The Upload

SoundCloud's answer to Spotify's Discover Weekly

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Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Nice find, @chrismessina. I love SoundCloud but find my following feed of questionable quality. Many artists I like repost music from their friends or genres I'm not really into. Listening to my Upload now. 🎶
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur
@rrhoover same with me. It's really hit or miss, and often feels spammy with short "preview" clips and other random stuff. I'm curious how good SoundCloud's algorithm will be though given the huge range in quality of stuff posted to SC compared w/ the highly curated/controlled content that Spotify has.
Nick Nish@nickjnish · Developer and Product Lover
@rrhoover @chrismessina I feel exactly the same way. Slowly saw my Soundcloud usage decline in the last year, but they have an unreal community of new artists! Similar to Twitter, because of the reverse-chronology style of their feed, Soundcloud has a huge opportunity to resurface the best content of the day/week/month, etc.
Bas GrasmayerHiring@basgras · MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE
@chrismessina @rrhoover Has always been quite good for the content on the Discover tab (https://soundcloud.com/discover)
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@chrismessina @rrhoover TL;DR: Both of these points refer respectively to 2 important things to still consider in music: serendipity and user generated content. In the case of the first one, re: Ryan's point, the serendipity comes partly from artists' reposting of their friends/other genres. True, it may not be an artist or someone you're initially interested in listening to, but it also provides the potential for stumbling into something knew that you never knew you might enjoy but really end up enjoying quite a bit. This is part of the power of music and serendipity; our tastes change, so sometimes the best "curation" aspect is one that involves very little curation at all, but gives a chance for us to sink our teeth into something new. That's exactly how bands like Dispatch found their audience. Regarding the second point that Chris brings up, true there is a ton of garbage on SoundCloud as there is on other sites reliant on user generated content (Bandcamp, etc.). This unfortunately has a misnomer-quality, and gives independently created and distributed music a bad reputation. It promotes a conception that it's by default lower quality than mainstream, major label material. But this is untrue, and has less to do with the content itself than with the streaming systems. What I believe that Chris is getting at here is the need for UGC-reliant systems to impose a set of very reachable, but very direct standards. The material that ends up being uploaded is all of a quality befitting its respective genre, and therefore creates a fabric of serendipitous--but higher quality--content for consumption. These two points, however, point indirectly to a third: an open system. The fact that Spotify's system is highly controlled and curated works in some aspects of music, but does little to foster true serendipity and invite in creators from the outside who perhaps create new types of music, covers, or mashups. Music eventually finds a way into an open system because the nature of art is to be shared and interact with the world; not contained and interact with only a small percentage of people. It's a very Ian Malcolm-Jurassic Park type of thing. What SoundCloud has shown here is that music is still very much up for grabs, and the companies which start to explore this new open concept--and pair it with quality and serendipity--will be on the cutting edge of the next big trend in audio media.
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur
I can't seem to find this in the iOS app, but on desktop web you can visit the Discover tab to see your own The Upload playlist with selections curated based on your listening history. Pretty sweet!
Gui Alvim@alvimgui · Barulho Bom
I love you man! Thanks for that. And Soundcloud more and more. I work with music curation and the regular timeline was a pain in the a*s with tons of reposts not useful. As SC limits following to 2000, I had to create more accounts to follow 6000+ today. This, together with Discover tool, I use weekly, can help me a lot. Thanks.
Alec P@a_polsley · Game Hunter // Marketing + Publishing
I love SoundCloud and Spotify's Discover Weekly, though my Upload playlist was way off. Maybe I'll just have to give it some more time to learn.
Anand Nandakumar@kumi360 · CTO :-)
@chrismessina how did you find this? Love it so far.
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur