Born out of two sound engineers’ frustration at not being able to conveniently share and get feedback on music, SoundCloud has grown into one of the world’s largest online music streaming and sharing communities. With more than 40 million registered users and over 200 million listeners (according to USA today), the German based audio streaming site has clearly become a force to reckon with.
The best part of using this website is that a lot of its features come free of charge. Once you register with the service you can listen to as much music as you’d like and even download up to 100 songs. Artists registered with the site can also upload up to 120 minutes of audio on to their artist profiles. The websites user interface shows music as a wave form and allows listeners to comment of specific parts of it. It is a great place to get exposure, with more than 90% of all uploaded audios getting played in 30 minutes by at least one user. It allows artists to easily share their music through social media. The website also has a record button that allows artists to produce audios directly from the upload page.
The Kenyan connection
Recognizing the potential for promotion of music, several Kenyan rock bands have begun using Soundcloud. Some of these artists include, Parkinglotgrass, Murfy’s flaw, Koinange Street Avengers Dove Slimme, among other artists. The intrigue goes beyond rock. Kenyan rock band even spotted a Mugithi mix somewhere in the Kenyan music search results. You can always sign up to site and follow your favourite band just like on twitter.
The site has however come under criticism from its original users because of changes made to its user interface in 2013. Aiming to increase its appeal and user base, the site introduced a sleeker looking media player and reposting features. Critics say that although it started out as a place for artists to collaborate, this side of things is being neglected in favour of listeners. The comment section for one has been modified and made too small according to some users. Soundclouds CEO acknowledged the site was not perfect in an interview with Forbes but said that more users are getting on board. Those complaining were only a ‘vocal minority’.
Log on and check out the Kenyan music there some time.