Interview With ‘The Soundcloud Bible’ Author, Budi Voogt

SSoundcloud. The platform Dotted Music has been actively covering since 2009 (we even visited its headquarters), and the one that has been growing rapidly in the last couple years. Today, Soundcloud is undoubtedly the biggest social music network, used by millions of artists in all genres – not only electronic music as it was in the first years of the Berlin-based startup’s life.

New musicians register on the platform daily, but there lies a problem: lack of explanation of how to get maximum use out of it. To get answers to some of the most common questions about Soundcloud, we talked to Budi Voogt, the writer of the first ebook dedicated to Soundcloud – “The Soundcloud Bible.” Budi is also a founder of Heroic Recordings, a music management and record label company based in the Netherlands.

Soundcloud Logo

  • Dotted Music: Let’s get it straight: what Soundcloud is for, besides making your music available for streaming? Is it for building a fan base or business networking, e.g. collaborations, A&R, arranging gigs? Are there many listeners hanging out on the platform who are interested in buying music and supporting artists, or is it more of a network of producers, DJs and labels?

Soundcloud’s strength is in the community aspect it provides, which completely revolves around music. If you use it correctly, and have good content, then it’s a great tool to help expand your audience, connect with fellow musicians, and discover new sounds. Besides that, a well set up and supplied Soundcloud profile can be one of the nicest portfolios for an artist.

  • Budi Voogt: For artists who still don’t get Soundcloud, what is the key idea behind it? How is it useful and better than YouTube, for example?

The music and media landscape is changing drastically. More and more, people are consuming content (including) music at a rapid pace, and in large amounts. Streaming sources such as YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify are prime examples of where people go to get this content.

We’ve heard about the effects that this change has had on record labels and the music industry, and that’s because they were too slow to follow the rapid change that was lead on the web.

For the artists, this has created massive opportunities, as the independent artists now have access to outlets, on which they can single handedly get a lot of exposure. Soundcloud is one of them, and if used correctly, can be a great tool in a musician’s toolbox for getting out there.

  • Does Soundcloud work best for particular music genres, or is it fully universal these days?

Soundcloud works for all genres, and almost every relevant current-day artist has content uploaded there. However, electronic music is heavily represented there. So many producers are technology minded individuals, that like to tinker with computers, and are thus often found of Soundcloud.

  • Some artists are a bit sceptical about the platform as you have to pay to get access to various features. Can one build a following and get a lot out of Soundcloud with a free account?

Building a decent profile and following using a Soundcloud free account is definitely possible. You’ll face a few restrictions, but these won’t hold you back hugely. Limits you’ll notice are restrictions on analytics, the amount of groups you’re able to share music to, and primarily the amount of data you’re able to upload.

  • Can you name some of the most common mistakes artists make on Soundcloud?

I’ve actually just written an article about this. Find ‘The biggest mistakes artists make on Soundcloud’ here.

  • What would you “fix” in Souncloud – is there any functionality missing currently, or is something done wrong, in your opinion?

There’s one thing that comes to mind instantly:

Integrating a chat system. The current message system works, but doesn’t allow fluent real-time interaction. I think a system in which users whom are both following each other are tagged as ‘friends’, which would then allow friends to chat real-time, like Facebook chat does, would be genuis. It would promote inter-artist collaboration and solidify Soundcloud’s position as a social media platform.

Soundcloud Bible

Soundcloud Bible

  • Tell us a bit about your just released “Soundcloud Bible” ebook. It covers more than just the platform and how to promote yourself on it, why so?

So my first book ‘The Soundcloud Bible‘ has just come out. I wrote it because I have been intensively using the platform for multiple years, and noticed that there was nothing like a comprehensive write-up about the subject. I set out to change that.

The result is The Soundcloud Bible, which is absolutely the most definitive guide about Soundcloud out there. It’s 100+ pages explain everything about the platform; from basic to advanced functionality, insider tips and tricks, content strategies and even how to use it to score label deals and blog support. It’s something both seasoned musicians, but also beginners, and industry professionals, can learn from.

  • You offer premium packages of the book, what do they include?

For people that are truly serious about upping their social media game, or that are looking for that extra edge, I’m offering different packages for my book.

The advanced package includes not just the book, but also a personalized social media analysis. Artists are able to send me links to their total online presence, which I will analyse, and them show them where they are leaving points, can improve, and should focus on. I’ll also show you some strong social content strategies and explain you how you can leverage those individually.

The complete package is the advanced package on steroids. You get the book, the personalized social media analysis, and a success factor session by me. Artists are able to send me all of their content, from music, to social media and weblinks, their biography, and back story, and I will find exactly that one thing which makes them stand out. Then, I will teach them how to leverage that to their advantage.

  • What is your approach towards services offering fake likes and followers on Soundcloud and other social networks? It’s commonly said they can hurt, but thousands of musicians keep using them, not seeing any disadvantages. If you are against “boosting” profile and tracks this way, can you explain to our readers why exactly it’s bad?

My opinion is that buying fake likes and followers is absolutely pointless.

The reason for this, is because the only thing that truly matters, is the genuine audience and fanbase that you’re able to develop. Real life people who will tell their friends about how awesome your music is.

Having 10.000 fake plays on a track will probably look lame, because there won’t be as many genuine comments to match those. And even if you buy those too, it will still have come from non-authentic accounts, so the ‘viral effect’ that you’d hope for, is practically non-existent.

Also, it’s very easy to spot people whom are boosting their profiles, through sites such as www.topdeejays.com and other social-media tracking sites. You can just see the spikes. And, if someone’s fan base is genuine, you would be able to see their activity on other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook too.

Long story short, it’s a waste of time. 100 real fans beat 10.000 fake fans. You want the people who are enthusiastic about you. The ones that will buy your shirt, go to your show, and spread the word.

Budi Voogt runs an artist management agency and record label, writes a blog about music marketing, and has just finished writing his first book ‘The Soundcloud Bible‘, which is out now.

Comments

  • Patrick Parker

    What are some thoughts on sites like Stereomood which uses Soundcloud to power it’s platform? My songs have seen a SIGNIFICANT increase in plays over the past two weeks with few comments being made and a small social media presence. Yet, the plays are completely legit.

  • I think the real, worldwide power comes to Soundcloud thanks to deep integrations with different services, and the example you mentioned is a great one.

  • Patrick Parker

    Stereomood is the first one I’ve come across. Could you recommend some others to check out?

  • Well, not necessarily the same ones as it’s a fairly niche service, but I highly recommend digging into what is listed at http://soundcloud.com/apps

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