Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

SoundCloud Lands on the iPad, Waits for Other Music Services to Join It There

SoundCloud, the buzzy music-sharing service/utility, has arrived on the iPad, via a new free app. If you’re one of the 3.7 million people who have downloaded one of the company’s iOS, Android or Mac apps, you’ll have a pretty good sense of how the tablet version works. For the rest of you, here’s a quick demo video:

Introducing the SoundCloud iPad app from SoundCloud on Vimeo.

“Company X has an iPad app” isn’t an inherently interesting story, but for music start-ups, moving to the tablet isn’t a foregone conclusion. Music services absolutely must be available on the iPhone and Android handsets, but they aren’t necessarily rushing to the iPad.

Spotify, for instance, has yet to show up on Apple’s tablet. And when it does, I have a hunch it will function more like a remote control than a full-fledged client version. And while Pandora’s move to the iPhone hypercharged its growth and allowed it to eventually go public, iPad use isn’t a core part of the story the company pitches to investors.

SoundCloud makes a lot of sense on the iPad, though, because it’s not a pure-play music service: It’s partly a utility that allows people to easily post sound files anywhere they want on the Web, and it’s partly a social service designed to let people discover those files. This app lets you do all of that, and seems to put the iPad’s screen space to good use while it does.

Meanwhile, the Berlin-based start-up, which raised $10 million from Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures last year, seems to be a on a tear. It says it now has eight million people creating files for the freemium service, up from seven million less than two months ago, and up from 2.6 million when I spoke to CEO Alex Ljung in January. Here’s a video of that conversation:

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— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”