SoundCloud gets US$50m for sonic growth
Mary Meeker joins board
Berlin based social media audio sharing site SoundCloud has raised up to as rumoured US$50 million in funding led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The site, which is gaining ground in music production industry and artist circles, confirmed the closing of the funding round but would not specify the amount.
The company said that the investment will allow SoundCloud, which last year opened its Silicon Valley office, to continue to expand more rapidly.
SoundCloud’s service, launched in 2008, first targeted professional musicians who needed better options for sharing music online, and has since expanded to podcasts, audiobooks and other audio. The site not only features high end streaming apps for web and mobile but also discovery and recommendations engines that allow new artists to leverage the platform’s audience.
The site has around 2.3 million unique visitors per month and reported 5 million registered users in June, growing to 9 million by the end of the year.
Online guru Mary Meeker, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, will take a board observer seat at the company. ®
Prior to this deal, SoundCloud’s funding came from B-Round investors Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures, and A-Round investor Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. ®
Not the best quality for streaming but lets artists enable downloads (if they want to) and does have a good range of controls and links without any of the stupid eye-candy that, umm, *other* sites have.
Oh, and you can upload in all the common formats, not just mp3.
Actually, if all that bothers you, just use the Internet Archive. Unlimited free hosting of your music, but with limited commenting available, and not as well linked.
Soundcloud does allow a fairly generous free hosting space, and there is nothing to stop you deleting older tracks when you want to add new ones.
....there's always p2p of course, that's as free as it gets, but you get absolutely bugger all feedback as an artist, obviously!
And as a business model, 'giving away' your back catalogue actually then becomes 'embedding it on your site' where you can get traffic, sell t-shirts and cd's and high bitrate copies, whatever you need to do to pay the rent, buy food, and all the non bling stuff most artists actually need. You wanna buy bling, go jump into bed with a major label, they always need fresh meat for the grinder.
And then there's the point about non content providers hosting lots of content that someone else has spent a lifetime slaving over, and generating revenue from hosting said content via web site traffic, who then turn around and have the audacity to charge £700 a year to rent out a few tens of gigs at most on a server somewhere to allow said artist to post said material on said non-content providers content providing website! Call me a cynic if you will, you wouldn't be the first, but i smell a big fat rat here.
Beer, 'cos it's more Old School than food...