‘Tis the season where everyone enjoys putting together their various ‘Best of 2011’ lists. At SoundCloud, we love to hear about artists using SoundCloud in interesting and novel ways to power their campaigns and engage their fans. Here’s some of the impressive examples we’ve heard about this year!
JANUARY - “Audio Diaries”
FEBRUARY - “Puzzle to Unlock”
Many artists discovered ways to let their fans unlock special content in 2011. But Manchester Orchestra went one better, using SoundCloud to go beyond the usual ‘tweet’ or ‘like, they asked fans to solve the Puzzle to Unlock new tracks. Puzzle clues were scattered across a number of online blogs to fans spreading the campaign even further. Try and unlock the puzzle yourself here.
MARCH - “Crowdsourcing”
50 Cent took a similar crowdsourced approach, using SoundCloud to put out a freestyle with a sample and a kick drum for producers to finish the track. Listen to the original below or submit your own track to the group to show off your production skills.
APRIL - “Takes Questions” and “Premiere”
SoundCloud Labs – a home for our experimental projects – launched in April. One of the first projects was Takes Questions, a social audio Q&A app that provides a new way for artists to have a conversation with their fans. From The Blackout talking about superheroes, to Everything Everything answering about the songwriting process, or All Time Low giving new bands advice, fans could really engage with the bands. It’s free and easy for anyone to setup their own Q&A so check it out at http://takesquestions.com
MAY - “Destroyed” and “Biophilia”
When sounds and pictures get together, interesting things happen. In May, Moby used SoundCloud, along with Instagram and SimpleGeo, to create his ‘Destroyed’ microsite. Fans could stream the album whilst adding their own #destroyed photos to the interactive map.
Also in May, Bjork launched her brand new website featuring an audio introduction to the galaxy. SoundCloud was used as an integral part of the fully interactive Biophilia universe. Listen to the clip below…
JUNE - “Importer”
JULY - “Social Unlock”
Another SoundCloud Labs project that leveraged this new form of social currency was Social Unlock. M83 used the app to launch their new record ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’, giving away a free downloadable track in return for a tweet.
AUGUST - “Competition App” and “Memories”
With the launch of the Comeptition App in August, Mastodon released the stems to “The Hunter” on SoundCloud in their “Curl of the Burl #Competition”. They asked musicians to show their rock skills by just downloading either a version without the lead guitar, or without the drums, and recording their own talents into the mix.
Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran enriched his Memolane by including SoundCloud to create a musical experience alongside an incredible visual of floating memories. Atlantic records used SoundCloud & memolane API’s to build a special HTML5 app to promote hi ‘You Need Me” single.
SEPTEMBER - “Neighborhoods”
In September, Blink 182 showed how combining SoundCloud with SimpleGeo enhances the concept behind their “Neighborhood” album. You can use SimpleGeo’s GPS technology to locate your neighborhood through your browser and drop you into a chat experience about tracks powered by SoundCloud.
OCTOBER - “Mobile Apps”
Olly was not the only UK act to start sharing sounds in October, JLS began to record audio messages for fans that they could then share to Facebook and Twitter. Again the use was wide-ranging, from thank you messages, to turning the tables on Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton, birthday messages, or just talking about erm…potatoes.
NOVEMBER - “Integrations” and “Widgets”
With the integration from ThingLink and SoundCloud, Soundway Records was able to create this playable musical map of Colombiato feature the Soundway Records catalog and their artists.
Also in November, we released our new HTML5 player and saw some great artists high five back by embedding the player on their site. Leonard Cohen even included one of our shiny new player widgets on his site. Go check it out on your iOS device!