The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

2011 – The Year of Social Audio?

Social Audio is tipped to be a massive trend this year. There’s even been some talk of 2011 being the year of Social Audio! Strange, I thought 2010 was pretty social in terms of audio. We shall see.

One indicator which stirs claims like these is the massive growth we’ve seen from SoundCloud recently. The site is now the place to be for music-makers and leaves MySpace (or My_?) cowering in the corner.

The other platform at the centre of this Social Audio uprising is Audioboo. Put simply, it’s twitter for audio. It’s mobile, it’s instant and it’s universal. This has made it perfect for news gathering and reporting on events as they happen, all you need is the one thing most of us wouldn’t be without: Our phone. The platform is now being used by the likes of The BBC, The Guardian and Channel 4 News.

Getting Social

These two platforms are already both very healthy, with good numbers of users that are continuing to grow. Audioboo is launching great new features by reinventing the voicemail and allowing developers to add AudioBoo functionality to their iPhone apps through a plugin. Surely a good move which could see Audioboo integrate itself as a framework for sharing audio.

SoundCloud has had a huge amount of investment and seen signups to it’s service grow tremendously recently. It’s an essential place for music makers looking to spread the word, interact and collaborate. It’s an interactive hub and even if your not musical in any way it’s perfect for music discovery and getting free music.

SoundCloud vs Audioboo?

With these two being at the forefront of social audio naturally people want to compare and contrast the two. Something I’m not convinced with is the notion that the two are in direct competition.

They are aimed at different people with distinctly different uses. Audioboo don’t need to mess with high quality. Well, not uncompressed audio at least. And it’s understandable why SoundCloud are avoiding implementing RSS feeds. Musicians don’t need this feature. I think it would only open the gates to users who are outside of what the aim of SoundCloud is. Which is to share music.

The only instance where I can see these two stepping on each others feed in with the apps. Soundcloud has added recording functionality to it’s app. It’s an experimental feature and something im not convinced was needed but cool nonetheless.

What’s Ahead?

Surely there are more uses for social audio and I imagine we’ll be seeing alot more of them soon if 2011 really is the year of social audio. My tip is to keep an eye on Mixlr. It’s live audio broadcasting for all and something which I find very cool. The radio is dead, long live Social Audio!

For your reading pleasure:
SoundCloud hits 3 Million users, grows by 50% in 100 days
Audioboo gears up to take on SoundCloud in the year of Social Audio
Audioboo Launches Social Voicemail With Help From Stephen Fry
Soundcloud Threatens MySpace As Music Destination For Twitter Era
Audioboo iPhone Plugin


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