29. October 2013–
SoundCloud cofounder Alexander Ljung announced a new integration with Instagram when he took to the stage this morning at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin. The Berlin-based founder also used the opportunity to reveal the service attracts 250 million users per month – up 50 million from May this year.
Users of the music distribution platform can now connect their Instagram feeds to their SoundCloud accounts and add photos to tracks, playlists, groups or their profile. During the conference, Ljung said the integration "allows creators to make use of their Instagram feed and use that as artwork – as a visualisation of their sound".
Ljung also touched on SoundCloud's new premium subscription model, cutting down the four different account levels with a wide range of pricing to two levels with a smaller price range. He said the simplified account levels make the service more accessible and fit with SoundCloud's focus on growth and engagement, rather than revenue.
Naturally, talk soon turned to the state of the startup scene in Berlin – something Ljung is optimistic about. He claimed that VCs are now taking note of companies here and that it's up to founders to build products that are going to make a big impact. Ljung also thinks that being outside of the Silicon Valley "echo chamber" can be beneficial for startups and allows startups to be more in touch with Berlin's creative culture.
When discussing the potential for everyone to use online platforms such as SoundCloud to create music, Ljung said the democratisation of music is "badass". In any given hour, "we'll reach nearly every country in the entire world", he added.
As for tips for entrepreneurs looking to tackle the music industry, Ljung thinks there's a gap in the market someone needs to fill: connecting music with brands. "You could do something like that and reach a billion people... Most people should be thinking in billions, not millions."