Remember when MySpace was legit?
Friends, bio, pictures, music, creepy dudes, everything. The first massive, easy-to-use social network that everyone seemed to be on.
Over time, the site became infested with ads, terrible bands, and pages that took forever to load because everyone had to have their customized, moving background, special theme song playing, and a million comments with embedded YouTube videos (foreshadowing!) in each of them. MySpace was sold for appx $580million in July 2005. The company was re-sold for about $35 million in 2011. MySpace has made a decent comeback over the past few years, but there was a long period of time where it felt quarantined.
Now, Remember when you found out about Facebook?
As Eisenberg re-states in “The Social Network,” “exclusivity” was the key.
Facebook was Ad-Free. You had to allow people to be your friend and see your info. Easy interface. Quick loading times. Zuckerberg’s creation didn’t have all of the features of MySpace (yet), but it didn’t need it.
Allow this comparison.
YouTube is becoming MySpace. There are ads on any video with a decent amount of views. A million terrible covers songs. Everyone’s a singer, dancer, comedian, or aspiring movie producer. Certain individuals actually pay for thousands of hits on their videos to boost them in the rankings to make them easier to view, making it harder for you to find legitimately talented people (Yes, I am bitter. I refuse to pay for that stuff. It’s like the steroids era for baseball in the 90s. Everyone is going to need to be doing it soon just to keep up).
There is a solution.
SoundCloud is the Facebook to Youtube’s MySpace-like transformation.
Clean. Simple. No Ads. The orange hue on every page is invitiing and distinct to SoundCloud, much like the blue of Facebook. The only limitation of SoundCloud is that it’s only music, no videos.
SoundCloud allows anyone to post sounds/music to their own profile page, and any other user or even guest-user can listen to what they posted. You can then follow other users, favorite their tracks, comment, download for free, or follow a link to buy music that is for sale. You don’t even need to sign up for an account if you choose. “Favoriting” a track is essentially adding that song to a “greatest hits” playlist on your page, so you have easy access to your favorite finds.
Every major artist is on the site, and your favorite is probably there too. JT, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Miguel, Drake. There are fake accounts, but that doesn’t matter, because you are really only there to listen to the music. You don’t even need to find the actual artist to listen, because someone else probably also posted the song you are looking for in their own unique profile, which is totally legal as long as you don’t make it downloadable.
If you want to follow the actual artist, you can usually tell by the number of followers they have. When searching, just look for the account with the highest follower count.
Each artist’s page has simple links to their actual websites, twitter handle, facebook page, etc. It’s a one-stop shop. Simple info.
The best part about the site is unknown talent. There’s a constant feed of songs you should check out that come through on your “dashboard.” You can search via genre, label, geographic location, song name, artist name, “tags,” even BPM (Beats Per Minute)!
Once you start following an artist, any new postings will be sent to you in your feed. If you are following friends, anything they favorite, share, or comment on will be forwarded to you in your dashboard feed, but you can always adjust those settings. You can even have notifications sent via your smartphone. The SoundCloud mobile app is excellent, and even cleaner than the actual site.
So check out SoundCloud. Follow me, and here are a few people I have come across that I enjoyed, or are working with:
ACMDY is a guy I came across, Joao Gonzalez. He has a very unique style of beat and music production. He is a producer for a well known production team called After The Smoke, who has over 50k twitter followers (@AfterTheSmoke). Joao and I are working on a few songs right now, and he is currently touring the country.
James Business is also a beat producer who specializes in experimental syncopation. His music is captivating. If you like free form jazz combined with electronic sythns, James Business is for you.
This is my friend Jake’s band he formed with his brother out in California. Jake is an extremely talented guitarist and songwriter, who has been in a variety of successful bands in the past. His former band, The Victoria Project, had a very Guns-N-Roses feel with modern vocals.
This week, I put out a remix of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River.
REED is a songwriter/producer out of Philadelphia, creating haunting music with a heavy emphasis on the specifics. Ben Reed, born in Chadds Ford, PA, began releasing his own style of Electro-Soul earlier this summer, and continues to produce tracks that infect your memory with catchy hooks enhanced by relatable, detailed lyrics. Reed is a self-taught guitarist and pianist, who writes, sings, produces, and masters all his own material. Formerly of an acoustic songwriting-duo, Reed played numerous shows along the East Coast, and gained a respectable following nation-wide via local radio play and social media sites. In late 2011, after moving back to Pennsylvania from a 2 year stay for a job in Huntington Beach, CA, REED purchased a new Taylor guitar and began writing music again, but this time expanding to a newer, unique sound by combining electro, soul, rnb, and pop.