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Mixcloud Relaunches For Radio Shows, DJ Mixes: Still Free, Still Fully Licensed

Mixcloud-logoToday Mixcloud officially relaunched its site with a nice new design. I took the opportunity to speak with Co-founder and CTO Mat Clayton to get a sense of the bigger picture for Mixcloud. While they are encouraging music shows and talk shows, Mixcloud's biggest strength remains in electronic music. But that means they've developed a service well-designed for a digital world and one that's also free to show creators including full music licensing.

I first blogged about Mixcloud back in 2011. However they went fully public in 2009 when they were dubbed the "YouTube of radio."

So their focus all along has been on longer content in the form of radio shows. However, I didn't start regularly hearing about Mixcloud until I began following electronic music business blogs and found that Mixcloud was generally considered as basic a part of a musician's digital toolkit as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and SoundCloud.

Mixcloud CTO Mat Clayton confirmed that electronic music, EDM in particular, remains their biggest strength. He explained that several of the co-founders were DJs and knew the electronic music scene well. So that's where they began when developing the service.

Mixcloud-favorites-page

Mixcloud Favorites Page with Audio Player

Mixcloud's emphasis on dj and radio shows fits nicely with electronic music dj mixes which are a big part of how electronic music is heard.

Mixcloud provides web radio-style licensing and takes down individual tracks. So the licensing approach also fits longer shows. However set lists are provided with links to go off-site and purchase individual tracks so, in addition to licensing revenue, music included in mixes may also lead to discovery and sales.

The service is free and shows are embeddable on other sites. Mixcloud is ad-supported but they don't seem to be heavy handed about it and so it functions much like SoundCloud except that your mixes don't get pulled since they're licensed and the focus is on whole shows rather than individual tracks.

We took a look at the new website in beta back in December. Early responses were good and I think the fully launched version is quite nice.

One subtle touch I didn't notice until Clayton pointed it out is that you can hover over the play button on a particular show and it will give you a quick edited preview.

Mixcloud has also added branded accounts which are the only paid accounts on the site. Red Bull has a bunch including Red Bull Thre3style.

You can check out their brand partners here.

Mixcloud-brand-partner

Branded Profile for Red Bull Thre3style

Mat Clayton shared some stats to give a sense of how big Mixcloud has become. With a relatively small overall staff of around 20 they now have:

500,000 people producing and posting shows

over 10 million monthly active users

average listener sessions are around 40 minutes long

average show length is around 50 minutes long

But Clayton emphasized that the new site also represents the completion of a phase of foundation building that included mobile apps and a site rebuilt for rapid future development.

He feels 2014 should be a great year for Mixcloud with lots of new features as well as longer term projects which he teased a bit by describing them as "game-changing" and operating on not just one but two or three levels.

Obviously I should have followed up more on those ideas and how things might operate at multiple levels but I took the overall point that there's much more to come on an accelerated schedule.

If you're developing any kind of web radio show, particularly if it involves music, you should certainly check out Mixcloud.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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