The web has been largely a silent affair for its first fifteen years.
Part of this is that the music industry has struggled with the web and what it means for its business model. Part of it is that podcasting and other forms of talk on the web have not yet gone mainstream. And the biggest part of it is that there has not been a wildly popular open audio sharing platform with simple APIs like YouTube and Vimeo in video, Facebook and Flickr in photos, Blogger and WordPress in long form text, and Twitter in short form text/link sharing.
We think SoundCloud is on its way to becoming that wildly popular open platform for audio expression and sharing on the web and mobile devices. A few months ago, Union Square Ventures, along with our friends at Index Ventures, invested in SoundCloud and I have joined the Board.
For those unfamiliar with SoundCloud, I suggest you get familiar. Here’s my audio page. It’s pretty empty because I just got the SoundCloud app on my Android and I’ve just started creating and sharing audio. Here is the SoudCloud page for S-Curve Records, an independent record label my wife and I are personal investors in. Here is the SoundCloud page for my friend Dylan Chenfeld who has a band along with his brother Noah and a few friends. Here is a page of popular SoundCloud podcasts. Here is a page of popular SoundCloud tracks this week.
But the most important thing about SoundCloud is that it is an open platform. You don’t need to go to SoundCloud to experience all of this audio. If the audio exists on SoundCloud, it can exist on anywhere on the web and mobile devices. Some of the tracks on this Snoop Dog fan page on Facebook are hosted at SoundCloud.
There are over 100 apps for web and mobile that have been built with SoundCloud inside. They are listed here. If you are a web/mobile developer and want to add audio to your app, check out SoundCloud. I am confident you’ll like what you see.
SoundCloud is located in Berlin and is building a team in the bay area. It’s a fantastic company to work for. Berlin’s a fun place to live and work and the company has a culture that emphasizes both technical excellence and creativity. It is full of special people.
You can read SoundCloud’s post on USV and Index joining their team here.