News

EDITORIAL: LET SOUNDCLOUD BURN

Honestly, after some thought, I’m now way more interested in a world without SoundCloud. And if you’re surprised that SoundCloud dropped 40% of its staff and two offices, well, you shouldn’t be.

SoundCloud has been screwing independent producers for years. Repost buttons, groups getting the axe, and the obvious pay-for-play bots that beefed up statistics. I’m looking at you Caked Up.

Watching all my producer friends on Facebook lament (or flat out deny) its imminent death changed my view. I want it to die now. Let it burn. SoundCloud is on its 18th hole after ten years and I think it’s time for a new platform.

Wouldn’t it be great to just smash that reset button? As a current, paying SoundCloud user I kind of want to just fuck all the shit up. No more repost networks. No more half-assed bootlegs. No more future bass. Even the playing field again so we can see who is really good.

“But what’s gonna take its place?” You’ll probably whine at me. The technology behind SoundCloud isn’t complicated. You don’t need a computer science degree to get an MP3 to make sound on the web. You can literally Google that shit. There’s also literal clones of SoundCloud that do the same thing and also Bandcamp. The user base is the valuable shit. It’s literally the only value SoundCloud has right now. It touts 175+ million users, but with all those bots, repost networks, and dead accounts hanging around the real figure is probably off by a significant digit.

They kept screwing independent artists time after time. Groups getting the axe was awful, in my opinion. They got rid of it because of low use, but it was a good idea to get users to share their original content with each other. Now they gotta suckle off of reposts. Screw that. They should have fixed groups.

The mobile app suffered for years. They got rid of messaging on the mobile app, which was great for indies to do business and get booked. But they fucked them.

SoundCloud account takedowns were especially brutal. You shouldn’t be posting bootlegs, duh, they told us not to. But your account with thousands of followers getting 86’d? That’s pretty fucked up. The track should be taken down, not the whole account.

Their biggest mistake was trying to compete with the streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music. They weren’t cut out for it. Everyone saw right through that shit. Nobody bought SoundCloud Go because they already had Spotify or some other thing. It is basically a crappier version of Tidal. Such a waste of development energy. Shame on you.

SoundCloud needs money to survive. I’m not sure where it was going. Could it be the lavish catered daily lunches? No… maybe they weren’t charging enough for SoundCloud Go? Hmmm. Maybe because they allowed inflated statistics with bots? I don’t know. Maybe the awful app redesigns that removed vital features? App Developers can’t be that expensive! With all that VC money you would think SoundCloud would never go down.

Anyway they’re really screwed. It’s a PR nightmare. If they finesse another $100 million in venture capital, they’ve channeled their inner Joanne the Scammer. If you haven’t read the TechChrunch article, you should. Employees chortling at the boss’s use of the word “family,” the poor kid moving from Prague to Berlin to work there only to find out he’s been let go, and other top staff jumping ship. Sounds likes a nightmare. If they really wanna survive, they gotta hit up Uncle Nappy and keep a big name like Chance The Rapper around. Maybe someone else will buy it. Probably. Who knows?

Some of you are worried. I get it. I’m a little worried to but life goes on. If your music career completely relies on SoundCloud you better get your shit together. If your music is actually good (unlike mine), then you’ll be fine. There’s other social platforms that artists use and there’s other ways to send music files. For listeners, there’s no issue. For DJs, there’s other places to go crate digging. I’ll be backing up my tracks from my account and downgrading to free account this weekend. The possible void SoundCloud will leave behind will be beautiful and I’ll be the first one in the pool.

if you hate what you read you can fight me on twitter @domigan

Comments

comments