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The Sound Feed


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The latest in our series of Rabbit Feeds looks at SoundCloud and similar sound based communities. We've uploaded all previous guides and presentations at -

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The Sound Feed

  1. 1. The Rabbit Feed - The Sound edition (Updated January 2012)
  2. 2. The Rabbitfeed on In fact, Mary Meekers firm KPCB has nowsound come on board with SoundCloud as a lead investor in a $50 million round of funding.Who still listens to podcasts, asked the BBC Well give a run-down of SoundCloud andback in July, pointing out that the genre the other players in this space...was attracting a relatively small amount ofattention.The answer according to the BBC, is thatpodcasting is actually more popular than AudiobooTwitter. 16% of the population hasdownloaded podcasts, with almost halflistening to one at least once a week.Apparently US figures show the samepercentages.The BBCs conclusion was that the overallconcept of podcasting is powerful, but itnow appears unremarkable and hencealmost invisible.Our take would be that it shows that anappetite for online audio as a whole iscertainly there, and that is precisely whataudio-based social network SoundCloud anda range of similar services are trying tocreate.This fourth in our series of Rabbitgrambriefing guides, examines the concept of A UK company, Audioboo essentially allowssound in greater detail. anyone to post instant podcast type broadcasts (with a three minute limit) from your smartphone Founded in 2009,1 - The next big thing - your ears Audioboo founder Mark Rock was one of the2 - Audioboo Guardians Media 100 in 2010.3 - Bubbly4 - Qwip As a British technology firm (though Mark5 - SoundCloud Rock claims 50%+ listens are in the US), the6 - SoundCloud accounts to follow service has a number of UK media7 - Conclusion companies signed up including the Guardian and BBC Radio One and Two. A piece says that Audioboo isThe next big thing - trying to position itself as owning the spoken word in contrast to SoundCloudyour ears being about music. However, SoundCloud has long since branched out from being a music-onlyBack in October futurologist and pundit service and it will be interesting to seeMary Meeker produced one of her regular whether SoundClouds new deep pocketsInternet trend reports. One slide talks and high profile, could end up in Audiobooabout the the next big things - those two being drowned out.big things on the sides of your head.From sound recognition services such asApple’s Siri, to SoundCloud and musicstreaming site Spotify, Mary Meekerreproduced a quote from SoundCloudfounder Alexander Ljung -"Sound is going to be bigger than video.Record is the new QWERTY."
  3. 3. voice email signatures to adding nuanceBubbly and passion to tweets. Qwips has just launched an iPhone application, which according to Zdnet, among other things allows you to filter your voice to sound like a chipmunk or a Robot. Zdnet calls it a fun addition with potential for special occasions such as e- cards, but questions whether it will really catch on as an audio accompaniment to social media status updates.Emerging economies are of course the bigonline growth market and what the NewYork Times calls social voice messaging isstarting to take off in Asia. SoundCloudThe most prominent of these services isSingapore based Bubbly, which has 12 The most high profile of all the social soundmillion users in India, Indonesia, The services is the newly funded (to the tune ofPhilippines and Japan. $50 million) SoundCloud.Bubbly describes itself as a voice based Berlin-headquartered SoundCloud currentlyTwitter, though in reality what it seems to has somewhere between 5-10 million users,be used for is as a way for Asian sports stars 80% of which joined in the past year. Likeand celebrities to share recorded updates Audioboo you can record any sound - voice,via participating mobile phone operators. music or otherwise - via a smartphone application or the website and then uploadThis makes it more of a one way service, and share. However, unlike Audioboo thereand as several news reports have pointed is no three minute recording limit (you haveout, it is also more difficult to sort through two hours for free).messages you dont want as on Twitter.Still, the service is growing at 100,000 users SoundCloud was initially primarily geareda week. towards music artists, but now has extended to the spoken word. Indeed, the SoundCloud for page of the site lists a number of examples of how it can be used -Qwips for comedy, for audio books, for education, for for band collaboration, for journalists and for field recordings. Note that only one of these are explicitly music based. SoundCloud has amassed a lot of very influential fans. For example, writing about SoundClouds "massive" new funding, ReadWriteWebs Marshall Kirkpatrick calls it "an inspiring community of audio producers and fans leveraging new technology." Kirkpatrick compares it to the best of YouTube in the early days, eulogising "SoundCloud feels like the kind of creative place that the Internet was meant to be." Central to that creativity is the SoundCloudThough Bubbly intends to expand beyond eco-system, with the API being built intoAsia in 2012, a US based service, Qwips, 250+ 3rd party applications and services.already claims to offer "social voice" forEuropean and American users. Another example of innovation is SoundCloud labs, which features "cuttingThe Qwips site shows what you can do with edge ideas" from the development team.the 30 second (max) clips you can record One is social unlock which allows you toand upload via the service, from providing exchange downloads for social
  4. 4. interactions (e.g. liking a Facebook page) 4 - Penguin BooksMeanwhile Takes Questions is an audio-based, personalised Q and A page.Though there are not currently many brandsusing SoundCloud, past projects have givena clue as to how it can be used. Forexample during the 2011 EdinburghFestival, SoundCloud produced a Sounds ofthe Fringe map, with audio tagged todifferent Edinburgh locations, as well ashaving so-called Sound Ambassadors on site. Book reviews and readings from the likes of Jenny Agutter and Tony Robinson.SoundCloud accounts 5 - The South Bank Centreto follow Recordings from Londons major arts venue.At the moment, most non-music artistSoundCloud accounts are dominated by themedia, publishing and education. If 6 - The World Health Organisationcreating an account, here is a selection tofollow: As yet infrequent updates from the UN affiliated body.1 - The NextWeb Daily Dose 7 - Intelligence2A daily round-up from the popular technews website. Interviews and segments with everyone from Umberto Eco to Jimmy Carter.2 - The Economist podcast on SoundCloud 8 - Richard Herring The comedian, writer and broadcaster presents an audio version of his blog, the second longest running in the world.3 - JournalismnewsRegular podcasts from the media news site.
  5. 5. Conclusion Rabbit Library Looking for more resource documents andAt just short of ten million users, presentations?   Weve grouped them all inSoundClouds user base is still relatively the Rabbit Library where you can view andsmall. However, a combination of the eco- download them.system it has developed, the influential andcommitted fans it has on board, and itsdeep pockets should see it scale up in 2012.Whether it ends up being the YouTube ofsound or not, it definitely needs to be onbrands radars over the coming year.In contrast, were less convinced about theother services. Audioboo continues toprovide a quick and easy way to recordcommentary on the go (e.g. from an event)and while Qwip and Bubbly may serve nichemarkets, it is difficult to see thembecoming the twitter of audio.Finally - did you know?We have our own digital audio expertise in-house that we can offer you. RecentRabbit recruit Leanne Rice is a co-host ofthe High Tea Cast podcast. Get the latestepisodes here.Lea is currently working on a weekly digestof Rabbitgram (our daily news updates -sign up here) which will shortly be onSoundCloud. We’re a young (February 2010) agency that this year has already won six industry awards, and counting. As a social media ideas agency, we look at the different ways in which online social tools can be integrated into organisations. Want to know more?  Visit us at, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or email Viewing the the html version and want to sign up to get this by email?  Sign up at