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Soundcloud- going the same way as Myspace?


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How are you guys who use Soundcloud finding it these days? It used to be very active for me and the band, but there's been an obvious falling off of activity in 2017. We used to get an average of 30 - 50 listens a day. Now we are lucky to get that in a month. Bands and musicians I've spoken to locally (North East England) echo the same concerns. Listeners seem to have moved on- but where to? It would be sad to see this once thriving platform go the same way as Myspace, but in my view it's in decline, and that's more bad news for original, under-the-radar musicians everywhere.

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The big issue with Soundcloud is the same as with most indie distribution platforms... the listeners are 99% other artists.  The reason listens have dropped off is because the uncertainty artists feel about it’s future has them looking elsewhere at other platforms.

 

It makes perfect sense, that when you are unconfident about something like that surviving you become reluctant to put in extra time and effort. After all why post new material, and promote it there, if the site will not be around? Better to post and invest your time and hard work somewhere that your effort will count for longer, reach more people.

 

I am not saying that is right, or fair... but it is what is happening.

 

Really, indie needs a platform that addresses the listener base. I have a load of ideas on fixing the problems for indie artist distribution, but I struggle with time and money to set something up. I already do plenty. :) Lol I don’t see Soundcloud, ReverbNation etc giving me a call any time soon!

 

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As John said, soundcloud is where artists put their music, and where artists listen to artists. 

 

The average listener has never spent time trawling Soundcloud, and never will trawl Soundcloud or any similar site.

 

Just as the average listener/viewer doesn't trawl YouTube looking for new artists or new YouTubers.

 

Soundcloud has never been a place to grow a fan base. It's a place to get some respect from peers, and to host music.

 

7 hours ago, john said:

Really, indie needs a platform that addresses the listener base

 

People don't just listen anymore, generally. They haven't since video killed the radio star... To be noticed online now, any artist needs video, and currently that means using YouTube not Soundcloud. 

 

No audio platform will ever address it... because the average listener is not interested. YouTube is a perfectly good platform to gain fans on, but relies on the artist not relying on just the music.... If you have the goods, and work on self promotion, there's nothing to stop anyone gaining listeners/viewers/fans on YouTube. 

 

We could dream up a platform like YouTube but devoted to music.... but it would make no difference.... the only artists being heard would, again, be the ones either successfully promoting themselves, or the ones being promoted by promotors. People listen to what's easy to find, and what others listen to, and so it goes on..... Few go looking any deeper. The only people who go looking deeper are musos and musicians....hence Soundcloud is the place where any good artist will still get listens without much or any promotional effort.

 

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Yes and no.  

When I'm cleaning the apt I listen to music not watch.  When I'm driving I listen to music not watch.  And when I'm at work and the owners aren't present I'm listening to music. (though not always of my choosing)  The deciders are always listening to... spotify.

 

 

 

 

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Totally agree about You Tube being the best on-line promotional tool these days- audio alone doesn't seem to fully connect with new listeners, however great the song may be. There's just so much under-the-radar music out there. Putting videos together of every new song you make can be time consuming (and expensive if you want something cutting edge visually), but it's currently the most effective way of creating some kind of profile. Of course, it's still a massive struggle to attract new music fans to your channel, but trying to generate interest in a new video is infinitely easier than a new track. People want to engage not just with a piece of music, but the artist creating it, and that's why a visual aid is so important. But getting back to my original point, I think Soundcloud's days are numbered, and I think that's sad.

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5 minutes ago, Carl Green said:

People want to engage not just with a piece of music, but the artist creating it

 

It's a strange thing. Yeah people seem to want to connect more with the artist now... I mean if you play an acoustic set on YouTube AND talk to the viewers (both in the video and in comments) I reckon that (if you have the personality) you'll get a lot of interest.... and yet.... To me artists are more attractive if they're beyond reach or at least seem elevated in some way. I dunno... 

 

As for Soundcloud in decline... Again I'm not entirely sure it has. People who nurture their listeners, or those with a genuine 'fan base' are still getting lots of plays and comments. 

 

It's been a long time since I made a track that got totally rammed with comments. I put this down to my newer songs having less appeal ;) Or maybe it's because I stopped commenting on others so much.... I suspect it's a bit of both... or maybe you're right and it's a decline. 

 

People won't stop making music... so if soundcloud memberships are down, another site's memberships will be going up and we'll hear before long.... that might be YouTube, hence my point, but one way or another there will always be a place where people post and listen to us small-timers (apologies in including you if you're big time ;)  ) . I'm sure people aren't just stopping making music so we're good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well said sir. I think a bit of mystique is endearing, but essentially all us "small timers" (happy to be one- for now!) are a complete mystery anyway to the average music fan. Obscurity (and all its negative connotations) is pretty hard to shake off. I'm only relaying my own experiences with Soundcloud, and in comparison to even a year ago, my band is not getting the listens we were,  despite our profile getting bigger on the live circuit, national radio play, album releases etc. There's seemingly no pattern at all. I do think the time is right for a new music sharing platform to take what Myspace and Soundcloud started and move things forward. Here's hoping :)  

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Let's face it developing an audience is hard work.  The early adoption of youtube made it more possible but as time goes on even that has faded.

 

Are you willing to engage your fans on facebook and youtube like those that have gone before?  Expect to put out up to two uploads of work a week.  Expect to invite yourself into the lives of your followers.  It's funny the independent artists I watch the most on yt are... Teachers,  They teach their instruments and perform. 

 

I was always terrible at glad-handing. Going out to the audience and playing best friend ever.  The local guys who made it big were always great about that.  Talk to everyone, go out and find the press in the audience and develop long term relations with them.

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  • Editors

I find BandCamp to be a wonderful platform to discover new artists and music. I'm not sure how many of the regular audiences or music lovers use it but I've been pushing all my friends and musicians to get on board - not to put up their music (which I don't have to tell musicians) but as a way to listen to music and discover more musicians.


In my experience of using BandCamp regularly for the past 5 months for my listening needs, I realised that there is a significantly large community of music lovers on there. (I'm talking "large" for indie). 

 

I do agree with most of the sentiments on here though.

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20 hours ago, Mahesh said:

I find BandCamp to be a wonderful platform to discover new artists and music. I'm not sure how many of the regular audiences or music lovers use it but I've been pushing all my friends and musicians to get on board - not to put up their music (which I don't have to tell musicians) but as a way to listen to music and discover more musicians.


In my experience of using BandCamp regularly for the past 5 months for my listening needs, I realised that there is a significantly large community of music lovers on there. (I'm talking "large" for indie). 

 

I do agree with most of the sentiments on here though.

 

I like bandcamp for making an artist page. It feels and looks nice. It's maybe easier to appear as an artist on Bandcamp. 

 

Problem is that nobody, again other than musicians, uses it. If you ask people in the street 'what's Bandcamp?' 99% will have absolutely no idea! That's the issue... Bandcamp does absolutely nothing worthwhile to promote itself beyond artists... 

 

And maybe I didn't delve enough into the community, but it doesn't feel like Soundcloud either in terms of getting comments etc. You really can't beat Soundcloud currently for getting a bit of love and respect from peers. And ... recently I've noticed more Soundclouders who are not artists.

 

I watch my stats on SC... and I get regular plays from people who are not active in the community, not artists either, but just make their own playlists for themselves.

 

On 10/23/2017 at 9:56 AM, Carl Green said:

but essentially all us "small timers" (happy to be one- for now!) are a complete mystery anyway to the average music fan. Obscurity (and all its negative connotations) is pretty hard to shake off

 

So true! Maybe different for you if you're gigging. I've been on both sides.... it's a different world just doing home made songs and posting them on Soundcloud, than it is gigging and really just using a web presence to help grow, and inform, the fan base you're building. 

 

I just don't think the average 'fan' uses Soundcloud, or Bandcamp.... It's a long time since I did the live circuit and there was no internet to speak of then, but I work with artists now who are out there....and the last place they expect to get attention is Soundcloud, or Bandcamp. It's a case of - Gig... use Twitter to keep up with fans.... use YouTube to show the latest video (I've just helped make some for an artist) ... use Facebook again similar to Twitter....  Soundcloud, Bandcamp etc don't even get into the plan (other than to host tracks for posting on Twitter and FB etc). I think that changes again when an artist really makes the big time, and then Soundcloud will get a mass of listens too. 

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And here's a good example of my point... and a chance for me to namedrop absolutely shamelessly! ;)

 

A year or so ago I got a lovely comment from Edie Brickell on one of my Soundcloud tracks. Just a total surprise (still dunno why). I didn't even know she was on Soundcloud, although I've always been a fan of hers. So I looked at her Soundcloud page, which is totally legit, and .... I have more followers than she has!! And I don't have a huge number. So .... my point is.... Soundcloud just doesn't attract listeners. The listens she has got are likely from outside of Soundcloud where she's embedded the tracks, hence a fair few plays but few likes or comments. 

 

Soundcloud just isn't the place to get fans. Never has been. It's just a love-in for DIY song makers and home producers like me. And if I don't dish the love out, I get less back.

 

 

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So another question! Is Audiomack the new Soundcloud? I only know a few guys/girls using it at present, but they all rate it higher than SC. Any of you guys on it or thinking about signing up? Feedback much appreciated, thanks. www.audiomack.com

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I checked it out but it didn't seem to be working correctly. The only song I got to was link after link to listen to Eminem which eventually just took me to Youtube. Seems sketchy to me actually, but I probably need to update my flash player before checking it out again.

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1 hour ago, Carl Green said:

So another question! Is Audiomack the new Soundcloud? I only know a few guys/girls using it at present, but they all rate it higher than SC. Any of you guys on it or thinking about signing up? Feedback much appreciated, thanks. www.audiomack.com

 

You on the payroll? ;)

 

I'll try it. At a glance... first impression is... "Oh for f53k sake why is every music site front page rammed with hip hop?" I mean I have no problem with hip hop except there a zillion rappers so it floods everything. No one else gets a look in due to being outnumbered. ;)  

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7 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

 

You on the payroll? ;)

 

I'll try it. At a glance... first impression is... "Oh for f53k sake why is every music site front page rammed with hip hop?" I mean I have no problem with hip hop except there a zillion rappers so it floods everything. No one else gets a look in due to being outnumbered. ;)  

 

I agree - I checked it out and wasn’t that impressed. Straight across the top was a huge advert and then nearly every track was Hip-hop related. The layout didn’t impress that much, looked like they were trying to be SoundCloud without the feel that makes SoundCloud stand out.

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Ha ha, definitely not on the payroll! The site has promise I think, but I totally agree with you guys- very hip hop-centric. It seems to work pretty similar to Soundcloud, so I'm guessing that (once again) it's primarily a platform for musicians by musicians. We need listeners- NOW!! :)

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My problem with Soundcloud is that the technology is TRASH.  I have songs that won't load on mobile, even though it works perfectly fine on a browser.  Sometimes I'll update a song with a new mix, but the mobile version still plays the older version even months later.  They have something in settings to "clear the cache," but it doesn't actually clear any cache that I can tell.  Just browse their Help forum online, and their standard answer is always "delete the app and reinstall."  What year is this, 2017 or 2007 Soundcloud?

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Let me put it you this way ...

 

"If I possessed the means to deliver to you, each and every day, the entire content of all the world's [Newspapers], every single day," would you be interested?  (Okay, what if you could, say, select those newspapers?)

 

 

Or this way ...

 

"How would you actually feel if, having gone to the beach for a bit of surfing, you were greeted by a tsunami?"  ("The damned thing tried to kill me!  I very nearly drowned!!")

 

Just as an experiment, I decided to "promote" my ...

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-797657181/young-men-white-gloves-1

 

... "Young Men, White Gloves" track ...

 

... "in the much-professed SoundCloud Way." :blink:

 

"followed" anyone-and-everyone(!) who ever posted a "War Protest" song.  Then, after a few days, I checked back to discover that my landing-page on the site had become absolutely useless.  ("As I had fully expected," by the way!)

 

  • Yes, I had just "managed to subscribe to the data-feeds of" any-and-every fisherman who had ever cast "his/her lure in search of(!) 'anyone who was opposed to The US Military-Industrial Marketing Machine."  
  • No, I had not "attracted a single fish!"
  • "Very Important Difference!™ "  ... :hang:

 

"Did Stephen King ever subscribe to Writer's Digest?"  Hell, No ... unless they "comped" him a copy.

 

But, just to be fair about this, "Did every peddler of Fishing Lures ever describe the actual outcome of a typical use of their product?" :ph34r:

 

Even if you have  just caught the world's most incredible fish, you're gonna be hungry unless you can somehow graft yourself into the already-existing pipeline that leads to a hungry-person's dinner plate.

 

"A hungry fisherman," once he has cleaned up his boat and put it away, might just as well be starving for a hot-dog.  "He is not your market."

 

However ... that very same "hungry fisherman" pays for(!) his <<hot dog>> because he somehow managed to sell "his" fish into "a sufficient market" that really does not [have to] care that any particular fish was "his."

 

Therefore, our "professional fisherman" makes no attempt to span the entire distance "from ocean to table."  

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Well, guys and gals, firstly I believe we should be very happy there is any platform out there for us. Way back when there was none. This at least give us the possibility to share our music among ourselves and with likeminded people. Like the rest of you I hope it will stay this way, sort of (?!) but who knows. It probably won't and in a few years there's probably a completely different platform we all talk about and embrace. Remember Napster anyone?

 

Secondly, the criteria for "making it" has not changed. You need to be good! Crazy good! You need to produce quality! You need to evoke! You need to stand out! Maybe more so today than ever because of the over flooded market that is media today. Producing songs, videos, albums and even promote them is too easy these days. Even when you do promote them, your possible "fanbase" won't trust your art because we/they know it hasn't gone through the industry quality check it used to back in the day. For better or worse I can't tell. 

 

The deceiving part in all this, is that because we can now sit in our very own homes and create and promote what is almost a "real"* product, it feels real. I personally love that. I can go about my very realistic life and at the same time spend time in my make believe alternate life where I'm a gifted songwriter with a fanbase (a very small one but nonetheless). I wouldn't have that without a platform.

 

* Industry approved

 

But as others have stated, Soundcloud and platforms like it, is just an illusion. Though deceptive, a quite charming one.

 

On the other hand, if you're crazy good,  with or without the help of a platform, then sky's the limit. Great artists and great music will find its way. Far from all, but some always will. Even today!

 

Um...was that even on topic?!? ;) Idk, I had my answer all figured out, it was spot on and fierce but then...I kind of lost track there I think. Sorry 'bout that. I'm sure it will happen again!!! Hehe!

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

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