SoundCloud is testing a TikTok-like feed for music discovery
A lot of music streaming services and discovery apps have adopted a formula for introducing new artists and songs to their users: an AI-powered vertical feed that highlights samples of songs. The newest application to test out this function is SoundCloud.
With a small sample size, the company is testing a vertical feed discovery function on both its iOS and Android apps. Those that are a part of this test will notice a new “Explore” page under the Feed tab and a “Following” page. Up until this point, the tab only displayed reposts from friends and new tracks from artists you were following.
According to SoundCloud, songs will be displayed on the Explore tab “based on your listening history and musical preferences.” The app will also display a statement describing the rationale behind a certain music appearing in your recommendations. These subheadings will read “Because you like A” or “Because you follow A.”
A significant change is that SoundCloud is introducing 30-second previews on both the Explore and Following tabs. Musicians can choose their own footage to spotlight or use Musiio’s AI technology, which SoundCloud purchased last year to enhance discovery.
Many sites are now taking some inspiration from the vertical feed technique given how TikTok and short videos have helped to discover new artists. Although it has been in testing for a while, Spotify hasn’t yet fully implemented it. Resso, a ByteDance-owned company with operations in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, uses a vertical feed but requires that you listen to entire songs rather than just snippets of them. In order to assist users in discovering new tracks, other music discovery applications like Smores and HotDrop have also used a combination of AI and brief clips.
In order to promote discovery, SoundCloud intends to be the first significant platform to include all these elements. How many listeners visit the platform each month was not made clear by the corporation. SoundCloud claimed to have 130 million “engaged fans” in a recent blog post. The business also claimed to house over 320 million pieces of music from over 40 million producers.
Due to “a significant company restructuring and the adverse economic and financial environment,” the streaming service cut 20% of its staff last August. The business recently established fan-powered royalty systems that allow lesser-known musicians to profit from user subscriptions or ad income only based on artists they listen to.