SoundCloud needs to make its move – and soon

800x500_white-on-orangeLet’s set out a few facts here. First: SoundCloud is experiencing massive growth, particularly since its “Next” iteration went live for all late last year. Second: with that growth and switch to a Twitter-like “follow” mechanism, artists are seeing huge growth in fan numbers on the platform – in some cases rivalling or exceeding Facebook. Third: SoundCloud pay nothing to rightsholders.

Among my peers, the same question keeps getting asked: “When are SoundCloud going to start paying?”. Make no mistake: people are starting to resent the fact that they’re seeing all these plays and getting no payment per-stream. There’s a Catch-22 here: as the platform grows and delivers more plays for artists, so will the annoyance among rightsholders who are seeing those big numbers with zero payouts.

Here’s some observations as I see it:

1. SoundCloud needs to introduce ads
Right now, SoundCloud is in the same place as the pre-monetisation YouTube. They’re growing rapidly, and need to satisfy rightsholders who at some point will make a put-up-or-shut-up demand on them. Additionally though, their costs must be spiralling on an epic level. An audio platform is not a cheap one to run, being fairly bandwidth-heavy, so logic would dictate that at some point Soundcloud’s investors are going to demand a stronger push to monetise and offset costs. Advertising is inevitable: its the only way the requisite revenues can be generated. Look to YouTube for the precedents on this one.

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Old smartphone + Skype = simple access-anywhere home security camera

Skype_std_use_logo_pos_col_rgbIt seems inevitable these days that we’ll be changing our phones at least once every two years, if not every year. As a consequence then, most of us will no doubt have some spare handsets lying around. In my case, its a couple of old Android phones and an old iPod Touch.

I’m one of those people who hates to see old tech go to waste, mainly because I’m of the view that they’re still eminently capable of doing some useful things. You only have to see how much the Raspberry Pi has taken off to know that low-powered tech can still perform a lot of useful tasks. So, with that in mind I thought I’d see what could be done with my old handsets – and found rather a nifty solution. By simply installing Skype on them, then setting Skype to automatically answer with a video call, I can use the handsets as globally-accessible video cameras, letting me check on home when I’m away etc.

If you want to give this a go, its dead simple. Just do the following:

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