The Internet is an amazing tool in building the marketplace for people looking to discovery new media – particularly new music. In the old days of doing things it would take a partnership with a label to help you record and release a record that might reach the public and allow you to broadcast. As has been stated ad nauseam, though, the development of digital audio workstations, the recording software, and the ability to broadcast to channels like YouTube, bandcamp or SoundCloud has expanded an artist’s ability to reach their listeners. In fact, these tools being available to the artists has essentially flipped the music industry model on its head as many of the larger labels will only seek out artists that have some kind of established following.
The issue that’s more commonplace with all this media readily available for listeners eager to find the next hot band, sound, or song is how to sort through the thousands of hours of music for what they like. Hydric Media has been trying to solve that problem since 2014 and is now launching their latest offerings – Wonder 2.0, White Label, and Primary. Each of these services is designed to service a different music genre with Wonder covering the indie artists, White Label being the hip-hop world, and Primary tracking electronic music.
All three platforms are based around SoundCloud, but don’t require you to have a SoundCloud account. Using their own tracking data to monitor the tracks published every hour to see which in these three genres are getting the most listens, are being discussed, and generally driving traffic. This means that over the course of a day the playlist could change dramatically depending on the activity on SoundCloud. Given the fact that SoundCloud has about 12 hours world of audio uploaded every single minute (based on a statistic from December 2014), this certainly brings the music that’s striking a chord with the audience directly to the front of your playlist – even if it only just hit the site.
You are not, however, only subjected to the statistical analysis of what’s popular. You can also cultivate your own likes and keep your favorite cultivating application hunting for similar artists or songs. This feature, though will require you to sign in with you SoundCloud account. However, without signing in you can take advantage of the “more like this” feature to cultivate your playlist instantaneously.
As someone that has never worked with a music curation site before, I found the user interface to be extremely intuitive. The player is native to the webpage meaning you don’t have to have a separate application running, eating up bandwidth. You can quickly move between the top 99 tracks and the SoundCloud page of the artist or the track. It synchronizes very simply with you typical social media applications like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, so that you can easily share your newly discovered music with you friends and followers.
My personal favorite feature is the advanced menu options. As opposed to a picture of the artists in mosaic tile fashion, it’s pure data of SoundCloud user, track title, genre (as defined by the person uploading the track – I note this because one track’s genre I saw as I explored the site was literally a smilie face), how long ago the track was uploaded, track length, how many like, how many plays and the statistics of likes per play or per hour. It could just be that I find analytics fascinating, but raw data like that appeals to me as you can see which tracks are really getting the greatest interaction with their audience, even if they aren’t getting the most spins.
This advanced menu also offers drop down menus for searching by genre, how long ago the tracks were uploaded (well beyond just the last hour – up to a year ago), and which statistic you want to use as the sorting option, as well as the ability to just run a search for any keywords. This kind of information is a perfect marketing tool for the artists when looking to sign with a label or for a label looking to expand their roster.
As an audio professional, one of the common phrases uttered is that it’s sometimes difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Separating the music you like from the the endless supply of new work on streaming sites is sometimes like trying to find a needle in a haystack – only there’s no needle just the hay you like hidden among the used and trampled hay. This makes the development of a cultivated lists all the more pertinent. The folks at Hydric Media have certainly taken their product offerings to the next level to help advance and ease the discovery of more music on the SoundCloud platform. Best part of all – it’s free!
Read the full press release from Hydric Media on today’s new product launches here.