SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor has described the UK as “one of our most vibrant markets” as the streaming company launches its First On SoundCloud campaign in Britain.
The emerging artist programme was first launched in the US. Today (March 19) SoundCloud has expanded First On SoundCloud to Britain and Germany with six artists: Jay Prince and Little Simz (both from the UK), along with Claptone, Lotic, Jan Blomqvist and Peggy Gou.
The artists will be featured throughout the SoundCloud app, social media, newsletters, playlists and out-of-home advertising at London’s Ebor Street and Great Eastern Street Gallery in London’s Shoreditch.
“The UK is one of our most vibrant markets for creators, it has been since the earliest days of the platform, so it was a very natural decision and one we’re really excited about,” Trainor told Music Week.
Trainor was appointed as CEO amid a rationalisation of SoundCloud's operations last year and a cash injection that saved the company.
He said that emerging electronic, dance and hip-hop acts in the UK are “something that is critically important to the community of SoundCloud”.
The European line-up of acts was curated by UK director, label relations, Julia Killer and Megan West, VP, content relations, in the US. Rival streaming platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, YouTube and Apple Music have also launched similar artist initiatives.
“We really focus on being first – we want to be the first place that creators come to meet the world and start to build an audience or build a business,” said Trainor. “We give them the tools to share their music, we believe, in the most seamless, fluid and easy way. What differentiates us is that focus on being the first place the creators can come to meet the world, and that’s really what attracts listeners to SoundCloud – they want to be the first to discover that emerging talent across all genres.”
The US campaign has grown to include listening parties in partnership with Noisey. “We’d love to take that step in the UK as well, there may be events in the future,” said Trainor.
First On SoundCloud launched in the US in March with 10 acts receiving support on the platform.
“The response on the US campaign has been fantastic,” said Trainor. “We’re selecting a small group of artists to do something really meaningful with – we get to go really deep. They are featured across SoundCloud playlists, socials, newsletters, push notifications in our core app as well as activations with outdoor media. For artists who are still building into their careers, the most reach is coming from the digital side but that excitement and that support of having outdoor media is something that’s really valuable to artists and that gets reactivated through socials.”
SoundCloud is also giving all creators the opportunity to upload and be heard as part of First on SoundCloud. By tagging #SCFIRST, acts have a chance to be promoted across SoundCloud, including the First On Soundcloud playlist.