Lessons Learned from the SoundCloud Storm

Lessons Learned from the SoundCloud Storm

I have a bunch of audio posted on SoundCloud, including podcasts, clips, skits, and a few original songs. I know several podcasters that use SoundCloud for their entire podcast operations.

But there’s been a lot of drama reported over the last week or so about the hosting service, as SoundCloud recently laid off 40% of their work force and nearly shut down. It had people scrambling, wondering what they needed to do to protect their works. Chance the Rapper then swooped in to save the day (and the company).

This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen reports about SoundCloud failing to find its footing in the audio streaming industry. And it’s not the first time I’ve seen stories about the financial woes of the company either. This has been going on for a long time.

But people still used the service as a podcast host because [trumpet fanfare]… it’s cheap.

Now thankfully it looks like SoundCloud is working out a deal so that it can continue to serve its community, but it brings up an important topic for podcasters: What does “value” really mean?

There are 3 broad “values” that can affect any product or service both positively and negatively:

  1. Speed/Time
  2. Money
  3. Quality

If a product or service’s “value” is quality, you’d expect a higher cost and possibly some time savings. If the “value” is in its cost savings, you’d expect it to be more cheaply made. As one value is increased, the other two may suffer.

In relation to podcasting, you can say that quality software should be able to make your workflow a lot faster, but you’ll need a bigger budget to make it work. Audacity, on the other hand, is free, but generally costs more time getting your audio “perfect” and it isn’t as flexible as other programs you pay for.

When it comes to the products, software and services I NEED to get the job done, I value quality and consistency first and foremost. I invest in these things. I want the companies that built these things to succeed so that they will continue to make things that help me do my job.

What do you value?