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The online audio-sharing market’s early darling, AudioBoo, is coming under increasing pressure from well-funded competitor SoundCloud.
Having raised a reported $10 million from the big venture firms Index and Union Square in January, SoundCloud has been busy. Its latest partnership is with Memolane, the site which organises users’ social activity from across the web as a timeline, which will now let users add in SoundCloud tunes as soundtracks (Atlantic Records’ Ed Sheeran is one example).
On the same day, GMG Radio has picked AudioBoo to let listeners upload clips for use in stations’ shows (via The Drum) – one of a number of long-standing media users of the service.
To win favour, each is offering its underlying fabric for re-use. SoundCloud’s API supports dozens of third-party apps. That’s something AudioBoo began doing in February, and this month it open-sourced the whole of its Android app.
AudioBoo was something of a surprise success for developer BestBefore Media, which had long developed video applications for the broadcasting industry. But it has so far struggled to turn itself in to a business, with a Pro version pitched at media clients having gained little traction, while its growing consumer base nevertheless means AudioBoo must go on paying Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) S3 host costs. It still wants to host audiobooks and aims now aims to limit free audio time while introducing a premium consumer tier, CEO Mark Rock told paidContent.
Where AudioBoo’s remit was clear from the start (allowing users to record and share their voices with their mobile phones), SoundCloud, with investor advice, has been in something of a redefinition phase, branching out from its original concept of letting Berlin musicians collaborate on songwriting and, instead, trying to become a general-purpose audio host – truly, the fabled “YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) for audio”.
How will each fare? We will be watching with interest…