Building a truly global platform: the next step for SoundCloud

by Thom Cummings, Head of New Markets

SoundCloud has always been global. Right from the start, people all over the world could create, listen and share original audio and music with anyone else, irrespective of national boundaries. Every single day, millions of people from almost every country on the planet are sharing their love of sound through our platform.

We chose to use English as the default language for our global platform: as the internet’s lingua franca, this helped us to create a global community of 175 million users every month. But while more than a billion people have a basic understanding of English, this is a barrier to six billion others. At SoundCloud, we want to create and enable local communities as well as a global one, and that’s why we’re beginning to work on taking down that barrier.

Today, we’re celebrating our first major step in that journey, enabling all creators and listeners whose first language is Brazilian Portuguese to use any SoundCloud product in their native tongue. A todos os Brasileiros: Bem-vindo de novo!

The SoundCloud team includes 36 nationalities, and our localization efforts have been aided not just by a translation agency, but by Brazilian members of our team, from different disciplines, who have contributed their personal and cultural expertise to help us make a product that will feel native to Brazil. Unfortunately, we’re not yet able to offer email support in Brazilian Portuguese, but that is something that is planned in few weeks.

We’re also pleased to announce an addition to that team in Sonia Flynn who will join SoundCloud as VP International in the coming months. Sonia, who was previously at Facebook and Google, will help to drive growth into new markets and expand our On SoundCloud program internationally.

Brazil’s musical culture is rich with traditional and modern sounds, global and regional influences and a passion for creativity that goes beyond a simple recording. It’s also a place where the local music scene is thriving, making up the majority share of what people listen to. Brazilians are rapid adopters of social services as one of the most active communities on Facebook, YouTube and also SoundCloud. With today’s changes, we’re aiming to enable a new wave of creativity amongst creators of new and original music and audio in Brazil.