Posts from Music

SoundCloud Premier Distribution

Our portfolio company SoundCloud launched an important new feature today. Distribution.

There are plenty of services a musician can use to get their music onto the major streaming music services. There has been CDBaby, TuneCore, DistroKid, and many more. So why do musicians need another option?

Because if you grow up on SoundCloud, starting in your bedroom or parent’s basement, and you have all your music there, it is nice to be able to send some of it, or all of it, to Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Tencent, and many more.

This service is free if you have a SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited account.

Here’s the value proposition (from SoundCloud’s blog post):

With the first and only distribution tool built directly into a streaming platform, you can think of your SoundCloud account as mission control for your music: the only place where you can share tracks instantly, connect with your fans, manage your content, and get paid for your plays – everywhere. Simply choose from your uploaded tracks and albums and distribute to all major music services while keeping 100% of your rights and payouts (we take nothing) and getting streamlined payments directly from SoundCloud.

I am excited to see this launch as it is a key piece of SoundCloud’s position in the market, as the place creators go to start sharing their music, and stay to manage it as they grow their fan bases and careers.

#Music

Feature Friday: Now Playing

I’ve written about this Android feature before. I am a bit obsessed about it.

When you are in a place where music is playing, the Android operating system notifies you what is “now playing.”

I have two things I would love to know how to do with this information.

1/ Access it via an API so I can favorite it in my preferred streaming service (which is SoundCloud but Spotify and Apple Music would be great too).

2/ See the history someplace on the web so I can search it by time, place, artist, song, etc.

This is an example of where taking an app like Shazam or Soundhound and turning it into a feature in the operating system can open up a lot of potential additional functionality.

#mobile#Music

Sonos

Sonos priced it’s initial public offering last night at $15/share and will start trading today under the ticker SONO.

I am very fond of this company and the products it makes. The Gotham Gal and I are surely one of the company’s best customers.

I am not an investor in Sonos, nor is USV, and this post is not a recommendation to purchase the stock. It is a love letter to the company.

The love affair started twelve years ago, in March of 2006.

The marketing folks at Sonos reached out to me and suggested that they sponsor the music picks I used to run on the sidebar on the AVC blog.

I said yes and Sonos ads started appearing on the AVC blog that month.

I also received a test unit and reviewed the Sonos product here on AVC later that month.

A year later, I visited Sonos at their headquarters in Santa Barbara California.

Over the years, we have purchased so many Sonos devices that I have lost count. We use them everywhere.

I have also written about Sonos dozens of times here at AVC.

There have been many attempts to build a home music device that is better than Sonos.

They have all failed.

It is possible that Apple will get it right with the HomePod.

But they haven’t done that yet.

And even if they do, we will likely stay with Sonos as it works so well for us and we have them everywhere.

And now Sonos is a public company. Well played Sonos.

#Music

Funding Friday: The Backtrack Box

Dylan is a musician, an entrepreneur, a hacker, and a geek. That’s quite a combination and a good one at that.

He’s come up with a better way for live musicians to play their back tracks without the need for a computer and lots of cables.

It is called The Backtrack Box and he’s raising funds to manufacture it on Kickstarter.

I backed this project earlier this week and think it is the perfect Kickstarter project; creative, unique, and something that should exist in the world.

#crowdfunding#Music

AirPod Android Music Volume Issue

I use Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones when I’m on my desktop and laptop but I prefer the Apple AirPods when I am on my phone. They are small, light, and fit well in my ear.

But I’ve had this nagging issue with the volume on my AirPods when I stream music on my phone (SoundCloud, AppleMusic, YouTube, etc).

The volume from all of those apps is super low when you use AirPods on Android.

I wasn’t walking much in LA, mostly driving with my phone bluetooth’d to my car, and this issue didn’t affect me much.

But since I’ve been back in NYC and walking a lot again, it came back with a vengeance.

So I finally figured out how to fix it, by simply googling and finding this Reddit post.

Here is how you fix it:

1/ Go to the settings app on your Android phone, scroll down to System, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Build Number” seven times. That makes you a developer on Android, always a good thing in my book.

2/ Now when you click on the Settings app, and select System, you will see “Developer Options”

3/ Scroll down to the Networking settings in the Developer Options and turn on “Disable Absolute Volume”

Now you can listen to music and video on your Android with your AirPods at whatever volume you want.

Problem fixed.

I love the Internet and geek stuff like this.

#mobile#Music

Easter Eggs

Happy Easter everyone.

I would also like to wish folks a happy Passover.

My topic today are Easter Eggs. Not the kind that kids find hidden in the back yard, but little features that developers hide in the software applications they build.

I love Easter Eggs in software apps and I encourage our portfolio companies to allow this practice in their engineering teams.

Easter Eggs bring whimsy and fun to software, something I feel that is badly needed and much appreciated by users.

And a good example of an Easter Egg, likely a result of today also being April Fool’s Day, is Waldo showing up in my Google Maps this morning. Well done Google.

#Music

First On SoundCloud

Our portfolio company SoundCloud is the first place most musical artists post their music, the first place most musical artists are offered an opportunity to monetize their music, and the first place most listeners discover new artists and their music.

To celebrate that, SoundCloud is launching the First On SoundCloud campaign:

“First On SoundCloud” kicks off with SoundCloud’s first-ever creator advertising campaign spotlighting 10 groundbreaking artists from across SoundCloud’s global community. Spanning hip hop, electronic and pop, these artists represent the more than 10 million creators heard on SoundCloud every month, and the accelerating global shift toward creators building their sound, their audiences, and their careers directly online.

But there is more. Because SoundCloud is for all artists, there is an opportunity for everyone to participate:

Alongside these featured artists, we’re also giving all creators the opportunity to upload and be heard as part of “First on SoundCloud”. Beginning today, you can upload an original track to SoundCloud and tag it #SCFIRST, for a chance to be promoted across SoundCloud, including:

“First On SoundCloud” playlist: Creators uploading their latest tracks to SoundCloud with the tag #SCFIRST will be considered for inclusion in the “First On SoundCloud” playlist on SoundCloud’s homescreen, giving them global exposure to new fans, plays, likes and follows.

#SCFIRST on social: After uploading a track to SoundCloud with the tag #SCFIRST, creators can use SoundCloud’s seamless Twitter integration to immediately tweet their track with the #SCFIRST hashtag. SoundCloud will be randomly selecting creator tweets and tracks to promote to its millions of social followers.

Fast track consideration for monetization in SoundCloud Premier: Creators uploading content with the tag #SCFIRST will also be reviewed for inclusion in the SoundCloud Premier monetization program which offers creators a leading revenue share and additional promotional resources from SoundCloud.

#SCFIRST in SoundCloud newsletters and blog: SoundCloud will also randomly choose creators who upload their tracks using #SCFIRST for spotlights in SoundCloud’s newsletters and blog posts.

Every day, almost 200,000 tracks are uploaded to SoundCloud, close to 10x any other music streaming service.

So when you upload your next track to SoundCloud, tag it with #SCFIRST, and participate in this campaign.

#Music