They say patience is a virtue. That platitude has definitely applied to all of those who’ve been waiting for SoundCloud to finally end its years-long beta program for podcasters. Well, the wait is over. As of this week, SoundCloud has opened its podcasting platform to anyone who’d like to use it.
At its core, the services provided by SoundCloud are the same as they’ve ever been. But it’s no longer required for podcasters to request an invite to the podcasting platform. Instead, anyone can sign up and begin using SoundCloud’s podcasting features right away. Users can begin with a free account that supplies three hours of audio playback time per month and limited SoundCloud stats and control options. Users can also buy into one of two SoundCloud Pro offerings. The first tier costs $6/month (or $55/year) for six hours of monthly upload time with access to some of SoundCloud’s extended stats and control tools. The second tier costs $15/month (or $135/year) and comes with the full complement of SoundCloud stats and control tools.
Based strictly on pricing, SoundCloud is definitely a solid competitor to most of the established companies in the podcast hosting space. SoundCloud even offers integration with third-party stat services like Podtrac and Blubrry so users can use those services to track most of their episode downloads and plays (due to limitations in the SoundCloud system, plays initiated on the SoundCloud website or SoundCloud’s embeddable player won’t be tracked by third-party stats systems).
With SoundCloud finally taking its podcasting service out of beta, I’m a little less skeptical about it than I used to be. And while I’m sure many podcasters will flock to the service, I still think it’s wise to approach SoundCloud with a little bit of caution. Remember that SoundCloud began as a service devoted to music and musicians, and SoundCloud is still facing challenges in terms of keeping the major record labels happy. The company is also operating on a late round of venture capital funding. Potentially increasing revenues from the podcasting platform could help SoundCloud gain some real financial stability. But the typical exit strategy for these types of companies is to get bought out by a bigger entity. Until SoundCloud truly becomes a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise, its future is still very much up in the air.
SoundCloud, the popular audio hosting/sharing platform, will soon be introducing in-stream ads into its media players. The service, which initially catered to musicians has since branched out into podcasting. And while SoundCloud’s podcasting program is in its third year of an invite-only beta program, many podcasters use SoundCloud for media hosting.
This begs the inevitable question: What will this new ad system mean for podcasters who host their shows with SoundCloud? At this time, it’s not entirely clear. All of the information that’s been made public so far only refers to the music side of SoundCloud’s services. Specifically that, along with the ad system, SoundCloud will also roll out a new premium service so subscribers can pay to skip the ads, similar to other music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.
Continue reading Ads Are Coming To SoundCloud. And To Your Podcast?
Audio-sharing platform SoundCloud is reportedly in talks with major music labels that could lead to the labels gaining equity in the service. SoundCloud is likely making this move to avoid copyright lawsuits on behalf of the music labels. In recent months, big music labels like Universal have been sending an increasing amount of takedown requests to SoundCloud users that had uploaded unlicensed songs (or songs with unlicensed samples) to the site. It looks like SoundCloud may be making this deal instead of dealing with potentially costly legal entanglements.
Since its inception, SoundCloud has been popular with music makers. The service also has a growing number of podcasters using its beta program for media hosting. If this equity-sharing deal goes thru, it’s hard to say how this will impact podcasters who distribute thru SoundCloud. But if you’re considering making SoundCloud your primary media host, you may want to hold off until this deal is worked out (if not until the media-hosting program actually comes out of its three-year long beta).
Continue reading SoundCloud Considering Giving Equity To Music Labels
If you want to publish a podcast, media hosting is a big deal. You need a reliable place to store your audio/video files. And preferably, that storage system won’t cause you go to go broke due to high bandwidth costs. Over the years, a number of companies have moved into this field but most of them haven’t stuck around. Spend any amount of time in a public forum devoted to podcasting, and the question of, “Which media host should I use?” will come up. And a flurry of responses will follow. Perennial favorites in the media hosting game like LibSyn and Blubrry come up often during these discussions. But another company seems to be entering the conversation more and more as of late: SoundCloud.
SoundCloud was first conceived by its founders as an online collaboration tool for musicians. It eventually morphed into an upload-and-share service for audio. Thanks to its ease of use and social sharing features, the service took off with musicians. Its growing popularity caused some to dub it “the YouTube of audio.” Soon, podcasters began asking SoundCloud how they too could take advantage of the service. SoundCloud’s base offerings aren’t really good for podcasters, as they’re really designed for musicians. In response, SoundCloud created a program for podcasters which has never officially left the beta phase of development.
Continue reading SoundCloud For Podcasting: A Skeptic’s Point Of View