by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff
Instagram now has roughly one billion users, up from last year’s 800 million. As of Oct. 23, those one billion users will be able to access SoundCloud in their Instagram stories, allowing them to share music with their followers. This past week, SoundCloud integrated with Instagram, allowing SoundCloud to gain publicity and connect with even more people as Instagram users share SoundCloud music across the popular social media platform.
In recent years, Instagram has flourished in terms of its popularity. The New York Times describes it as “becoming Facebook,” in the respect that checking who has posted what on Instagram has become a daily fixture in the lives of people across the United States. SoundCloud’s new connection with Instagram will give the music platform more access to the masses because of Instagram’s popularity.
In SoundCloud, the user can now press the “Share” button and then click “Share to Instagram Story.” Typically, producers upload their music to SoundCloud and then post links to their social media. SoundCloud reported that there are tens of millions of these posts every month. The integration with Instagram eliminates the middleman posting links, at least on one platform. Because of this omission, Billboard reported that “creators will now be able to more seamlessly promote their new music.” This is not only a fun way to share music with friends, but a promotional tool for those who create their music using SoundCloud.
SoundCloud is not the first major music sharing platform to do this. Just this summer, Spotify also integrated with Instagram. When they announced this plan in May, Spotify said, “We’re excited to see all the different ways our creator community will take advantage of this new functionality.”
Both platforms are used by artists and producers to get their music out there, and this makes it much easier for them to do so. Not only are they now accessible through Instagram, but they are available to anyone free of charge. Spotify and SoundCloud both offer free use with advertisements. This makes them appealing to the masses and is why they have become so popular. Forbes reported that SoundCloud has over 175 million users while Variety reported Spotify’s 180 million active users.
This announcement followed SoundCloud’s recent decision to monetize, meaning that people who pay a premium, have a certain number of followers, and post original music can become part of SoundCloud Premium. According to TechCrunch, the people who join will be paid a stipend for their music on SoundCloud. This payment, combined with the integration with Instagram, makes it much easier for artists to gain popularity in the music industry. SoundCloud is creating a platform for its users to be successful, increasing its own popularity as it does so.
SoundCloud is helping its artists and itself by partnering with Instagram. When someone shares a song, the person who views it can be taken directly to the SoundCloud application with one click. Its convenience will not only help SoundCloud artists become more popular, but it will make more people download SoundCloud, and increase its users. All in all, the benefits of partnering with an app as popular as Instagram almost certainly ensure longterm success for SoundCloud.