Hey, Soundcloud! An open letter – Fix yourself.

As a paying Soundcloud customer, I am unhappy. Here are what I think the problems are, and then some possible ideas for improvement, as well, so it’s not just a complaint.

The issues I have with Soundcloud:

  • The comment system is terrible (needs up/downvote system like reddit)
  • Bugs everywhere (problems logging in, seeing other people’s profiles)
  • Notification for getting stuff in my dropbox is non-existent so I miss a lot of demos people send in
  • For a long time I had problems uploading, no idea why
  • No real sense of community, at all
  • No rewards for good music, no competitive aspect like charts, etc…
  • No real place to share ideas and have discussions as a group
  • Discussion groups, like facebook, would be huge (right now I mostly communicate with labels and my music licensing group via Facebook, which I hate)
  • No real way to promote music aside from tedious adding of every track to a hundred groups and not getting that many plays out of it
  • Non-existent customer service/support system
  • No way to grab people’s emails in case they want updates in the future
  • My links (Website, FB, Tw, etc…) are not highlighted enough
  • A lot of non-musicians have no idea how to use Soundcloud, and they don’t like making a profile to <3 a track or download it
  • Analytics are piss poor, especially given I’m paying for it, should have Google Analytics integration at the least!
  • Embedding playlists on my website is not customizeable enough in terms of how the player appears
  • Barely ever works on mobile, I’ve heard this from many people
  • No way to sell music via the site itself

Here are some ideas on how I feel Soundcloud could be better:

  • Beatport has a near-monoploy on EDM, which is annoying because their website also sucks balls, and it’s all very nepotistic where you have to know someone, for the most part, to get any sort of promotion. People go nuts about being on the chart there, though, it’s the holy grail for EDM producers to get on the Top 100.
  • Bandcamp is pretty cool, but it’s extremely limited in nearly every way, and there is no community there. Unless I have a ton of followers (which I don’t, because I don’t perform), bandcamp doesn’t really help me much.
  • Work on getting ins with music licensing companies; this is how I make 90% of what I make creating music. There are lots of movie studios and ad agencies out there looking for ways to license music, and they are still having to do it in an old school way, via a middleman, or an outdated site like audiosparx. This could be a huge incentive for artists to use your site.
  • Make giving away music fun for the artist (I give away almost 50% of the stuff I make, just to get my name out there); some kind of reward system for giving out free stuff would be cool, even if it’s asking a person to leave their email address in exchange for a free download, or tokens to promote my music on your site
  • Have producer remix battles, where people on the site can challenge one another to a remix battle of any track on the site, (if a remix pack is available) and let other users and visitors vote for their favorite.
  • Do free contests (remix competitions, etc…)

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