SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings.
According to Ljung, SoundCloud came about because of the founders’ “desire to share sounds on the web”.
It all started when they discovered that they were interested in how people were connecting via social media. They then decided to explore how sound could become social.
The way Ljung presents it, it seems as SoundCloud solves very specific problems in the social world. It’s very much not like other sound and music apps that solve the problem of “I’m a musician, I want to promote my album, and spread it through networks”. Ljung is more interested in sharing moments through sound. As a sound geek he feels people can share their lives through sound just as they do with tweets and Instagram photos. Sound ranges from music, laughter, or a political speech to something someone says that defines a moment. Sound, he says, has the ability to raise more of an emotional reaction than written words.
In his opinion, the web is lacking emotion and he feels that introducing sound into the social space in this form helps “bring some emotion”.
SoundCloud works on the Freemium model which seems to be working for it. Ljung doesn’t see much need to charge brands if they decide to use the service as people seem to have individual accounts rather than brand accounts.
The service just launched its latest version which has users profiles have been revamped on the site to make sharing sounds across the web and other platforms more fluid.
Ljung is really excited to see sound take a more prominent role on the web in general. He is realistic about this and understands that in five or six years this won’t be the case but he does think the service will be a lot closer. He is hoping for a future that speaking to the internet will be normal less clunky and more fluid.