SoundCloud is a Swedish online audio distribution platform based in Berlin, Germany, that enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds. According to the company’s data, in December 2014, the service attracts more than 175 million unique monthly listeners, while content creators upload about 12 hours worth of audio every minute. Founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss are the chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technical officer (CTO), respectively.
SoundCloud was originally founded in Stockholm, Sweden, but was established in Berlin in August 2007 by Swedish sound designer Ljung and Swedish artist Wahlforss. The founders initially aspired to allow musicians to share recordings with each other, but the concept later transformed into a full publishing tool that also allowed musicians to distribute their music tracks.
A few months after inception, SoundCloud began to challenge the dominance of Myspace as a platform for musicians to distribute their music by allowing recording artists to interact more nimbly with their fans.
In a 2009 interview with Wired, Ljung said:We both came from backgrounds connected to music, and it was just really, really annoying for us to collaborate with people on music—I mean simple collaboration, just sending tracks to other people in a private setting, getting some feedback from them, and having a conversation about that piece of music. In the same way that we’d be using Flickr for our photos, and Vimeo for our videos, we didn’t have that kind of platform for our music.
In April 2009, SoundCloud received €2.5 million Series A funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. By May 2010, SoundCloud announced it had one million subscribers.