Thoughts on Tech: SoundCloud Launches First Advertising Initiative

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SoundCloud has always been my favorite social network / music streaming service. It is easy to use, well designed, great for discovering new indie music, and has a great mobile application. They most recently reported a user base of 175 million people per month, more than four times of their biggest competitor Spotify. Although the platform has been one of the go-to sources for artists big and small to share their music, they have come under fire in recent months. They have been struggling with copyright infringements and licensing issues, especially with the three major labels. One notable incident involved famous DJ/Producer Kaskade taking down his SoundCloud account because many of his songs were removed by Ultra Records when their label deal expired, claiming he had infringed on their copyrights for the music.

Well… nothing great can be free forever. In response to the pressure from the labels to pay out streaming royalties and dealing with the copyrights they own for the music, SoundCloud has announced today the launch of the first advertising initiative. “This phase is where we start to figure out how to generate revenue and help our creators make money in order to enable them to build careers with us,” Jeff Toig, Chief Business Officer for SounCloud told Billboard. The program, called “On SoundCloud”, will allow Premium Accounts to being to monetize on their music, but by invite only. The advertising model will include five ad products: native, audio, display, channel sponsorship and contests. They also announced Red Bull, Jaguar, Sonos, Squarespace and Comedy Central are the first five ad partners at launch.

SoundCloud users have always loved the platform for being free to use and ad-free. With this new integration of brands, time will tell if this turns people away to other music sources, or if the current user base will accept this new way of listening. SoundCloud is also exploring other ways to allow listeners to avoid ads. As Pitchfork stated, “SoundCloud plans to offer an advertisement-free paid subscription akin to Spotify.” Of course, this all comes in the wave of issues SoundCloud faces as it gets larger by the day. Not only do they have issues with the major labels, but indie labels are trying to get their cut of the pie too. “Some independents are negotiating with SoundCloud for equity stakes in the company; in exchange, the labels will agree not to sue SoundCloud over past copyright infringements” says the New York Times.

What do you think of this new ad initiative being introduced in SoundCloud? Would this turn you to a new platform, or are will you continue to use the service despite these changes? Let us know @CashmereAgency!

- Kyle (@kyledineen)

Wearable Wednesday: C/CHRIST X Fear Of God Collaboration

Courtney Michelle’s C/CHRIST is debuting the release of a new women’s collection comprised of 30 unique pieces. The collection is in collaboration with Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear Of God and includes “military-inspired” looks including “The/Bomber” jacket, which is hand-dyed and embroidered with individual government stamps. The collection is the first collaborative effort between the two and will be sold exclusively online on C/CHRIST beginning August 22nd. Check out more about the collaboration here!

Upcoming Soulful Documentary “Take Me to the River” Trailer

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Snoop Dogg is featured in the upcoming soulful documentary Take me To The River out in select theaters nationwide on September 12th!

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Weekend Recap

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This weekend consisted of eating delicious food, movie watching, and enjoying the beautiful weather in Southern California!
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Livestream The Red Bull BC One North American Final!

Tonight, the world’s most prestigious one-on-one B-Boy competition, will lay down the dance floor at The Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas, NV, for the highly anticipated Red Bull BC One North America Final. MTV and SIRIUS XM personality, Sway Calloway, will be the evening’s host as 16 of North America’s greatest B-Boys throw down in an epic showdown with their sole aim of being crowned the Red Bull BC One North America champion. Check out the live stream at 9:00 p.m. PST here!

Fresh Tunes Friday

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This week’s handpicked staff selections will get you on them wavy summer vibes for the weekend.
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Thoughts on Tech: Reserve Your Username For Good!

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I have always wondered how certain people got the usernames @john or @mike on social networks such as Twitter or Instagram. How early were they involved in the launch of those platforms? How do I get @kyle for some cool app that gets huge? Even my full name @kyledineen (which is a rare name) is not available on a few sites. Well… Earlyclaim to the rescue!

Earlyclaim is a new startup that secures your preferred username for new social networks that they collaborate with, so you don’t have to worry about being in the early crew to sign up for a specific network. It is free to sign up, and when a new platform signs up with Earlyclaim, your name is automatically reserved. The site sends you daily digest emails with the various partners it has secured your username with and creates a unique email address to use for your login. Of course it only works if new startups sign up with the service, but with early tech adopters all ready to jump on your platform, why not!

Original article from FastCompany can be found HERE.

Kyle (@kyledineen)

Wearable Wednesday: GE-Produced Moon Boot Sneakers

GE has taken fashion to the moon with their moon boot sneakers in a native advertising campaign with Thrillist. The sneakers are now being sold for over $2000 on eBay-proving just how affective native advertising can be. Find out more about the moon shoes here!

RIP Robin Williams

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Yesterday, we heard some pretty shocking news about the passing of one of our favorite actors–Robin Williams.

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Weekend Recap

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This weekend consisted of eating delicious food, going to an awesome concert, and laying on the beach!
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Instagram

#TBT Some of the ladies of Cashmere Agency before our Afterhours #PayPalit production with @chromeo & @holyghostnyc ...sets by @djpredakon @djumami too! 
photo cred: @azul213

#cashmereagency #afterhours #chromeo #holyghostnyc #sf LA friends who's going to @fyffest this weekend?! We're looking forward to seeing @wearephoenix @littledragonflicks @flyinglotus @haimtheband @actuallygrimes and so many more! #FYF #goldenvoice #LA

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