As we recently discussed on CloudTweaks, there is a debate around whether it is still necessary to save music files locally. The majority of both artists and consumers now exclusively use electronic means to engage with their media and, unsurprisingly, there are a wide range of cloud-based apps to cover every need.
Here we look at some of the options available to both producers and consumers – ranging from the well-known market leaders to some truly innovative startups.
Based out of Berlin, Soundcloud allows its 40 million users to upload, record, promote and share their content. The site has a social media-esque feel, with users liking, favoriting, and following songs of interest. There are rumours that Soundcloud is involved in licensing discussions with major record labels which would further broaden the site’s appeal.
This startup is run out of both New York and Santa Monica, and styles itself as a GitHib for musicians. Splice not only gives artists a way to connect with fans, but provides tools for music programming, schedule management and collaboration. Every song, sample and save is backed up in the cloud, thus simplifying the creative process.
Another well-performing startup, DeliRadio allows users to explore their local music scene by streaming music from touring artists in the cities where they have upcoming concerts. The site has become an essential channel for promoters to connect with a band’s fans – helping raise awareness and increase ticket sales.
The site that started it all. Spotify is a Swedish cloud-streaming service that offers both a free and paid version. It is estimated the site has in excess of 30 million users who use the service to stream DRM-protected songs for free. The site has faced criticism from artists for their lack of fair compensation, with some leading bands refusing to allow their songs to be played.
The London-based startup has just passed one million users and is about to launch a web-based app to extend its service to PC users. The one year old Bloom.fm is cheaper than its rival Spotify, reflected in the fact that two thirds of its users hadn’t paid for a music service before signing up.
Turning the traditional cloud-based music industry on its head, Earbits charges artists for listener data and promotions rather than users for listening to the service. Earbits also tries to replicate the success of modern cryptocurrencies, with users earning ‘Groovies’ which can be used to listen to songs, remove adverts and add features.
Google Play Music is service which connects your locally stored music collection with a Spotify-like online streaming service. By using the Google Music Manager, users can upload 20,000 songs for free then listen to them from any device. The paid service allows users to an unlimited number of songs.
This Canadian-based startup is a gamified cloud-based music mixing app which gives its members to the ability to instantly create mixes from their favourite artists. Once the songs have been created Indiloop has an all-encompassing share feature, allowing for instant publication on social media and Reddit.
Since launching in Autumn 2013 Music Gateway has already grown to 10,000 users and has hosted 750 projects and 3,000 pitches. The cloud-based app functions as a B2B marketplace for music industry professionals – aiming to streamline the way people manage projects, collaborate with artists and find new talent.
Soundwave lets users see what their friends, celebrities, and people around them are listening to at that exact moment. The app works by combining geo-location information and ID3 tagging technology to give an overview of music trends in a location, genre, or group. The app launched in June 2013 and has already been downloaded in 180 countries.
Ultimately the list is endless. The explosion of the cloud has seen an unprecedented change in the way we listen to music, and the ever-increasing number of successful startups in the industry shows that the market still has space to accommodate original and unique ideas.
By Daniel Price