When Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss founded SoundCloud in 2007, their idea may have not seemed very unique. However, their desire to create a simple music-sharing platform took advantage of a huge opportunity in the growing array of social network websites. By focusing on music sharing, these two young founders honed in on untapped potential, which has today become a very successful, and continually growing, company. Similar to the stories of other startups that have focused on specific markets, SoundCloud followed in the footsteps of twitter, facebook, flickr, and vimeo. Each specialized their website and therefore attracted specific groups of people looking for their services. SoundCloud is a very good example of a startup that was able to address a need of a specific market, and consequently expand to include the general population.
SoundCloud: Addressing Music Artists
Founder Wahlforss describes how SoundCloud was founded to fulfill a very basic need felt by himself, among others, “To make a long story relatively short, SoundCloud was born out of a need that both Alex (Ljung, ed.) and I felt. … Alex was doing music scores for movies, and I had produced some electronic music and released an album. But we both felt that there was a clear deficiency in the tools that were available – a gap in the market for getting a piece of audio from point A to point B to any number of recipients. That was the embryonic idea, let’s say. We went from that kind of niche market to a more generic audio infrastructure for the web.” (Weverbergh). The basis of the company was founded on the idea that there was no easy way to share music and receive feedback. Pre-SoundCloud artists could upload music to...
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...refore the subscription they sell is still based on the niche market they started with. Unlike Pandora or Spotify, free users can stream music without interruptive advertisements, and they can also upload a limited amount of music.
Since 2007, SoundCloud has grown from a tiny German startup to a massive music sharing based website. By integrating music sharing with a social-network type platform they have outshined their competitors and continue to grow each day. The company is continually expanding the SoundCloud brand through their own mobile application, as well as integrating with many other websites and mobile applications.. SoundCloud depicts a company that very successfully took advantage of an unmet need and created a worldwide brand. Only time will tell if they will be able to continually expand and fulfill the demands of music enthusiasts everywhere.
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