April 20, 2024
SoundCloud's TikTok-styled discovery feed is rolling out to everyone


SoundCloud said today it is rolling out a TikTok-styled discovery feed with vertical scrolling and short clips from songs. The music streaming company started testing the feature in March, and now it will be available to all users on iOS and Android in the coming days.

The updated app will allow users to listen to a 30-second clip of a song to let them decide if they want to listen to the full track. Users can tap on the play button while listening to the preview to hear the full version.

While artists can select 30-second highlights from their tracks, SoundCloud relies on Musiio’s AI — a startup it acquired in 2022 for an upgraded music discovery experience — to pick the best 30 seconds from a song automatically.

SoundCloud feed on two smartphone screens

Image Credits: SoundCloud

The new discovery feed UI also has handy shortcut buttons to add a song to a playlist or library and to like a track so it shows up in “Liked tracks” later.

Users can still access the old-styled following feed through the “Following” tab on top of their screens to look at tracks published by artists they follow.

In March, Spotify also announced a vertical feed with short previews for both music and podcasts. Plus, ByteDance’s TikTok Music and Resso both rely on vertical feeds for music discovery.

SoundCloud says it hosts over 320 million tracks from 40 million creators. While the company didn’t provide details about active users, a blog post from earlier this year indicated it has 130 million “engaged fans.”

The company has been working on initiatives for artists to better surface their songs and connect with fans. In May, it launched a suite of engagement tools, including features like analytics and the ability to DM fans. In June, it started testing a function called First Fans, which guarantees that a new track will be recommended to some users with matching tastes to give it an initial boost.

In a recent interview with Music Business Worldwide, the company’s head of music Emily Lovell said that more than 500,000 artists are now part of SoundCloud’s fan-powered royalty program, which was launched in 2021. The project distributes ad or subscription money to artists based on artists users listen to rather than on a pro-rata basis that just counts a number of overall streams.

The company laid off 8% of its staff in May with an aim to reach profitability this year. Prior to this, SoundCloud cut its workforce by 20% last August.



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