Free Essay for Everyone on Streaming and SoundCloud

Published: 2022-05-05
Free Essay for Everyone on Streaming and SoundCloud
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Software Media SWOT analysis
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1876 words
16 min read

When enjoying the several music platforms available in today's technological world, it is hard to pontificate the advancement that availed the music to us. Music wasn't portable until 1979 when the invention of the first Walkman occurred; this trend heralded the era of music-on-the-go; consequently, the world had to wait till the early for the development of the first CD which led to the decline of cassettes and the vinyl records in the market. The CDs provided a better option with their ample storage spaces, and it would hold this advantage over the competitors till the late 2000s. Upon the start of the new millennium, the music on-the-go tradition veered away from this trend, whereby the technology shifted into the development of smaller mp3 players; consequently, this aligned favorably with the appeal of the internet era to the masses. Mp3 players made their first appearance in 1998, but their impact in the consumer market was in the year 2003 (Van Buskirk, 2009). Their advantages lay in the compression of the music resulting in less space while the memory chip expanded more in memory space and thus revolutionizing the transfer, storage, and sharing of music files. Early in the 2000s, music was not downloadable, and one had to buy physical albums to experience it. Streaming sites were developed to solve these issues by providing a golden standard and an easy way to get a listening experience (Coats et al., 2000).

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Streaming media is the form of broadcasting that is presented to the end-user while concurrently being delivered by the producer. Downloading, on the other hand, is when the end user gets the whole file before watching or listening to it. Streaming is the quickest way to access materials on the internet; arguably, it is the preferred way of obtaining videos and music over the internet. In 1999, there was the first peer to peer music streaming and sharing a website called Napster that provided sharing of mp3 music files for free (Coats et al., 2000). It was the original setting for online streaming as it went as far as providing access to albums and live versions of favorite artists. It was popular among college students but had several ethical issues regarding the copyrights of musicians (Kuhn, 2018). It was later shut down following several lawsuits, but its conception fostered new ideas and culture that pace set the future of music to its fans. Today, music streaming has become commonplace with various internet based companies offering the service. Currently, there are several music-streaming services in the market including Anghami, Amazon Prime Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Slacker, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. This paper will focus on SoundCloud as a famous music streaming service company and identify its strategies within the market.

Advantages of Streaming

Streaming offers one the capability of viewing a video or playing music instantly; storage for the saved playlists occurs in the cloud. It, therefore, reduces the use of storage space in the computers and the smartphones; consequently, it also prevents the occurrence of harm to the files such as degradation of hard disks and har corruption of storage spaces by viruses. Moreover, they are easy to access at any place since one only requires an internet connection and a device that can access it. It has also introduced the social media aspect relating to music. Streaming has allowed for people to share music and get recommendations from friends; consequently, the membership to online streaming services is also affordable, while some enable free streaming and downloads. Compared to the physical music albums, the online services provides a better option. The online streaming services have further made collaborations with artists and media companies and thus limited piracy cases and illegal downloads.

Sound Cloud

SoundCloud is an online music distribution and streaming platform based in Berlin Germany. It offers the capabilities of uploading, sharing, promoting, recording, and creation of music. It started operations in the year 2007; started by a Swedish sound designer Alexander Ljung and cofounded by a Swedish electronic musician Wahlfross Eric, it launched its website and online based services in 2008. (Reed, 2018). The initial intention of the facilities was to allow musicians to collaborate by giving them a platform to communicate and share recordings. It, however, changed its core business to that of a music distribution company. It picked up fast and soon after its start, it was able to challenge the dominance of Myspace for communication and distribution of music. An injection of 2.5million pounds was received for the company in 2009 from Doughty Hanson technology ventures that escalated the marketing strategies and by the end of the year, they announced their customer base to have risen to one million people (Allington & Jordanous, 2015).

Currently, it is one of the giants in the music delivery services. It has already made collaborations with big companies such as Warner Music group, Comedy Central, Funny or die, Merlin Network, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music group. The partnerships were in the venture to start off a subscription music streaming service; as of today, SoundCloud boasts of a total of 175 million listeners and 135 million tracks

Features of Sound Cloud

Sound Cloud offers to embed of music into specific URLs so that they are shareable on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It was the basis of the sharing service within their platform. Once sharing the music on these social media networks occurs, it can be re-shared while keeping the attributes of the initial URL. Registered SoundCloud users are allowed to listen to unlimited amounts of music and upload up to 180 minutes of recordings at no cost. It further has applications and Widgets that are used to share their sound streaming services. The widgets are also allowed within personal websites that then automatically tweet about the music listened. The applications, widget, and the site provided by SoundCloud provide for the posting of comments displayed when an audio Track is played. There are personalization features for each user that provides for a subscriber to create their profile containing playlists. The personal profile allows one to like, share, follow another user and make the complimentary songs on their playlists available for downloads. One more complimentary feature of SoundCloud is its API that allows other smartphone applications to upload music and sound files to the application when the user grants permission to them. The apps directly integrated to SoundCloud includes PreSonus, GarageBand, and Logic Pro (Brimhall et al., 2016).

Subscription services

SoundCloud started off their monetization services early in 2015. They announced their first "On SoundCloud" premier services that ensured more music, free of ads and channels sponsorships. As of today, there are two subscription services. The SoundCloud Pro that gives the users up to six hours of music uploads enhanced analytics of ads and disabling comments on tracks (Giannetti, 2014). The other one is the Soundcloud Go that is ad-free, has the capability of offline play and has introduced licensed music from famous artists.

SWOT Analysis of Sound Cloud


SoundCloud has a total of 200million desktop visits on its site for every month over the last 12 months. It gives it an edge over Pandora and makes the traffic four times that of Spotify. 38 million registered users subscribe monthly for the services while the engagement of the users is of a high of 5.16 minutes for every user and 3.67 visits per day. There is 33% loyalty to their customers (Chamberlain et al., 2015). There is the continued growth of the customer base, posting a 62% increase in the over the last 12months, while the direct traffic increased by 60% for the same period. The referrals by the customers have grown by 28% over a period of 12 months (Beck, 2013). The users are high quality and originate mainly from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Brazil (Beck, 2013). There is less money spent on the search engine traffic at Sound cloud because it is organic as compared to the generic systems. Currently, SoundCloud does not pay any royalty fees to artists and labels thus their content is free. The search traffic of Soundcloud is at a high owing to 705,000 differing domains and 251 million backlinks with most of the links based on educational sites (Beck, 2013). The infrastructure used by SoundCloud is based on file streaming and thus increases with increase in the internet speeds. Moreover, the site design makes it easy to download and upload music.


The company does not have a concrete monetization model as most users register with free accounts and they consume rather than upload music. Their only monetization strategy is the selling of the 'unlimited' and the 'pro' plan. The conversion rates from the free to pro or unlimited are meager. Out of the total page views, the upgrade pages constitute of only0.34%.the average subscriptions per month is 10,055 people out of the total close to 200million visits. The bounce rates of visitors that visit only a page of the site and leave are at a high of 49% for the last 12 months; these statistics are worse than any of its competing sites. The use of social media for their sharing of music dropped by 50% since January 2014 (Brimhall et al., 2016). The visibility of the company's popular search engines dropped; reduced keywords from Google accompanied this trend. Only 34.82% of SoundCloud's Traffic came from the US which is the number one in the quality of music customers.


There is a growing music market all over the world apart from the leading American and European market. Most of the other music streaming services are only open to these regions and therefore exploiting the remaining part of the world for the market would prove beneficial to the company. The use of Search engine optimization (SEO) is another opportunity available for SoundCloud to grow. They have more backlinks than their competitors, and thus when they maximize their SEO, they will improve their visibility and traffic altogether. Further, they have up to194 million indexed pages that would grow with more SEO work (Brimhall et al., 2016). SoundCloud could also increase the number of their referral if they maximize on the online public pages that are popular for most music leaders. There is boundless opportunity to expand monetization given that the population awareness on music subscriptions is rising. Google universal search offers a mix of videos, news, and images among the top searches. Music streaming services have not yet exploited the video and news search in the service, SoundCloud, therefore, has an opportunity to utilize the service.


75 percent of the SoundCloud traffic originates from Facebook. With the world population becoming weary of Facebook; especially the teen; they are more likely to lose this market segment. Music service is fast changing and trends come and go; therefore, the company is facing a lot of competition from upcoming companies such as Spotify. While the traffic for SoundCloud grew by 69%, Spotify's increased by 118% (Choi, n.d). The bounce rates of other sites such as groove shark are at 30% while that of SoundCloud is at 75%. There is uncertainty towards the future of SoundCloud and music related Copyrights. Currently, they are getting free content based on the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DCMA), loopholes such as immunity plagued the content uploaded by users; this handicap would in the future lead to the legal entanglement. There is also a negative attack that the company faces from their misleading text anchors.

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