Thursday, July 28, 2016

A SoundCloud Rumination

I like SoundCloud. I'm on their "Pro Unlimited" program, which runs $121.50 a year, or about $10 a month. That allows me to record and store effectively unlimited audio, maintain an RSS feed which lets me offer The KN@PP Stir Podcast over numerous other venues (I'm up to 15 carriers at the moment), etc. From a features for price standpoint, it really looks like the best deal going to me.

But there are problems. Two that I can think of, related to each other, one actual, one potential.

The first problem is lock-in. After nearly two years with Soundcloud, the podcast is highly dependent on it. If I move, I have to port nearly 100 episodes to the new service, or to a standalone archive, or lose them. I also have to re-start the process of putting the show in all those different venues, and I have to hope that my audience, such as it is, follows me to the new venues. Oh, and now I have to re-do the Android app and get users to install the new version on their phones. Which makes the thought of moving ... well, nearly unthinkable.

The second problem is that every time I turn around I run into stories about how SoundCloud isn't profitable, SoundCloud hasn't found a successful revenue model, SoundCloud is thinking about selling itself but nobody seems interested in buying it at the contemplated price, and on and on and on.

The second problem is what keeps me up at night more so than the first, even though it's only potential. I'm beginning to wonder whether or not I'm going to wake up some morning and read that the service has folded, taking all of my archived show episodes with it.

Anyone have any thoughts on proactive/preemptive measures I should be considering?

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