Category Archives: Friends & Partners

Jane Three music career tips we learned at the SoundCloud Artist Forum

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Last Thursday in Los Angeles, we hosted our first SoundCloud Artist Forum.

So, what’s an artist forum? And why have one?

Our main goal was to bring members of the SoundCloud team, local creators, managers and others in the industry together in one space to connect with and learn from each other. In addition to sharing our story, we heard direct feedback from artists and managers about their experiences of and ideas for the future of SoundCloud.

We also got the opportunity to learn a few valuable tips for jumpstarting and building a career on SoundCloud from some of the creators and industry insiders who use our platform most:

 

1. Build and grow:

Use SoundCloud to establish your creative identity and have authentic interactions with fans.

“Not being pigeonholed or typecast means that you can grow as an artist.” – Asher Roth

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While SoundCloud’s main purpose is to make it easy for you to share all your work in one place, it’s also an opportunity to build your identity with your followers. When creating the product, we think a lot about allowing you to fully express who you are. Hip hop artist Asher Roth recommends you make use of that aspect of the platform.

In his Q&A session, we asked how he evolved and rebranded himself after moving from a major label to an independent artist. He focused on using SoundCloud as a tool to express true creativity.

“Using SoundCloud allows you to introduce yourself as a person through your music rather than as a product…SoundCloud brings people from all walks of life connected by a tune. SoundCloud allows you to have authentic conversations with your fans. You can watch people find their voice on SoundCloud. Not being pigeonholed or typecast means that you can grow as an artist.

SoundCloud helps you stay relevant – you can have a genuine connection with your fan base and see their immediate reactions to your work. It doesn’t rush things, means you can organically cultivate yourself and your expression as an artist.”

 

2. Give and take:

Ask for feedback and return the favor.

“I found a majority of my producers through SoundCloud.” – King avriel

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We learned so much from sharing more about our vision and growth with the artists and managers who were present at the Forum. Hearing direct feedback was a reminder that we need to continue to keep our channels open so we can grow together. Your ideas help us build a better product and, in turn, a greater community.

Having active conversations within our usual communities is important, but it’s also important to have broader conversations with each other. SoundCloud enables artists to share work and receive and provide meaningful feedback from their immediate circles and beyond. There is a mutual benefit when feedback is given and received.

R&B singer King avriel noted that communicating with a wider network on SoundCloud helps to spark new opportunities.

“I found a majority of my producers through SoundCloud. They were mostly obscure producers that people would point me in the direction to. They told me, ‘Even if they had 50 or 100 followers, you should check them out.’ I did, liked their work, it was easy to communicate with them, and next thing I knew, I was flying across the country to do a session with them.”

 

3. Stats and crafts:

Sure, track your progress, but most importantly, hone your skills.

Numbers aren’t everything; continuing to reach new potential fans is.” – Brice Omesher

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At the Forum, we shared some compelling numbers about our growth as a global platform (for example, SoundCloud now has more than 100M tracks available and 175 million unique users on a monthly basis). As a company, we check our stats a lot. Creators building new audiences and new careers should too. After all, the stats functionality on SoundCloud is here to help you grow your career.

That said, artist manager Brice Omesher, who manages artists like Sweater Beats and Falcons, said that while he believes stats are important, staying focused on improving your craft and connecting with new fans is truly the key.

“Numbers aren’t everything; continuing to reach new potential fans is. Asher Roth has sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of records over his career. However, having done the mainstream and major label route, SoundCloud has offered him a new avenue to reach fans that may have never been interested in the previous channels. For some this may not be the end goal, but it is an important area for any and all artists looking to maintain growth and SoundCloud enables this.”

The opportunity to come together in one place for Artist Forums allows us to share and hear how you all fit into the vision of SoundCloud. The artist community is an integral part of our vision and the future, despite the challenges we face to get to where we want to go.  

We hope to do more of these forums in the future in different locations. Have ideas about where we should hold the next Artist Forum and what it should cover? Let us know.

Alex Representing over 20,000 independent labels, Merlin becomes our latest On SoundCloud partner

Today we welcome a significant addition to our roster of On SoundCloud Premier Partners: Merlin. When we started SoundCloud in 2007, one of our chief priorities then, as it remains today, was championing independent artists. The indie community has always been at the heart of SoundCloud, and our deal with Merlin is another way for us to further support the independent community by opening a new source of revenue for them.

As we announced back in March this year, On SoundCloud now has over 100 partners, ranging from bigger labels to emerging independent artists. We’ve continued to bring more partners on board and, from today, the 20,000 independent record labels and distributors who make up Merlin’s worldwide network will be able to join On SoundCloud and select the tracks they want to make available for inclusion. Some of the labels and distributors who have joined today include Beggars Group, Domino, Secretly Group, Epitaph, PIAS, Warp Records, Armada Music, Ninja Tune, Kontor Records and many more.

In just the last month, more than 10 million creators were heard on SoundCloud – helping us to reach a milestone of 100 million tracks uploaded. And for our 175m monthly SoundCloud users, today’s announcement means you should expect to have more opportunities to connect with Merlin’s vast roster of indie labels and artists. You’ll also be able to discover and listen to more new tracks from the best independent label creators on the planet, safe in the knowledge they’ll now have the opportunity to get paid while you listen.

Alex On SoundCloud reaches 100 Premier Partners

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It’s been six months since we launched the On SoundCloud partner program, and it feels like a good time to look back at how far we’ve come. Through On SoundCloud we’ve been able to better support creators as they take the next steps in their careers, adding the Premier Partner level to begin to give people the opportunity to make money from the tracks that they share on SoundCloud.

Since the launch last August, things have been growing fast. We’ve signed up over 100 Premier Partners and paid over $1 million in advertising revenue to partners including labels, audio partners and emerging artists.

There are all kinds of success stories to share. On SoundCloud has led to the creation of native advertising opportunities with emerging artists and brands. With an exclusive track sponsored by Jaguar, London-based downtempo producer Sizzlebird got 1.3 million plays and doubled his followers in three weeks. In December, Green Label Sound launched the Open Call competition on the platform and in February Kelechi was announced as the grand prize winner. Also in December, Microsoft teamed up with Jacques Greene to release an exclusive remix of “No Excuse” (one of his most well-known tracks), by Swedish producer Yung Gud — it got nearly 800,000 plays in just 18 days.

We’ve also seen independent artists like Romiti, Blackbear and Xavier Wulf rise to the top of the Premier Partner pack in terms of people listening to their tracks. Labels are benefiting from On SoundCloud, too, by using it to discover new artists and audiences.

On the audio side, On SoundCloud has opened up many new avenues. For multi-channel networks like Fullscreen, Collective Digital Studio and Maker Studios (the labels of the audio world), SoundCloud offers an entirely new monetization channel for top and emerging talent. For example: using On SoundCloud, comedian Shane Dawson has seen his SoundCloud podcast Shane and Friends become a significant source of revenue. Epic Rap Battles of History is also now using SoundCloud to monetize content.

What’s coming up? We got started with On SoundCloud in the US, but we’re aiming to begin bringing it to new territories later this year — stay tuned. We’ll also continue to add more Premier Partners as we go. We’re looking forward to the next steps of the On SoundCloud journey — and to having you along for the ride.