android app. Mobile is a big priority this year and we’ve already made big strides into making SoundCloud available wherever you are and on whatever device.
I expect we’ll see a lot more apps and services integrate with SoundCloud. We finished 2010 with more than 100 apps in our App Gallery, with services like Rootmusic, Mobile Roadie, Flavors.me and Peavey’s AmpKit proving really popular amongst our users.
Seems like SoundCloud is making the right moves, but we’ll see how 2011 pans out for them. In the meantime, sign up for a free account and if you find the value in it, try out the premium version.