SoundCloud has released ‘Moving Sounds,’ a tool for creating slideshows with images and audio tracks. Launched in beta today with a handful of partners, the creative tool also represents a new form of advertising within the audio-based community.
From a simple music video to an online trailer leading up to a movie release, creators will be able to use Moving Sounds to add a visual element to the site’s main draw: a tool for easily uploading and distributing large audio files.
“We’re always interested in this sort of interplay between sound and visuals,” explained SoundCloud co-founder and CEO Alexander Ljung. “The whole thing from the beginning of visualizing sound in the waveform was a way to take something more abstract, less tangible as sound, actually put it on the screen and make it easier interact with it. I feel like this is the next step of that and it adds an even more visual component while still having sound at the heart of it.”
The company is testing this service as part of a new Pro Partner package with artists Snoop Lion and The-Dream, audio partner Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist, non-profit organization The Recording Academy producers of The GRAMMYs, and brands Red Bull Sound Select and Blue Bottle Coffee.
These partners will be able to promote their profiles within the users’ ‘Who to Follow’ section. Their posts can be shared and expanded in users’ feeds, but they won’t be forced on the listening community.
This Red Bull slideshow, for example, is a music track promoting a live event, “120 Hours in Austin” at SXSW, rather than an energy drink jingle.
“It really fits into the experience of SoundCloud,” said Ljung.
Snoop Lion’s reggae track, “Lighters Up” (featuring Mavado & Popcaan), shows stills of the artist playing music and, not surprisingly, lighting up.
These elements may be incorporated into the larger SoundCloud community once the beta test is complete.
For everyone else, SoundCloud has condensed its premium subscriptions from four tiers into two tiers (one for up to four hours of uploads, one unlimited) and has also lowered its prices. The Pro accounts let artists and brands showcase their best content, see statistics on their tracks and their listeners, and go into “quiet mode” if they want to hide their play counts or comments.
Said Ljung, ” we wanted to make it simpler and more accessible.”