A Response: SoundCloud vs. Streaming Services
While SoundCloud feels far removed from the giants, is it such a sweet story?
Paari Kandappan’s article — linked above — is excellent and details many of the reasons why SoundCloud is a niche favourite for the majority of the Internet. Detailing the few differences and similarities, Kandappan champions SoundCloud for it’s ability to work seamlessly throughout the web and retain a massive user base (175 million vs. Spotify’s 50 million).
While I’m a fan of SoundCloud, too, I have a few gripes with it — and the other platforms — in response to the attached article.
there isn’t much that sets the services apart
I opt for Spotify but realise most of them provide the same content. Apple Music have a few exclusives — Frank Ocean’s Endless and Sampha’s Process notable examples — but the experience isn’t so nice. I often struggle with Apple Music, simply to find the music I already own.
(Musicians also have an icon on their site for iTunes and Apple Music. And that looks a bit silly.)
search and discovery are abysmal
Tell us about it! I found recently that searching for an Artist name doesn’t even bring a quick link to their account in the search unless you actually search and scroll through the results.
On the topic of discovery, it can get frustrating constantly hearing the same content after your chosen project. Tying in with this, it’s ludicrous that there is no repeat playlist/album feature. Sometimes you just want to hear a single project on loop — SoundCloud doesn’t allow this.
the tool of choice for many podcasters
For podcasters, perhaps. But for those with radio shows, or DJs, it is a terrible experience. Let’s not forget how many times our favourite show has had their account removed — with no explanation — by SoundCloud. (Catch Thats NANG on Mixcloud now.)
Soundcloud is free for all
While it is free to sign up, it isn’t so different from the other platforms. (Apple Music doesn’t even have a free membership!) SoundCloud is flooded with Ads — horrendous ones — that come more often than those on Spotify. Some accounts still lock off content to paid members, too.
Hopefully the team can keep it going by raising more funds or getting acquired
Hear ye, hear ye! Though SoundCloud might have their flaws from time-to-time but it is perfect for those gems that aren’t on services like Spotify and Apple Music. A lot of friends release music there, and I support them — SoundCloud dying would be a massive shame. (Worth noting that Bandcamp is a great shout as an alternative, at least for the content creators!)