10. May 2012–
SoundCloud just announced a complete overhaul of its web app with private beta "Next" now up and a full switchover expected by the end of the year. The redesign, announced yesterday in San Francisco, comes as the Berlin-based audio sharing platform reaches 15 million users.
Alexander Ljung, co-founder and CEO, described the redesign as simpler, faster and more social. "It's much more than an aesthetic change," co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss added in a statement. "By making use of state of the art technologies available in the latest generation browsers, we’ve created a technology platform that enables us to provide a much better user experience and develop new features faster."
SoundCloud, founded by Swedes Ljung and Wahlforss in 2007, is a social sound platform that lets anyone - home users, big name musicians, politicians - create, record, promote and share sounds on the web. Snoop Dogg and The Bugle both recorded special messages for this week's private beta release. Accounts range from a free basic account to "Pro Plus" at €500 per year.
"Next" brings a profile and waveform player redesign and faster, more powerful search and navigation including more keyboard shortcuts. New features include a sound "repost" option (similar to Twitter or Tumblr), "sets" to let you line up a playlist in a single waveform, and a continuous play option so you can browse and still listen uninterrupted in the background. More features will follow in the next few months.
Ljung and Wahlforss are using the private beta to gather feedback before the public beta release. To sign up for a test drive, visit next.soundcloud.com.
SoundCloud's home base is Mitte, Berlin (soon to be upgraded to hot new Berlin tech hub "The Factory"), with additional offices in London and San Francisco. In January, the platform completed what is understood to be a $50 million Series C round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Prior backing included Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures (Series B) and Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures (Series A).
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