Die Entwicklung bei SOUNDCLOUD hat Folgen, entnervte User verlassen die Plattform und suchen nach Alternativen. Oder sie gründen selbst eine, so wie FRESH ROTATION. Ein Interview dazu.
Für viele DJs war SOUNDCLOUD lange Zeit eine wichtige Community, bei der sich jede Menge gute Musik finden ließ. In den letzten Jahren hat sich das geändert. Der – in Reichweite gemessene – Erfolg des Konzepts brachte dem in Berlin residierenden Service keine monetäre Entsprechung, dafür aber die Aufmerksamkeit der Rechteinhaber. Das schlug sich letztlich in Copyright-Restriktionen nieder, die rechtlich gesehen völlig legitim sind. Nun basiert jedoch die Beliebtheit von SOUNDCLOUD auf DJ-Mixen, Mashups und nicht autorisierten Remixen. Diese wurden zunehmend – teils inklusive des zugehörigen Profils – offline genommen, in der Konsequenz verlor SOUNDCLOUD an Inhalt sowie Attraktivität und damit an Usern. Ein Kreislauf, ein Dilemma. Verstärkt wurde der Druck durch die Musikindustrie, die Anteile an der Plattform forderte und erhielt. Wie es weitergeht bleibt abzuwarten, potentielle Nachfolger stehen bereits in den Startlöchern.
Neben den oft genannten Alternativen MIXCLOUD und HEARTHIS stellte sich dieser Tage FRESH ROTATION als neue Alternative zu SOUNDCLOUD vor. Ein internationaler Zusammenschluss von DJs und Producern (besonders aus dem Bereich Ghetto Funk / Glitch / Mashup) die sich damit, angefressen von Restriktionen bei SOUNDCLOUD, eine eigene Community geschaffen haben. Doch was ist hier anderes, welche Taktik soll verhindern, dass es nicht auch zu Copyright-Problemen kommt und will FRESH ROTATION das nächste SOUNDCLOUD werden? Fragen, die ich dem Mitinitiator Timothy Wisdom in einem Interview gestellt habe.
What was the crucial factor to start your own sharing platform?
We all loved the old SoundCloud days. It was a great place to find new music and meet artists that we loved. But somewhere along the way it changed. It became harder to find new. Then, last year, the copyright issues started and tons of amazing remixes were taken down and big artists even banned from the site – loosing their precious stats, followers and comments. Our community was affected heavily. Lots of great music was lost. And that was too much.
Feeling frustrated, I made a post on Facebook casually saying “I wish I had time to make my own SoundCloud”. The post had so much attention that I decided to do it. I asked around our (global online) community and found a bunch of smart music people who were keen to help so we got to work. Our project manager is in Amsterdam. I’m in Vancouver, Canada. We have developers in England, the US and Germany. It really was a global effort and built by the members of the community who cared enough about our scene and protecting it.
Together we built Fresh Rotation.
What is the difference between Fresh Rotation, Soundcloud and Hearthis?
Fresh Rotation is a community based media platform that has several features you won’t find anywhere else. The most important is our ability to create Fresh Rotation track widgets from links to media hosted anywhere on the web. You could store your music on Dropbox or your own web server and just tell Fresh Rotation where to find it and we’ll turn it into a track and place it on your profile. The process is seamless and your music stays wherever you decide to keep it.
We also have coloured waveforms – my personal favourite feature. Our development team are DJs and we love Serato so we modelled our colouring algorithm after theirs. You can literally see when the bass drops. There’s also a secret zoom feature but you’ll have to be familiar with Serato to find it.
And finally, we’re a community site. This means we’re listening to our users and building the features they want to see. You can join our Facebook group, ask questions, make feature requests and help steer this project where you want it to go. Our most important thing is to be the venue and platform that our community wants.
I think, there are three problems music-sharing-platforms must face
A) Not enough traffic & users (like Hearthis)
B) Traffic & users, but sooner or later copyright problems (like Soundcloud)
C) Deal with copyright holders, which means restrictions (like Mixcloud)
Question: Have you found a solution to these?
We sure have – we combine the best of all three of those rolled into one. Copyright is what killed SoundCloud. We didn’t want to follow the same fate so our servers are in glorious Canada where we have a law that permits us to host remixes and bootlegs as long as there is no commercial gain. This means, if you are not selling your music, you can post it up for people to hear. We also have the advantage of being more of a statistic and social network service over an actual media hosting service – most of the tracks on Fresh Rotation aren’t actually on Fresh Rotation – they’re hosted elsewhere. In the end, you can actually have all your SoundCloud, Hearthis and Mixcloud tracks also on Fresh Rotation under a single profile.
I see at Fresh Rotations many familiar names. Looks like my Soundcloud Stream back in the good old times. But is it a Canadian or Ghetto Funk or Glitch platform? Or is it open to any music community? Do you want to be a small community or grow up and be the next big thing?
Fresh Rotation was built as a response to the frustration that our community was feeling. It was built by members of our scene and so far we’ve only shown it our immediate community. Personally I like the idea of it growing organically. Our friends will tell their friends and yes, eventually the type of music you find on there will begin to shift as more people join. But I’m really looking forward to seeing the direction and journey that it takes us on. And I’m really looking forward to having a place to find great music once again
What are your future plans to make some money? The account seems to start with 100MB for free and I saw some ads. Will there be more space and features with payment obligations in future?
Our main focus is on creating a place for our community but we also need to be financially stable. We set the account limits to 100MB as we really want to steer people in the direction of linking tracks to their profile instead of uploading them – this is the real power of the platform. You can link an unlimited amount of tracks to your profile for free. That’s quite amazing. The ads are meant to be non-obtrusive and are there because every web server costs money to run and we need some type of revenue to keep things running. If you like the platform, please consider shutting off your Ad Blocker so we can keep the site going. As for the future, we have so many ideas to implement and depending on the interest level of our community we might create a pro account with extra features for the serious users. But for now our focus is on stabilizing our current site and welcoming our community.
FRESH ROTATION geht also den Weg zurück zur Community. Der Ansatz Tracks nicht unbedingt zu hosten, sondern zu verlinken scheint clever. Das spart nicht nur Speicherkapazitäten, es vermeidet auch eine rechtliche Angriffsfläche. Wie die neue Plattform ankommt, dürfte von der Entwicklung bei SOUNDCLOUD abhängen. Ich habe bereits testweise zwei Tracks von meinem SC-Account importiert und werde in nächster Zeit ein Review zu FRESH ROTATION verfassen. Bis dahin – Daumen gedrückt und Danke nach Kanada.