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SoundCloud’s “First Fans” feature

SoundCloud, a platform known for fostering independent music, is taking significant steps to transform how songs are recommended to users. By revamping their algorithm, SoundCloud aims to level the playing field for independent and undiscovered artists who might be overshadowed by more popular tracks.

 

Breaking away from traditional algorithms

Traditionally, music recommendation algorithms suggest tracks based on the preferences of similar listeners. This method tends to favor songs that are already popular, creating a feedback loop that benefits well-known artists and leaves newer or independent artists struggling for visibility.
SoundCloud is changing this dynamic by shifting the focus from listener similarity to track characteristics. Their revamped algorithm analyzes the unique attributes of each track and recommends them to users who have yet to discover them, regardless of the song's play count. This approach aims to democratize music discovery by giving equal footing to all artists on the platform.

 

Introducing the "First Fans" feature

A highlight of SoundCloud’s algorithmic overhaul is the “First Fans” feature, which promises to deliver at least 100 new fans to artists. This feature leverages autoplay recommendations to introduce artists to listeners who are likely to appreciate their work but have not yet encountered it. By doing so, "First Fans" serves as a catalyst for building an artist's audience base organically.

 

Enhancing user and artist experience

In addition to the algorithm update, SoundCloud has announced several new features aimed at improving the overall experience for both listeners and creators:

  • Apple CarPlay Integration: SoundCloud is now available on Apple CarPlay, making it easier for users to enjoy their favorite tracks on the go.
  • Enhanced Security with Two-Factor Authorization: To safeguard user accounts, SoundCloud has introduced two-factor authorization, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Bulk Editing in Track Manager: Artists can now make changes to multiple tracks at once through bulk editing in the Track Manager, saving time and effort.
  • Automatic Syncing in the 'Monetize' Tab: The Monetize tab now features automatic syncing, streamlining the process for artists to manage their monetization settings and revenue.

These updates are part of SoundCloud's ongoing commitment to enhancing accessibility, security, and efficiency for its users, particularly catering to the needs of independent and emerging artists striving to make a mark in the music industry.

 

With these changes, SoundCloud is setting a new standard for music discovery platforms. By prioritizing both the artistic value of music and the needs of its creators, SoundCloud is fostering a more inclusive and diverse musical ecosystem. This innovative approach not only supports artists at every stage of their careers but also enhances the discovery experience for users, paving the way for a richer, more varied musical landscape.