Goodbye Soundcloud, Hello World!

32 thoughts on “Goodbye Soundcloud, Hello World!”

  1. This is a very well thought out article Dirk. I will miss seeing you on Soundcloud but I think you are likely just ahead of many of us. I will see and hear you on Spotify! Cheers, Chris (Wild Christopher).

  2. That’s a lengthy and eloquent post which accurately reflects my own changing SoundCloud experience, and loss of faith in the platform. I will admit to not being the most enthusiastic or skilled manipulator of social media, but it has been my habit to spend approximately and hour each morning sifting through the tracks in my stream, commenting where I think it appropriate, and reposting a limited number of tracks. It has become increasingly difficult to do this effectively because of the amount of multiple accounts, block reposts, and playlists which now proliferate. I suspect that many long time users now avoid the stream and simply listen to selected artists, and then only if they are prompted to by a like, comment or repost. I have never achieved the kind of success you have on the platform, but nevertheless, my number of followers has gradually edged towards the 1000 mark. This has never been reflected in the number of plays I have received, but, of late, the discrepancy has become ever more extreme. I am lucky now if an upload receives ten plays in a week, and it is often not my established followers who are listening and commenting. They have gone elsewhere. So such efforts as I do make are becoming increasingly unrewarded. While I never had any great ambitions or expectations for my music, it feels as though I am slipping backwards in terms of profile, rather than progressing. To be honest, I’ve never been entirely comfortable with social media. I dislike the cliquiness that develops and the idea of reposting something merely to return a favour, or to induce one. I’ve tried to avoid that, liking, commenting on, or reposting a track only on its musical merits. It’s as close to integrity as I can mange, but it serves poorly as a tool for self promotion, or for making friendships. Your music, although I am not so in tune with your current metal direction, has been among the most impressive and inspiring I have encountered on SoundCloud. Your comments on my tracks, alongside those of Lee Lucas and Gordon M, some of the most anticipated and most valued for their insight and helpful nature. So, in closing, I would like to wish you well with your music and future direction, and to say thank you for your music and assistance.

    1. Hi Dorian, I was first confused by your name here, but I recognised soon, that you are Delorange or for me “Del” from Soundcloud. About Self-promotion I was also very unexperienced before I joined Soundcloud. In my opinion quality-music had to be dicovered by influential people leading directly to success. I needed years to understand, that this is not functioning (or very seldomly) and that today’s emerging artist have to put a lot of effort in self-promotion. I am not the type of person myself to fall on other’s nerves with “Hey, my stuff is great, listen to it”. Therefore I am more happy and feel comfortable with what I call Passive Promotion, the title of a blog by Brian Hazard http://passivepromotion.com/, so being helpful, supportive and hope to get something back or paying for promotion. The big advantage of being helpful and supportive is, that you connect with people. On the other hand as you state above it’s hard to impossible to stay integer, so I also reposted playlists, which are too long in my opinion. I wrote comments for tracks, which I did not like. It’s a bit like to run with the wolves. Therefore if you want to make a progression you have to make compromises. Thank you for the wishes and we can met again on other places (I remember I found you on Youtube also)

      1. I now have your links for Bandcamp, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, so I can keep up to date with you. I should have identified myself more clearly. I have multiple online identities and sometimes forget who I am supposed to be.

  3. Hi Dirk.It is sad to see you leave Soundcloud. I DO take what you have to say seriously and most of it is all true.For me at the moment,Soundcloud still offers a platform for my music.I believe it is wicked to have music and leave it in one’s lounge room if you understand.
    We put tracks on Bandcamp and cdbaby and had little response.I am not entirely sure that the lack of progression is just Soundcloud.My heart sinks when I go to a google page and see our tracks available through so many sites…even though we make them not downloadable,the pirates still manage to copy them and offer them up.
    Music is a cut throat world – even more so than it ever was.I have been in the industry for quite a while and have seen so many changes.Once upon a time it was a real struggle and then a triumph to have a cd on the market – now every man and his dog has something for sale.
    For the time being we will stick with Soundcloud even though I agree with you that it is a sinking ship with bad management,poor decisions and their money hungry attempts to compete will be their final downfall.We will keep a free account although I am running out of upload time – but I will keep this blog of yours and make reference to it as it makes good sense.
    I hope I can still get to hear your brilliant music Dirk.I have been and will continue to be,a fan.
    Peace,light,warm wishes,
    Robyn:)xo

    1. Hi Robyn, this is the best compliment I can get, because since years I was searching for “fans” and I am proud, that some great musicians like you call themselves “fans” of my music. I also publish on CD baby and bandcamp and got no response at all, but I am very sure meanwhile, that you can’t expect this from the soundcloud-audience. When I started on Soundcloud I had been not active with music since years and I am very grateful, that the community of Soundcloud woke me up as a musician. Actually I am more active with creating and composing music than I ever was in my life, or since 2007 maybe. I think it’s a logical step to go outside and to try to widen my audience. Maybe I will come back after a year and realise, that I failed, but then I can say to myself, that I have tried it. So I can garantee, that you will hear more from me and send best wishes to Australia, Dirk

  4. Good article, great lessons for Soundcloud and musicians

    “At last it’s just a very boring click-feast”
    yes – true – but that could be said of the internet as a whole – we humans should make it more meaningful.

    “reposts are getting useless” – i thought so from the beginning, but I somehow managed to wade through the repost tsunami.

    “On Spotify I get royalties” – how did you do that? Isn’t making manoey on Spotify a bit of a lottery and maybe mainting a hight Soundcloud profile can cause you to pass the bar on Spotify more quickly.

    “implement a possibility to switch off reposts?” – yes! there is a plugin on Chrome that does that – but it works slowly and outside of soundcloud.

    Hoping you will have new inspiration for music.

    1. Hello Dick, I don’t think reposts were useless from the beginning. I understood the repost as a recommendation to my own audience, though later I was also on the way of mass-reposting. In ther very beginning I coulkd for an example recognise a repost by Mark Bennet, because soon after he had reposted my track I got more comments. Maybe a limitation of reposts had been the right tool to tame the flood.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to write this long and informative article. It confirmed quite a lot of my suspicions. Soundcloud is a monumental back-slapping operation really. I have stopped wasting too much of my time there. It is better to have your own site, play live as much as possible (after all that’s what musicians are supposed to do!!! And where you will definitely sell CDs, merch etc) and put your recorded music in places where you have earning potential – Bandcamp, Spotify etc. All the very best with your musical endeavours, Steve.E

  6. Hi Heartscore, I am planning my first EP and admit I agree with a lot of what you said on this feed. SoundCloud won’t ever compete with Spotify and Il soon be using other sites to promote and get my music ‘heard’.
    I will however be staying on SoundCloud for now because I still find it useful for feedback on new tracks, And it’s easier sending a SoundCloud link to collaborators.
    But an interesting read and insightful read.

    1. Dirk!
      So sad to have you leave but feeling the same- even after 3 million plays – ill stalk you on other networks, spotify it is then-
      much love,
      Chris Pendergraft

      1. Hey Chris, stalk me as much as you like 🙂 I admire your ongoing idealism with making artworks for others, coding helpful apps and not to forget producing high quality music.

  7. Some deep thought and insight Dirk. Agree with what you say so much but will keep paying for the opportunity to record easily with the huge network of musicians. We’ve all given this platform so much of our time and love that you have a vision to connect your other social channels, measure them and their influence. Best wishes in your music. Just signed up through YouTube to your music that way.

  8. Well written Dirk and I agree with virtually everything you’ve said here. I spent years building a community around my projects like Sun Tower, The Musical Crucible and Hog Iron. What I realized is that takes time – time away from what I love to do most which is create new music. So I stopped actively promoting my Soundcloud pages and just focused on creating, which is much more satisfying. I’ll get on the stream and listen to tracks and comment now and then, but I have no expectations. If someone likes what I’ve done that’s great but the play count means nothing to me anymore. Soundcloud is a place to post my music and I’m happy to continue doing that while letting my friends on Facebook know that I’ve posted something new.
    Soundcloud is an artist community platform and I’ve collaborated with people I have never met which is in itself amazing. I’ve done three albums with Greg Hurley and Kevin Sumner and I am very happy with the results. What Soundcloud is NOT is a business platform, nor is Facebook or for new indie musicians – neither is Spotify or iTunes. If you want to make money with your music, there’s only one way to do that in my mind – get in a band, rehearse your ass off, try and get gigs and get known locally and ultimately play in front of the “right” people. Even in this day and age, there are still powerful people out there who will promote your music if they believe in it. The business of music is still a people-based business. The one thing I learned by being on Soundcloud is just how many incredibly talented artists there are out there and initially that was very daunting, but it has helped me find my “place” in the spectrum and I’ve found peace with that. I have no illusions that Soundcloud will make me a star but I am certainly happy with what Soundcloud has provided me and I’ll probably keep posting my material there until they turn their servers off.
    You are an amazing talent and I wish you all the best.

    1. Hi Dave and thank you for this thoughtful comment. I agree with you, that Soundcloud is not a buisiness-platform. It’s all about meeting people, making friends, connections and I also joined some great collaborations there. But first I recognised, that I am sidetracked from making music and most important making my own music. Second I feel much more connected to my friends on FB, where I have longer talks and discussions about music and other topics. So SC became more and more a kind of work: “I have to listen to the track of X, because he has commented on my track Y” and while I did this for years with much pleasure I am feeling tired now by this mechanism. About making money I disagree with you, because I am very sure, that the times of making money with music are over. I have also played live for years and I know from bands, which are much more successful than I was ever, that it’s almost impossible to make a living with playling live, especially if you try to breakthrough with own material. Maybe if you start a cover-band and you are really good. Salary for live-gigs dropped over the last ten years and today you have to pay sometimes as a band to get a gig at an influential concert-hall. Of course you can sell a few CDs and merch, but hey, who is still listening to CDs? And on all streaming-playtforms the royalties are so low, that even famous stars starts to complain. No, expecting to make money is meanwhile just not realistic. But I still hope for, that I can find an audience, a small niche-audience, which follows me without expecting anything and just enjoys, what I am doing. We stay in touch

  9. I have read this article over and over and it sums up everything about Soundcloud in a nutshell. It must of took a great deal of thought and time to write such a comprehensive well detailed description about it all. It’s almost as excellent as your music Dirk to which is something else you work on to great detail, and is an art form that is perhaps on another level of genius in comparison to the many great artists there are on the cloud.

    You will always be something of a special artist to me and always have been since I stumbled across your great music on the cloud. The fact that you are actually leaving came as quite a shock because I only thought you was intending to switch down to a free account.

    The fact that you are also leaving does not mean I will stop following your music wherever you take it, and I know you will always be around on Facebook for me to keep in touch and not lose sight of you.

    I understand your reasons for leaving and I know you want something better for your music to which it deserves. It’s a very hard road to be heard in that massive world outside of the cloud, and all my life I have seen many great artists who play in pubs and clubs who are way better than many of those already making loads of money and are famous in that big mainstream of artists that are in that world. I have even seen more talented musicians on Youtube who are only famous and recognised on the tube who are also not that successful enough to make it in that world of the famous mainstream world of music.

    You can but only try and I wish you all the success in the world doing so my friend. But even if it does not reach many more, one thing that you can be sure of is that it reached me, and it has always spoke to me highly enough to have almost every album you have made so far to which I still very much play and enjoy tremendously and are sitting proudly on my shelves in my record collection.

    All the best Dirk my good friend, and a good friend you have always been to me, and I have always considered you as one.

    1. You were my first real contact on SC and you have teached me everything like a mentor. As I have written above without your first comments on my old tracks I would maybe still not making any new music and now I have created so many tracks during the past three years. Therefore I am very grateful for your steady encouragement (I even consider to sing again myself :-), support and being a reliable and great friend from the beginning. In my opinion the contact on FB is closer than on SC, so we stay in touch of course.

  10. All your points are valid as is your desire to need or desire more depending on what it is your attempting to do with or for your music. Its been a blessing to interact with you and to have met you and I wish you all the desired best in the future my friend! ThePhaige (Gary Martin)

    1. Hi Gary, thank you for all the wishes. I think we had lost the contact a bit on the cloud, but I was always an admirer of your project with Jaime, such a highly original style. Have you ever thought about to go outside the cloud?

      1. Well I think for me its a matter of music fulfills different needs for different people. Perhaps some of those needs are overlapping from person to person , and as with anything music is very subjective. For us its purely for fun…. and thats it. I enjoy aspects of all of it but that for me is because its not work or for a paycheck, or some other reason. Not that doing or using music for those things is a problem in my mind at all. I think if that is a where a person wishes to make their living I think its awesome indeed. Especially if they are able to do that and remain true to themselves and write about and play the things they enjoy and mean to communicate right 🙂

        Even to say the workman parts of music are not enjoyable is not the case for everyone. I love production and tinkering with sound at my pace and in my world and on my terms… if I had to give up any part of that for say a deadline or and agenda of some kind I would buck that pretty hard. Some others thrive in that… So in answering your question yeah I have thought about it but Im not especially interested to do so… for now I just dig the back and forth with Jaime and the fun and memories we share in doing it… I understand the dynamics of the cloud… for us it feeds a desire to have a place to store tracks , interact a bit with other people and musicians.. and to learn some here and there as well. I am under really no illusions that some record producer is gonna happen over to our cloud and pick us up or desire to sign us…although we’ve been approached and groomed on a few occasions only to have me shut that door.

        I have aways sort of felt the cloud was the perfect fit for what I am looking for in music… and in saying that though some of the things about the cloud that really piss me off regarding the pro pay model is NOT getting what I pay for and for me that is notifications.
        When those broke , the clouds value was lost on me as I know its a direct peer to peer support mechanism mainly and now I have lost my main construct for staying in connect with those I follow and do care to hear their tracks. Sure it is for the most part TIT for TAT on the cloud and most dont even listen to the full song.. I get it. But there are some who are genuinely into it because they love music and know that things require relationship. From my own self I am guilty of the same, I am genuine with those I am genuine with and perhaps petty with others … its a kind of to be a friend ya have to kind of make a friend… its hard to do it on one side… but some people want all the rewards of hard work without the labor… haha

        I have always respected your quality , talent and genuine seeming nature and hope I was receptacle with it… Jaime is sort of the one who goes out and keep in contact with those in our group as Im always so busy with instrumentation and production aspects which as you know take up the time. Anyhoo long wind there… I just meant to say I respect where your coming from and wish ya to find your happy place in all things musical and otherwise in life. I dont think the cloud may even be here this time next year.

        All the best 🙂 Gary

      2. I agree, that the cloud might be not exist anymore next year. They are running out of money maybe during 2017. About the notifications I found a personal method to deal with this: I had just put all my close friends into an excel-sheet and just went from profile to profile. I have not used the stream since years. Many tracks I also catched on Facebook, where many clouders are organised in groups and post their tracks. All the best to you also, Dirk

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