Remember Twitter Music? Probably not. The ill-fated recommendation service started as We Are Hunted, which was a great independent service until Twitter bought it, tanked its music ambitions, and killed it. Now there’s a rumour Twitter has its roving eye on SoundCloud. We really hope history isn’t about to repeat itself.
SoundCloud has sneakily become one of the best services on the internet. It’s sort of what MySpace and YouTube have both once been for musicians and music fans at different times in the history of the internet — but better. It’s an amazing tool for music discovery and a fantastic way for artists and producers across the globe to find one another; the best of what YouTube and MySpace have both been for musicians at one point or another with out all of the puffery that surrounded those. SoundCloud is easy to use to record music as well as find new stuff, and its player is embeddable everywhere. Check out any music blog — almost all of the links for new tracks will have come from SoundCloud.
On its own, SoundCloud is a fantastic tool for discovery of smaller artists. But the big guys are using it too. Drake? Beyonce? Both of them are skipping the formalised release process and dropping stuff straight onto SoundCloud. Drake practically has enough tracks on SoundCloud for a new album at this point. There is a next logical step for SoundCloud, which according to industry sources I’ve talked to most likely will be licensing via record labels. But hopefully no part of that involves Twitter.
If Twitter comes into the equation, everything we love about SoundCloud will probably turn to shit, folded into another failed attempt at turning 140 character missives into a music engine. And then it will disappear. Please Twitter, stay away from SoundCloud. Stay far, far away, so you don’t ruin another thing we like.