Revamp streamlines app to feel more like a personal radio.
Yesterday SoundCloud pushed an update to its iOS app for iPhones and iPads that puts the focus firmly on the music, discovery and personal playlists and profiles.
Speaking to Music Ally, SoundCloud co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss, who releases music as Forss, has given details as to the logic behind the move and the company’s plans for the future including the platform’s anticipated move to monetisation.
In terms of actual changes, beyond the visual layout and feel, the app no longer allows you to record – something that you’ll need to do via other bundled apps instead – and you can now listen to something while continuing to browse. The app is now squarely about making it easier for you to browse, find and listen to the myriad of songs available on SoundCloud, making it more inline with the “radio” feel of Spotify and the likes.
Explaining the move, Wahlforss said:
“For us, it’s a snapshot of how our vision of the listener experience has been evolving. Can we make it more visual and simpler, so it’s easier to discover and hear more stuff, to collect things and listen to them again.”
More features are planned for roll out in the near future including playlist creation and audio caching – the latter already in use by Bandcamp who also revamped their app recently.
Key to all this is SoundCloud’s claim that “two thirds of total listening now happens on mobile devices – up from half six months ago – with the service now reaching 250m people a month.” And that of course raises further interest in when and how exactly SoundCloud will start to monetise the platfom.
Wahlforss claims that SoundCloud have started experimenting with monetisation in the US, so we could be seeing a change soon.
“Right now in the US we’re experimenting with different monetisation approaches. We’re testing out different things: throwing a couple of things out there and testing the waters a bit. We’re super-excited about where this stuff can go. When you have millions of followers and millions of listeners, you’ve got some point expecting there to be some sort of monetisation there. We hear that loud and clear.”
You can read the full interview over at Music Ally which also includes some interesting insights into how Lorde became the first Soundcloud superstar, the move by the likes of Diplo and others to use the site as a curation platform and its recent copyright spat with Kaskade.