Why DJs Should No Longer Use Soundcloud
For the past 5 years or so, Soundcloud has been the ultimate host for audio content – brimming with DJs and producers eager to post their mixes on the Berlin based platform. Pretty much every DJ and producer around will have a Soundcloud account – allowing their legions of fans and followers to keep up to date with new mixes and music. However, over the past 12 months, many DJs have been quitting Soundcloud and migrating over to alternatives in content hosting – competitors like Mixcloud and Mixcrate.
So Why the Backlash towards Soundcloud?
Last year Soundcloud granted Universal music the rights to remove content that they deemed to be infringing copyright. DJs were waking up to discover their mixes vanishing overnight with no explanation. Adding to this is Soundcloud’s recent deal with Zefr – a company that specialise in scanning uploaded content (they have a similar deal with YouTube) for copyright infringement.
Contacting Soundcloud made little difference, as they actually had no involvement in the process. Leading to an email train between user and Soundcloud staff that eventually resulted in nothing but disgruntled DJs. Copyright regulations were being tightened at an alarming rate and for many users the constant infringement notices were getting too much.
Understandably, DJs quickly began looking for a new home for their precious content.
Before looking at the potential replacements for Soundcloud, let us first take a look at what the original DJ platform does well and perhaps not so well.
Soundcloud is without doubt the largest platform users have to showcase their content. With over 175 million unique monthly listeners and 12 hours of audio being uploaded every minute, it really is a huge market and community to be a part of. This vast audience is no doubt why they remain the largest service for hosting content, with more than half the songs uploaded being played within 30 minutes and 90% of all tracks eventually receiving at least one listen.
Single tracks can also be uploaded as well as full mixes with almost any audio file type allowed to be used. Users can also download the music, as well as the obligatory ‘like’, ‘follow’ and powerful full social media integration.
The Soundcloud API is especially clever too, allowing music and sounds to be uploaded by other applications – which have led to Soundcloud integrating with other platforms such as GarageBand and Logic Pro. Users can also upload their music directly from Ableton.
- Users can download tracks easily
- Any audio file type accepted
- Huge audience available for your mixes
- No limits on the file sizes uploaded
- Clear and easy to navigate UI
- With a Pro unlimited account you can track your audience’s location
- Expensive subscription service if you want to take full advantage of features
- Mixes and other content are frequently removed due to copyright infringement
Mixcrate has actually been around a while now, founded just a couple of years after Soundcloud in 2009. This California based platform is particularly appealing for one simple reason – it is free. While Soundcloud and others charge a hefty price for their premium membership Mixcrate allows users to host their mixes without cost.
Registered users are able to ‘like’ content as well as make comments. You can also ‘follow’ your favourite artist, which will give you updates on any recently uploaded mixes. An activity feed displays any relevant news as part of the simple and clean UI. Content can also be shared across social media, though this does not always seem as comprehensive as other platforms. The maximum upload is relatively low – at 190mb for each mix. While not an issue for most, those looking for higher quality uploads or longer mixes could struggle.
- DJs can list the artist/tracks used in their mix, creating sales via Amazon links
- Huge library of music and mixes
- The platform is specifically tailored to DJs
- Completely free
- UI is not as polished as other competitors
- Less social networking capabilities – making it more difficult to share your work
- Low upload limit
- No mobile app
- Uploads have to be mp3
The youngest of the platforms mentioned here but already a very well established force in music streaming. This London based service has avoided the legal issues plaguing Soundcloud by allying themselves with recording houses and ensuring that any royalties from samples used in uploaded mixes are paid to the appropriate artists.
Mixcloud is perhaps similar to Spotify in spirit, as it is solely a streaming service, not allowing it’s users to download any content – this is to avoid the potential copyright issues associated with downloading music.
- Great embedding capabilities
- Quality social media integration
- Smooth and modern UI
- Not a free service if you want all the features – costs can be as high as Soundcloud
- No download ability – Mixcloud is a streaming only service
So Which of These Should You Use?
DJs cannot completely ignore the huge audience that Soundcloud offers – and it makes good sense to always have content on that largest platform available. Any new content creators looking to gain exposure should definitely start up on Soundcloud – however you would need to be careful and take great care when selecting your mixes to upload – as copyright infringements will result in your uploads being taken down.
In this respect Mixcloud is a much better choice. With their streaming only service allowing users to use content without fear of their mixes being removed. As loyalties are paid to the artists used, you would also be supporting the people that produced the work you are using, another potential factor to consider when choosing your platform.
Mixcrate is a great choice if you are less interested in growing an audience and more bothered about having an environment where you can host your content and share it with a circle of like-minded people.
Basically it comes down to preference and how you will use these platforms. The statistics available on Soundcloud are impressive and important if you are building a business and reputation – however, if you are someone that is mainly creating mixes as a hobby to share with friends one of the other services would no doubt be more than enough.
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