How does Soundcloud work?
May 19, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I stumbled across a producer who has had 720,659 listeners to one of her tracks. It has also been favorited 12740 times. Yet she has 12 tracks, is following 404 people and is followed by 114 people. Why doesn't she have a lot of followers? I thought I understood it and the thinking of how and why people use it, but I must not.
posted by CollectiveMind to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am not a real heavy Soundcloud user but I see it as a lot like YouTube, you may have not very many subscribers but someone can embed your tracks and they wind up getting a large number of views/listeners if it winds up zipping around the internet. Or it was a one-off that people were really plugged in to for some other reason (it was a really popular soundtrack or something) but they might not otherwise be interested in either the Soundcloud environment or community.
posted by jessamyn at 8:46 AM on May 19, 2013

For the same reason YouTube videos can have millions of plays but the people who post the videos might only have a small fraction following them: you don't have to sign up with SoundCloud (or even visit the site directly!) to listen to tracks, so the vast majority of consumers aren't members and therefore aren't using any of the "social" aspects of the site at all.
posted by bcwinters at 8:46 AM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I thought people would follow someone who had something they liked because they wanted to know when that person did something new that they might also like. I guess I thought that was what the whole concept of follower was about. So, the metrics of whether someone likes vs follows you that social media sites push are pretty useless?
posted by CollectiveMind at 8:52 AM on May 19, 2013

Data point of one here, so take this as you will, but I am a lazy person who is not going to create yet another account on some site just in order to follow one person who made one thing I like. I'm probably not the only person like this.
posted by rtha at 9:07 AM on May 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

If her music was featured on a TV show, blog or podcast, she could have had tons of visitors from outside the soundcloud universe.
posted by gjc at 9:17 AM on May 19, 2013

A lot of people would rather just search for the person.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:21 AM on May 19, 2013

Until just now I had no idea you could "follow" someone on Soundcloud.

A lot of musicians link to their tracks there, so I'll listen, but it never occurred to me to follow anyone. Also, people link the tracks on Facebook, which embeds them. So you can rack up listens from people who have never even visited the Soundcloud site.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:41 AM on May 19, 2013

For the life of me I can't figure _why_ most of the random people who have followed me on soundcloud do, or even where they ran across my account, but I can tell from my play counts that it doesn't have much to do with actually listening to my songs.
posted by advil at 11:45 AM on May 19, 2013

That track got linked all over tumblr, or blew up on a few big music blogs, or on reddit, or...

It's the Internet equivalent of a one hit wonder more than likely. A sort of mini-meme.

I've seen exactly the same thing happen with reblogs on tumblr Vs followers added, and on many older sites/platforms(like MySpace band pages).

The popularity was probably a complete fluke, and getting any of those viewers back for a second serving can be a serious challenge.
posted by emptythought at 12:15 PM on May 19, 2013

I doubt if it's fake fans or they'd have more (fake) subscribers. It's a standard indicator of someone who had a selection go viral. The numbers there match similar people on YouTube where a viral video (ie: a mostly ordinary person has something get a million views) gets about 1 follower per 5-10K views. (Source: I was once huge on YouTube and certainly didn't buy any views.)
posted by Ookseer at 2:46 PM on May 19, 2013

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