Happy Saturday! This month’s changelog is 50% reflection, 49% vision, and 1% celebration. What makes this changelog especially unique is that rather than telling you about all of the cool things we added this month (of which many you cannot see), we’re going to tell you about the trailing twelve months on wave.ac in celebration of the progress we’ve made in the first year of our service.
Just a year ago, we flipped the switch and opened the doors for our closed beta and our friends and family became the first to ̶b̶r̶e̶a̶k̶ use the site. Since then, our community has performed rapid mitosis and grown to just over 1,800 users and we’ve been able to do this all with about $300 in funding, a few dozen coffees, and a scrappy but powerful core team of three: Kian (our resident code god), Jeremy (our resident mobile god), and Noah (our resident evil).
Among exciting developments in year one, this team of three (and some stragglers) brought you:
We launched wave.ac Pro, our premium plan, in January 2019. Pro is a plan for audio creatives which allows them to leverage their presence on wave.ac by customizing their experience, accessing unlimited uploads, and streaming in higher quality (Pro Sound, 320k). You can buy wave.ac Pro to support the ongoing development of wave.ac for as little as $7.50/mo.
wavefest, a live online music festival
Just days after wave.ac Pro launched, we hosted our first digital event — wavefest, a live online music festival. We also hosted an afterparty for wavefest, wavefest 2.
The event ran from 4pm to 9pm ET and featured performances from dozens of artists and a sentient robot DJ (EDM Money Glitch) which proceeded to fire Noah (our current “CEO”) and install itself as the new Chief God of wave.ac. Of course, everything was restored to normal after a rapid destruction of the sentient DJ after a Windows runtime error at the end of the set.
The CORE update covers essentially all functionality of the streaming service for wave.ac. After a rapid reiteration from our alpha test in January, we proceeded to redesign and change the wave.ac streaming platform throughout the months leading into the new year. During that time, we redesigned everything from profiles to track pages to our settings page. Even this week, we launched the third iteration of our upload page — upload v3.
As with any major update or refresh of elements of our site, uploads v3 has added multi-track uploads, more organization and hierarchy, and a stepping stone for which we will go on to future growth.
Every update log thus far has had a “what’s next” section, and while we’re just glazing over the details of what we’ve done — we made thousands of minute changes, quashed thousands of bugs, and deployed plenty of smaller features and useful elements (such as embeds, DARKO MODE, and the artist stock market, among other things) — we have plenty to do still.
In our one year of visibility, our quaint team has done the antithesis of a Silicon Valley startup. We did not emphasize hip-hopping venture capital meetings to raise money, we did not put a focus on scaling fast, and we did not fixate on user count or other metrics. Instead, we put an emphasis on stability, sustainability, and consistency. In the long run, we are convinced this will build a superior service that users will want to use. More importantly, this means we have had the opportunity to provide value to our community and hear them out on their needs and thoughts.
At the end of year one, wave.ac is profitable and sustains itself. We can continue with these values in mind as we invest 100 percent of our proceeds back into running the service and building it. We are still focused on growing resources and opportunities for artists, and will continue to be — now and forever.
We cannot downplay the significant trial and tribulation that wave.ac went through in its first year. It is extremely easy to feel defeated or disappointed by the pace at which we are moving or by the limited support we receive. While these stormy days aren’t over, we are convinced we have weathered the hardest part of launching our community — here-forth, we are capitalizing on our groundwork to build a full-service ecosystem for the audio creative.
Of course, this changelog couldn’t be complete without a thank you. There are dozens of people who essentially make our community what it is. Without their support, we might have thrown in the towel earlier and wrote a eulogy. However, a year after we turned on the lights for the first time, it looks increasingly likely that turning off the lights won’t be possible anytime soon.
While we celebrate one year since the launch, we will celebrate another milestone in July for when we actually started wave.ac and began building our community. With that in mind, we want to thank our most ardent supporters who have been here since our earliest days in the grassroots — Direct, Astrale, Kindrid, Riptidal, Nik (creator of Groovy Bot), MEJKO (who helped us design wave.ac early in our life), Brian Rutan (who came up with the core idea of wave.ac in July when we founded it), and plenty more. We’ve had plenty of fair weather supporters, but these folks have been onboard with our vision for a long while now. However, one year on, I cannot help but give the highest praise to our core team — especially Kian (vintroxx), who has done incredible work since the very beginning. In times of great uncertainty, Kian has helped push the vision forward.
So with at this moment of celebration, we do as we always have — we go back to work. We’ve tossed around a quote since we started wave.ac. It’s a quote which is verbatim what Robert Frost said in his famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening — “I have many promises to keep, and miles to go before I can sleep.” Indeed, anyone with a vision can relate to Frost’s words. For us, the vision is taking a lot of time — we’re slowly but surely making our way through a hefty checklist with many prerequisites and rigorous demands. However, even as we walk subpar miles? We are still awake and our vision is becoming real.