SoundCloud is getting integrated with Sonos music systems, as it reportedly tries to become more than just a place for music you haven't heard of.
The service, which got its start in 2007, allows users to upload their own music and audio recordings. It's become a way for obscure groups to get their music discovered, for DJs to share remixes, and for more established artists to stream individual tracks — such as a preview from a new album — without having to serve up MP3s on a standalone website.
In announcing the integration with its home speaker systems, Sonos noted that SoundCloud receives 12 hours of new music and audio uploads every minute. Sonos users will be able to sift through that music using the Sonos Controller app's universal search function.
While SoundCloud is best-known for its grassroots music and audio, the service may also be trying to expand to include music from major labels.
Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that SoundCloud is close to securing deals with Universal, Sony, and Warner that would give each label a stake in the company and a cut of future revenue. In exchange, the labels would agree not to sue SoundCloud for hosting copyrighted material.
Such a deal would be reminiscent of Grooveshark's attempts to negotiate with major labels, as Grooveshark also let users upload their own tracks, and offered an extensive selection unauthorized music from major labels. In recent years, Grooveshark has reached accords with some labels, though others haven't taken kindly to the streaming service. In contrast, major labels have let SoundCloud slide because of its loyal and growing user base, Bloomberg reports.
SoundCloud will need to tread lightly, however, if it wants to avoid alienating that user base. The company is already on thin ice with some users after redesigning its iOS app with an emphasis on listening rather than uploading (though SoundCloud says it's listening to the feedback). Those users may not appreciate an embrace of the major labels, even if it's a necessary step.
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