Tag Archives: BuzzFeed

Brendan New Group Connects SoundCloud Creators To Buzzfeed

BuzzFeed+SoundCloudLast month, we told you about how BuzzFeed soundtracks videos using compositions from SoundCloud creators. Today, we’re excited to let you know about the launch of a new group via BuzzFeed’s SoundCloud profile that will make it even easier for you and BuzzFeed to work together: creators can now submit instrumental songs directly to the group for consideration to soundtrack BuzzFeed videos. Compositions must be licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution license in order to be considered.

Click here to submit to the group.

We’ve heard from creators like Steven O’Brien and Rob Collins, but we were curious to hear more about the BuzzFeed side of the story, so we had a chat with BuzzFeed video producer Henry Goldman.

“We started using SoundCloud…when our Video Department started our new channels. It’s been over 6 months and in that time, we’ve probably used over 200 different tracks from the SoundCloud community” Henry says. “Generally, we start looking for a song right when we start editing a video. The point is to find something that feels right for the piece, be it live action, still-based, or mixed-media.”

Because the scope of topics that BuzzFeed covers is so wide, we asked Henry about what the video producers generally look for in a song. Henry thinks, ” ‘chill’ is probably our most used search term. We’ve used all kinds of instrumentals, from punk rock to surf to orchestral. It just depends on what will make the piece better. Sometimes you need to give the video energy, sometimes the beat just needs to lay back in the cut and not get in the way. We’d love to use more live-band instrumentals, with real instruments, especially stuff with an indie pop or live band electro feel. But it’s hard to find that stuff [with a] Creative Commons [license and] without lyrics.”

Henry says that BuzzFeed’s interaction with SoundCloud creators has been: “Super positive. If we notice there’s a producer we really like, we’ll reach out to say hello. The creators have been overwhelming responsive and happy for the promotion.”

We’re looking forwards to watching the relationship between the SoundCloud community and BuzzFeed grow further.


Brendan SoundCloud Creator Profile: Rob Collins

SoundCloud Creator Rob Collins“My [SoundCloud] notifications suddenly went haywire,” Rob Collins says. That’s how he found out that his song Crevice had been used to soundtrack the BuzzFeed video “How to Piss Off Every New Yorker in 36 Seconds“.

In his mind, all he’d done was “write a catchy tune and tag it ‘instrumental’ and ‘punk’.” But by tagging his songs, he’d made them easier to discover. And discoverability can go a long way. Rob says the exposure led to “a lot more plays and comments from people that aren’t my friends,” on SoundCloud.

Rob made his songs easily distributable by using a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. In addition to being a musician, Rob is also a photographer (which explains the amazing self portrait he sent us to use for this story). He’s been using Creative Commons for his images “for years.” It just made sense that he would also use it as a means to control how his songs are used and shared: “I’m a big believer in sharing creativity but also more than aware that sometimes trust can be abused. Creative Commons is a great way of making it clear how I would like my work [to be] used…[it] gives me a feeling of some security.” The attribution component drives traffic back to his SoundCloud profile.

Although he misses the collaborative aspects of being in a band, Rob “currently just make[s] music at home for himself.” When asked about the act of creating, he echoes fellow creator Steven O’Brien’s sentiments: “My advice for music and most things is, if you like doing something, do it because of that – then everything else is a bonus.” Even if his song hadn’t been used, he’d still “like it… and be happy about it.”

Here’s a set Rob recently uploaded. It’s a fantasy punk album, but needs vocals. Drop him a message if you think you can provide some:


Brendan SoundCloud Creator Profile: Steven O’Brien

Steven O'Brien soundtracks BuzzFeed videos

Exposure, plays, even commissions. Classical composer Steven O’Brien’s music was first used as a soundtrack last December, for the BuzzFeed video True Facts About The Angler Fish. The outcome of having his work used by BuzzFeed? “Fantastic,” Steven says.

Steven released his song Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor with a “Creative Commons – Attribution” license, so the producer of the video, Ze Frank, included a link to the Steven’s SoundCloud profile in the description of the video. Steven saw results: within a week, the song gained 7,000 plays and attracted 200 people to follow his profile on SoundCloud.

Frank has continued to use Steven’s music in other videos. The effects of the wider exposure have been gradual but significant. Some videos impact his SoundCloud follower count and plays more. Others open up new avenues for further distribution, exposure, and networking. Speaking from his home in Clonmel, Ireland, Steven says the exposure he gets from the viral videos “…[attracts] others to start using my music in their videos, but it also attracts commissions from game developers and filmmakers who want me to write music for their projects.”

Aside from the ease of distribution that using a Creative Commons license enables, Steven feels a moral reason to use it. “I strongly believe in the freedom of information and art, and I personally feel uneasy about demanding people to pay to listen to my music, perform/record it, or use it in a project. I see myself as a sort of street performer…everyone [can] stop and listen…If people like the music enough to want to reward me with money, the basket is there for them to drop a coin or two into.” (Many of the video makers who use his music for free end up sending donations via Flattr.)

Regardless of the fact that his songs have been heard millions of times, Steven manages to keep a great perspective on things. “If you’re writing music for the sole purpose of seeking fame or fortune…you’re probably in the wrong line of work. Write music for yourself…write whatever comes naturally to you,” he says.

Here’s a set of some of Steven’s great instrumentals. Steven groups them by the mood or feeling the songs evoke. This one is “Calm/Beautiful”. Enjoy!

Next week, we’ll be profiling another of the many creators that have had their music featured in a BuzzFeed video and exploring Creative Commons in depth – right here on our blog, Tumblr, and via Twitter.