There has been much talk online in the past few days that Soundcloud may be struggling again. They’ve laid workers off, still fail to make a profit, and seem to have failed to find a buyer/investor. Not to scare anyone – I think it is incredibly prudent to make sure you have certain fail-safes should the worse happen. I will outline those here in the hope we can all stay connected with the music, podcasts and audio streams we all love!
Number 1 – You must ensure you have back ups of all audio offline! Buy a few hard disk drives and make multiple copies. If you can store a duplicate or more in different places this increases the chance your music will outlast any natural disaster, fire or whatever the world throws at you.
Number 2 – Don’t upload just to one site. I’ve read panicked comments from a few musicians who have limited their audience to just one site. If the service is free on other sites it is wise to upload there too!
I now regularly upload to Bandcamp (under two artist profiles) as it is free, I can also organise the music into playlists I think work. It doesn’t have the audience I get on Soundcloud but its there just in case. I also upload to Youtube and Vimeo from time to time. Not only does this increase your chance of being heard it also means that if one site goes down people can find you on another.
Number 3 – Use those streaming sites to advertise the others, and use them to advertise how to find you on social media. Got a twitter or facebook account? Write the link in the description box under your music. Got any music to sell on itunes through Tunecore? Write that in the description. It may seem like hard work but its also worth just typing this broad text out in a wordpad/text editor file and simply pasting it in where needed to save yourself time.
Hopefully Soundcloud will get their act together, I personally would be sad to see it go. Although I think there are clear things they could do to stabilise things such as tackling the spam, lowering the price points for the pro upload account options (given that you get much of these tools for free with Bandcamp, Youtube and Vimeo it is redundant to pay £75 for something free elsewhere), they could make a deal with iTune, Spotify and Deezer to monetise the underground music more or even create a video export tool where your music and avatar can be uploaded as a stream to youtube. People want tools to make life simple, and there is still a place for Soundcloud.
I hope this blog post spurs some into backing up and helps others see alternatives. Thanks for reading!