Goodbye SoundCloud

About ten years ago I got into podcasts and online-based reggae mixtapes, partly thanks to BMC and his excellent work. It was thanks to his mixes that I got interested in contemporary reggae. I listened to his mixtapes, sets that always credited artist, label and riddim when available. I later bought the cuts or the albums that I liked.

After a few years I decided to make my own mixtapes and I used his recipe – no full tracks and added audio effects. These mixtapes were not about making money or exploiting the artists, producers or labels. They were meant to promote the music that I love. I wanted other people to hear my current favorites and then buy what they liked. Just like I did and still do.

Mixtapes have been around for ages (remember cassettes?). But they have also always been something of a grey area. And now the people at SoundCloud – the largest online audio distribution service – have started to remove mixes from their site because of copyright violations.

SoundCloud’s policy is clear – uploading copyrighted material is not permitted. That’s fine and the way it should be. They have however been more tolerant about it when it comes to mixtapes and radio shows. But that’s in the past. They now have a more aggressive approach, maybe because of new agreements with major labels and copyright violation tracking services.

My mixes are among those that have been removed from SoundCloud. And just like many others I received no notification or warning.

The question is how this approach will effect SoundCloud in the long run. They have been enormously successful and have for years been the preferred choice for top DJ’s sharing their work to the world. Now I note that several DJs are turning to SoundCloud’s main competitor Mixcloud, a service that even has a SoundCloud Import function.

I enjoy being introduced to new music through listening to mixtapes and radio shows. Consequently, I will follow the DJs, their content and hang out more at Mixcloud. SoundCloud will probably still be the preferred choice for producers and labels for a while longer, but I have a feeling music lovers will follow the DJs. Where the consumers go, labels have to follow. And the circle is complete when Mixcloud has grown too big.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Goodbye SoundCloud

  1. Rob

    Can you list some of your favorite shows? Podcasts?

    • Hi Rob, on SoundCloud and Mixcloud I usually find good music when listening to mixtapes from BMC, Safari Sound, Yaadcore, Paul Rootsical, Million Vibes and CrossFire Unity. There are many others, but these are my favorites.

      You can also check LargeUp’s Mixtape Mondays. Those are great.

  2. A very helpful article. I had not been aware of this new Soundcloud policy

  3. At the start of June, i uploaded a clip of a track that i wrote to friend’s album. That track was then released by Universal and soundcloud blocked it. I had uploaded the same track’s demo version as a private upload over 6 months earlier. Riddim is not from me, but most of the vocals are mine, lyrics too and so is arrangement. I’m listed as author of the track in album credits, listed as author of the track in youtube when Universal uploaded that track thhere. I have not given any permissions, not written any contracts with anyone, except the verbal agreement with my friend that he can release the track on his album. Im not even part of any “rights organization” like NCB or Finland’s TEOSTO or Gramex or what the fuck these mafia guys want themselves to be called..

    And soundcloud blocked that tune because of “content violation”. Ofcourse this is due to the fact that universal has given “fingerprints” of tracks they have released so that no one else can share those tracks on social media, except them. So, in this situation where soundcloud indeed has a proof that the track was first uploaded into their databases by me, they still think that the artist in question who wrote the effin track does not have right to share it, even a clip is just sickening.

    Sorry for long post .. what i really wanted to say is this:

    fu universal
    fu soundcloud
    fu mafiaa

    No more tracks there from me..

  4. I have used SC and Mixcloud for years and I must say that Mixcloud has proven to be more aggressive at blocking certain mixes. This crack-down on copyrighted material is affecting Youtube as well. I have been flagged on all 3 networks for podcast mixes and even for live audio from performances that I have shared.

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