JackThreads Gets an iPads App Purveyor of men’s clothes and accessories JackThreads is attempting to seal up its lucrative mobile market. The company, described as ‘urbo-hipster’ by TechCrunch, is currently generating about 40 percent of revenue via its iPhone app. CEO Ben Lerer revealed how he was excited to “Roll out this beast to our guys.” Not sure if “beast” correctly describes a collection of blazers and jackets, but we wish them luck.
SoundCloud Busts Out Of Beta At this point, SoundCloud is basically the audio version of YouTube. A private-beta version of the site launched earlier this year called Next and the newest version integrates a bunch of those social features that the company hopes will help its users discover new music. “From today, ‘Next’ is now simply SoundCloud,” said Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud in a press release sent to Betabeat. “It’s a platform for people to discover new, original music and audio, for creators to build audiences, and for everyone to share what they hear whether online or on mobile.”
The company claims that users now post over 10 hours of music and audio every minute while reaching over 180 million people. That’s a staggering 8% of the entire internet population, every month. On December 6th, mobile users will be able to enjoy reposts, updated mobile search, and UX updates on both iOS and Android SoundCloud apps.
They See Me Trollin'
In recent days the FTC has announced a crackdown on a particularly pernicious type of scheme: Scammers who call you up, out of the blue, purporting to be from “Windows Technical Support.” They tell you your computer is lousy with viruses, talk you into giving them remote access, then charge you hundreds of dollars to “fix” it.
If you’re computer savvy enough to be reading this blog, you’d probably see right through this nonsense, but you’re not the target audience for this scam–it’s your unsuspecting, eBay-loving Nana.
Every now and then, though, they call up someone who’s a little more cognizant of how security works.
No Sleep Til Brooklyn
SoundCloud, the agreed-upon poster child for Berlin’s burgeoning startup scene, has been making aggressive moves here in the New World over the last year. So it came as no surprise when the company reached out to let us know that three users from “The city of Brooklyn/NYC” (so it’s come to this!) had fared well in the second annual Community Fellowship competition.
The local winners are a motley crew: Amy Costello of Brooklyn won support for her new investigative podcast, TinySpark, which focuses on “the business of doing good.” Nadia Wilson, also of Brooklyn, submitted a project called “From Hear to There,” about travels across the city. The third winner, Jonathan Mitchell (not a Brooklynite, but a Manhattan-dweller) wants to reinvent the radio play with his show The Truth.
We reached out to David Noël, SoundCloud’s head of community and the man behind the program, for a bit more detail about what went into the selection process.
Wilkommen! This is part two of Betabeat’s new mini-series, Die Startup-Szene, a peek at the up-and-coming tech hub of Berlin, Germany. We sat down with entrepreneurs from three leading young companies here in the city that is only very, very occasionally referred to as Silicon Allee.
SoundCloud is many things: near-infinite audio hosting platform, sweet dubstep remix discovery site, and recording app; its founders believe they are adding the dimension of sound to a too-quiet web. “Sound as a sense and as a medium is missing on the web,” spectacled cofounder Alex Ljung told Betabeat. Berlin DJs and clubs are quite taken with SoundCloud; browse events on beatguide.me, for example, and every music listing is dotted with cloud icons. Ask a Berlin entrepreneur which startups to pay attention to, and SoundCloud is the first name off their tongue. So when Betabeat started planning a trip to Berlin, we knew there was one stop we’d have to make. We wanted to see where the aural magic was made. And we wanted a t-shirt.
Betabeat met the founders of SoundCloud at an afternoon rendesvous in the Janis Joplin conference room, which contained a bright orange beanbag on which Mr. Ljung was reclining as well as a Rubrik’s cube the size of a dog. For a music startup, SoundCloud’s office decor is surprisingly verbose; quotes printed on letter paper were taped up in a line around the walls: “Objectivity is the view from nowhere,” attributed to the philosopher Thomas Nagel; “The violent and righteous are hard of hearing,” attributed to German writer Gunter Grass. One conference room was called “T.S. Eliot,” because Mr. Ljung likes T.S. Eliot. Of course, a poster of Kurt Cobain watches over the adjacent office bullpen.
The Third Degree
Dumbo-based startup Headliner.fm was already a few months into its partnership with SoundCloud, the white-hot Berlin-based music storage startup, when Tumblr decided to jump on the SoundCloud love train apparently rolling through New York. But at the SF Music Summit today, Headliner.fm co-founder Mike More announced he was sweetening the deal on his app, currently one of the most popular offerings in SoundCloud’s App Gallery.
For the uninitiated, Headliner.fm is a social media recommendation tool that helps acts like Diddy, Akon, and Maroon 5, all of which have signed up for its service, to connect to new fans with a simple proposition: letting one artist recommend another to its fans on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace (yeah, yeah, we know, but music was the only thing it was ever good for).
Sounds of the City
SoundCloud, the Berlin-based audio platform that keeps showing up at hackathons and partnering with various New York start-ups, is piloting a Community Fellowship Program–an effort to cultivate its community by bringing highly-active users to hang out in Berlin.
The delegate from New York? Edward Casabian, better known as the NYC Nomad, who has been crashing on couches in different New York neighborhoods and blogging about the people he meets for more than a year. So far he’s been to 41; his goal is to do 52 of the 250-some neighborhoods in the city, one for every week in a year.
About a month ago, Mr. Casabian started using the SoundCloud mobile app to add an auditory element to his diaries.
Amazing new track from Corey Smith, aka Smixx, a musician, freelance iOS/WP7 developer and co-founder of Cardinal social music sharing platform. Smixx has been spinning tech raps for a while now, like “Developers feat. Steve Ballmer” and “One More Thing featuring Steve Jobs from WWDC 2011.”
But start-ups are where Betabeat’s heart really lies, so this track was the first to catch our attention. That, and @aplusk tweeted it out. Enjoy below the jump.
Prior to joining SoundCloud, Ms. Weise worked at The OutCast Agency with a variety of clients, including Salesforce.com, Bump, VMware and Jawbone.
Kristina Weise recently quit her job to work as the U.S. public relations manager at SoundCloud, a Germany-based social audio-sharing platform with more than 6 million users. After traversing Europe for several weeks, she will be based in San Francisco. Here’s her take on loving and leaving the Big Apple, and her initial thoughts on Berlin’s tech culture.
On a recent solar boat tour through the city, a guide stated, “The only thing slow in Berlin is the Spree River.” He is right. There are four hundred miles of bike routes in Berlin and it seems like everyone is on one of them–zipping by you with grace and ease–not taking the lazier mass transit options. If there is one thing the Berlin tech scene has taught me so far, it’s to be even more grateful to New York City for preparing me for this pace. For this challenge.
Hipster start-ups unite; New York-based Tumblr and Berlin-based Soundcloud announced a beautiful partnership yesterday. “Tumblr <3s Soundcloud,” Tumblr declared in a staff blog post, while the music start-up announced the news in a post entitled “Tumblr + Soundcloud = <3.” The partnership means Tumblr users can search Soundcloud tracks from within Tumblr and post an unlimited number of them a day, and Soundcloud has embedded Tumblr share buttons all over its site and mobile apps. Soundcloud, which lets you upload files of any size, is mostly remixes and original tracks by independent and amateur artists, although it does have a sizable library of better-known songs.