SoundCloud: Best Of SoundCheck 2013

Over the past year we’ve covered a wide range of creative campaigns using SoundCloud, from engaging fans on the platform, to building custom campaigns, creating audio content, and sparking collaborations with the creator community.

In this end-of-year post, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting campaigns from 2013 to inspire you as you start planning for the year to come.

Post #1: Leading a conversation – Of Montreal

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After nailing the basics for optimizing your sounds, a great first point of call for digging deeper into SoundCloud is engaging directly with fans on the platform. Here’s how Of Montreal have made this work for them: in conjunction with posting a new track from their upcoming album to SoundCloud, the band announced an hour-long time slot when their lead singer, Kevin Barnes, could log into SoundCloud and respond to fan’s timed comments on the track in real time…

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Audio Creativity: The Dismemberment Plan Memories

Seminal indie-rockers The Dismemberment Plan have been getting their hands dirty with SoundCloud. A few months back, the band released the stems to a number of their most notable sounds on their website via SoundCloud for their fans to listen to, download, and play with in their own way.

Frontman Travis Morrison said on the band’s website:

The actual resources page on our site is now a bunch of SoundCloud embeds, and what’s cool about this is that “regular folks” can just go over and listen to the raw sounds. Which I think is a pretty interesting experience. [...]

Hopefully when the new record is done we’ll be sure to post some new sounds to play with, marvel at, cringe in embarrassment at, and so on. And if you do a remix, don’t be hide your light under a bushel. Post it on SoundCloud and send us a link. Tweet at us or post on our Facebook page or email us or whatever.

This time around they’re getting even more creative and working harder to engage with their fans: with the band being tech savvy in their day jobs, we’re unsurprised but delighted to see such an innovative use of both Twilio and SoundCloud’s API’s come into play in this particular campaign…

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AlunaGeorge: Body Music Album Reveal

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AlunaGeorge released their much-anticipated debut album ‘Body Music’ back in July after a slick album release campaign, allowing fans to listen to the whole record a week before release date. In case you missed it, we’ll give you a quick recap.

“SoundCloud has played an important part in the discovery process of AlunaGeorge; the band have actively used the platform from the outset and it is where their fans have naturally gravitated to.”

– Glenn Cooper, Director of Digital, Island Records UK

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Lewis Watson: Four More Songs

To encourage pre-orders of his fourth EP, Lewis Watson’s team came up with a clever concept: use pre-order numbers to unlock the stream of a song, piece by piece. We sit down with Warner Bros. Paul Seele to find out more about this unique use of SoundCloud within an artist campaign.

Guest post from Paul Seele, Technical Manager, Warner Bros. Records UK

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Lewis Watson’s team wanted to directly encourage iTunes pre-orders and came up with the inspired idea to reveal pieces of a song as the pre-order number grew. Streaming the audio through SoundCloud was an obvious choice.

Secret links and the SoundCloud API take care of compatibility issues across browsers and devices, so we could focus on the more challenging and exciting parts of the campaign…

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Behind The Scenes: Backstage Commentary For The Fans

Anyone for another slice of audio pie? We’ll take some of that. This week it comes in the flavor of Trace Adkins’ The Big Road to NYC project: Trace’s team are following each episode of The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice® as Trace gears up for the release of his new album, Love Will…

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Fans can get involved by completing weekly “projects” to be eligible to win a selection of prizes. And in addition to the exclusive prizes, The Big Road to NYC features exclusive behind-the-scenes commentary from Trace about the show, as well as sneak peeks of songs from Trace’s upcoming album.

We love how Trace is leveraging the power of audio to give backstage commentary about being part of The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice®. This is another great example of how an artist’s voice can be used as a unique marketing tool, offering fans a level of content that they simply can’t access anywhere else.

To find out more about creating your own audio content, check out our Artist’s Voice 101.

Power To The People: Fans Vote To Reveal Angel’s Album Artwork

Simple and effective campaigns are our favorite at the moment, from Ghostpoet’s reposting campaign right through to this album reveal campaign from UK R&B artist Angel.

Recently we saw Island launch a splash page over at thisisangel.com, a slick build comprised of nine square artwork widgets. When made publicly playable, each reveal a small section of the album artwork, as well as teaser clips and voice snippets from Angel and other artists.

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Incorporating Sound Into Brand Visuals

We see unique and creative uses of SoundCloud on a daily basis, across a variety of digital marketing campaigns, and we’re always excited to share these stories on SoundCheck.

However, this time around we’re going to toot our horns, bang our drum machines and make as much noise as possible in highlighting our very own innovative use of SoundCloud.

Guest edit from Annette Vorstoffel, Communication Channel Manager, SoundCloud Brand Comms Team.

With the aim of raising awareness of SoundCloud’s product offering, we launched our very first brand advertising campaign at the beginning of February.

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Running exclusively online on selected websites in the USA and UK until mid-March, our banners had a clear purpose from the outset: to carry the message of our product and design with a clear focus on sound. They also needed to reference the technology that the SoundCloud platform is built on.

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Ed Sheeran: A Digital Retrospective

Ed Sheeran boasts a whopping 300k+ followers on SoundCloud and has shared a boatload of sounds over the duration of his album campaign for  “+”.

Ed and his team devised a variety of creative ideas for using SoundCloud ranging from audio-based Q&As to custom players and exclusive album streams.

We asked Nick Long at Atlantic Records to share his insights as to why SoundCloud has been such a successful platform for Ed.

Nick Long, Social Media Manager, Atlantic Records UK.

The decision to use SoundCloud was threefold. Firstly, it allowed us to speak to a younger, more urgent demographic who had come to Ed Sheeran’s music through his No. 5 Collaborations EP – an EP that saw Ed collaborate with notable grime MCs like Wiley, Ghetts and JME.

Secondly, the API gave us the flexibility and freedom to create custom players as well as more involved digital initiatives.

Thirdly, the default player made it easy to distribute all singles and remixes to online PR, to ensure a wide spread of coverage and focus all the plays in one place.

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