An Open Letter To SoundCloud

Dear SoundCloud:

While tens of millions of users continue to enjoy the use of SoundCloud on a daily basis, there is an ongoing epidemic on your site that must be stopped.  SoundCloud needs to put an end to the actions of abusive users who use artists’ and labels’ SoundCloud pages to boost their own plays and promote their own personal tracks/mixes.  If nothing else, if SoundCloud does not have the manpower to police its ten million plus users, one way to remedy the situation would simply be to reach out to your users with global messages via your site and via your social media to put a halt to this madness.

Artists and labels work hard to continuously put out music we love.  Most of these established artists and labels are paying to use the service of your site and have spent years building a strong SoundCloud following.  It’s THEIR SoundCloud account.  It’s THEIR followers.  However, many SoundCloud users continually and completely disregard all of the hard work artists and labels have put into building a following that rightfully belongs to them.  These abusive users have become exactly that: USERS.  These USERS are using the artists and using the labels and using the artists’ and labels’ self made following for their own self-promotion.  It’s an annoying & selfish practice and it’s hard to believe that these USERS actually feel good about taking this route to promote themselves.  An artist spends countless hours in the studio working hard on their tracks and when the time comes to upload it onto SoundCloud, their hard work is rewarded with comments like “Check out my new track!” and “Here’s my new mix!”  Many times the USER doesn’t even have the common courtesy to actually comment on the artist’s track or mix.  They’re only focused on their own blatant self-promotion.

If a blogger posts a comment and says, “Track posted here: _____________!” with a link to their site, fine.  Yes, it’s still self-promotion on somebody else’s SoundCloud page but at least they are showing full support for the artist and the track.  It’s the shameless self-promotion and blatant disrespect toward artists and labels that needs to stop.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a USER’S self-promotion in the comment area of an established artist/label.

Earlier this year (in an article here), our friends over at Stoney Roads addressed this subject and suggested that comments be disabled.  I think for the most part, artists enjoy seeing comments on their music and disabling them may not be the route they want to take.  But it’s actual comments I’m sure they want to see, even if it’s as simple (and not so creative) as “COOL!” or “Blogged here: _________.”

Many people love and enjoy the services that SoundCloud has to offer.  With the many good qualities of the site come a few not so good ones (such as your random, disorganized Automatic Content Protection System).  I have no doubt that, as a business, SoundCloud continually works hard to improve the quality of the site.  Some fixes are not as easy to remedy as others.  In the case of the above referenced USERS, it is my personal belief that this user abuse can be easily remedied by SoundCloud with global messages via your site and reminders via your social media that IT IS NOT OK TO SELF-PROMOTE ON SOMEONE ELSE’S SOUNDCLOUD ACCOUNT.  Encourage your users to find their own means to build up a following.  It’s much more rewarding that way.  While policing your users and punishing them for this type of abuse may not be an option, reminding your users to show more respect towards artists and labels and their followers is something that you may want to look into, as I’m sure the entire SoundCloud community would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your time and all of your hard work.

Sincerely,
Andrew

aRod | GottaDanceDirty™

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