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For me as a music producer and consumer, one of the most frustrating changes recently made my Soundcloud has been their cancellation of groups, which used to be a decent means of discovering new music related to kinds of music you already like.

Once groups were cancelled, the listens on the songs I post to Soundcloud plummeted to virtually nothing, and I really don't bother to upload my music there anymore, nor to go to Soundcloud to discover new music.

I'm not a SoundCloud user, but as someone who just started using groups on Flickr i noticed that the views on my uploaded photos went from barely anything to at least a thousand per image (and with just a handful of groups). I can definitely see how this can break your audience. Seems like an incredibly dumb move on SC's part.

This shows why the modern trend of not buying music and just subscribing to streaming services is so short-sighted. The companies are all basically fly-by-night, and can change their product in a heartbeat, leaving you with something substantially different from what you're used to.

I use streaming services all the time, but this is why I buy albums from artists I like and keep a self-hosted plex library.

Should anything I like ever be taken down, I can still listen to it.

The good thing about music is that it is ultra portable so mixing music from many sources, services and providers is hardly a problem.

And you can clearly see that in how the market for online music works. Unlike video, which is so dysfunctional I'd be hard pressed to even say there is a market.

End result: despite streaming services I still spend $100s of dollars on music every year. 0 on video.

I think it's great you have a two-pronged approach (buying stuff you really like, so you're not out of luck if the streaming provider folds like this), but I have to question your assertion about online video: Netflix is clearly a success story I think. Maybe the only real standout, but still it exists. Lots of people are signed up for it. There's also Amazon video; I don't know how successful it is, but people do rent videos on there.

But those are closed services, closed silos letting me stream content through closed source apps running on a extremely tiny subset of the digital devices out there capable of playing digital video.

Hardly any service lets me buy and curate my own videos, without DRM, from several sources and build my own library which I can play on all digital devices out there.

It's just a few big giant services, each with their own DRM and limited platform support.

It's nowhere near a real market where I can pick and choose and providers compete on merit.

yup, my last.fm data is my insurance policy. Still enjoy Spotify quite a lot.

The problem with groups was it was used by 0.5% of users, and most of the playback was actually fake spam plays. The soundcloud spammers had all the gaming figured out on that part of the system and it was basically worthless.

I know, because I worked on getting it shutdown. Not because I disliked the idea myself, but with no developers working on fixing it, the feature needed to be removed in order to cleanup the database spam and a huge chunk of a legacy code base.

We wanted to replace it, but nobody could convince management to fund it with headcount. But that's the story of SoundCloud, fantastic levels of miss-management.

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