Is Mixcloud The Future Of Podcasting?

Sep 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Corporate Podcasts, Featured Story, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcast Distribution, Podcast Hosting, Podcasting

Mixcloud_logoUK startup Mixcloud has gone live with their site that combines podcasting, social media and Digg-like discovery to create what they are calling “cloud radio”.

Here’s Mixcloud’s video introduction to the site:

The company explicitly says that that its goal is to be the “Youtube of radio”

So if Mixcloud is the “Youtube of radio”, is this the future of podcasting?

The YouTube Of Radio

The idea of “cloud radio” seems promising, but Mixcloud isn’t going to replace podcasting or Internet radio anytime soon.

The site doesn’t offer the immediacy of YouTube. It doesn’t offer visuals to draw you in, like YouTube does, and the site’s navigation is primitive. Top-level navigation is limited to “popular” and “featured”  shows.

What if you’re looking for a minimal techno podcast? There’s no way to know from the site’s navigation if there are any relevant shows on Mixcloud. Worse, the site’s search is ineffective.

Add to this the problem with getting audio onto portable media players, and it seems pretty clear that there’s no way that this is going to take off like YouTube did.

There’s definitely a case to be made for massive free audio social networks; but Mixcloud isn’t making it.

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18 Responses to “Is Mixcloud The Future Of Podcasting?”

  1. Nico Perez says:

    Thanks for covering Mixcloud.com.

    In answer to some of your comments, we are very early stage at this point – the "Youtube" idea is something we aspire to, and we recognise it is a long term aspiration.

    The search page needs work, and is on our roadmap for re-designs. In terms of portability we have been very inspired by Spotify's iPhone application.

    If you are looking for Podcasts (or Cloudcasts) tagged "minimal techno" simply visit
    http://www.mixcloud.com/tag/minimal-techno/

    We have a lot more exciting features in store, so stay tuned!

    Nico (from Mixcloud)

  2. synthhead says:

    The tag index is buried in the footer, where most people won't find it, and if they do find it, the tag functionality is really clunky. Where's the list of the top tags?

    The Mixcloud concept has a lot of potential, but the current site design & usability are going to seriously hold it back.

  3. Rob Blatt says:

    Check out Dean's analysis of the Terms of Service: http://deanwhitbread.posterous.com/mixcloud-terms

    Anything you submit to the user submissions area becomes property of mixcloud any they do not need to attribute you. Here's a clip from their TOS:

    Grant of Rights. You shall retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting User Submissions to Mixcloud, you hereby grant Mixcloud and its affiliates a non-exclusive, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable, and transferable license, throughout the universe, to use, reproduce, distribute, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise exploit your User Submissions in connection with the Mixcloud Platform, including, without limitation, for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Platform (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You hereby grant Mixcloud and its affiliates and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such User Submission if they choose to do so. You hereby irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Submissions.

    That sounds like a nightmare to me.

  4. Daniel Krause says:

    Why is that a nightmare, from the sounds of it they want to have the right to use your name and mix in their own promotion so they can say for example, bbc1 is on mixcloud and this is their mix featured. It’s probably also related to the complex world of rights management such that they can remove content if need be.

  5. synthhead says:

    Rob – thanks for the comment and link.

    The terms are draconian, but they mirror YouTube's terms of service:

    By submitting User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

  6. There's been a lot of attempts to replicate YouTube for audio and none have ever succeeded to the level of YouTube.

    Podcasts need to be added by individual episodes, rather than just entering a feed, which makes it difficult for those with 50 or 100 episodes.

    Also, searching for a specific tag, song or artist requires selecting to search through each category. The cloudcast doesn't find them. And the whole point of tags is to work as a general search.

  7. Mixcloud looks great! I think any site that promotes podcasting and helps bring it to the main stream is great for the industry. We've got a different take on the solution though… stay tuned.

  8. violetta says:

    The big problem enticing people to check out the shows.

    When you go to Mixcloud, or other Internet radio/podcasting directory sites, it's always hard to figure out what's there and why I should care.

    I think any audio website needs to assume it's competing against iTunes, and figure out a way to be better than iTunes, because that's sort of the status quo.

  9. [...] Great post from Podcasting News [...]

  10. Rob Greenlee says:

    MixCloud looks like a great source for music related radio shows, but does not seem to be supporting podcast rss feeds on its website. I could be wrong as I did not create an account. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

    It would be a mistake for them to expect listeners to always visit the website to consume the channels. This is a common mistake that many new sites like this make about not enabling the shows being created on their site to become successful through external online syndication strategies like automatic podcast RSS feed generation for each account and linking these accounts with all the major social media platforms (FaceBook and Twitter).

    I manage the podcast content for the Zune and would love to add some of the shows from MixCloud to the Zune Podcast Catalog.

  11. deanwhitbread says:

    @synthhead – Wherever their terms come from, they suck – a missed opportunity to do it right and bring old-school podcasters onside IMHO

  12. Sure,what you said to just to the point.

  13. cmh says:

    I have joined mixcloud but I think (may be wrong) that I cant download podcasts – only up load them . . . hmmm I dont want to kep visiting the site I want pods to be where they should be on my pod player . . . . i hope I ma wrong but cant see that these are podcasts in the true sense of the word . . . must be missing something

  14. Albert Riff says:

    i dont think that this is really gonna be the new podcasting…. just another technique adding to it

  15. Matt Isdale says:

    so can you download the podcasts? there unreal some of them, some real new unheard of fresh music on there and I want to be able to hear them on the go, any ideas fill me in.
    Thanks x

  16. Podcast_team says:

    We agree with patrick on this one, so many sites are directories that become flooded with so many feeds that its difficult to be able to pick out the individual episodes that are worthy of any attention. What we are concentrating on at http://www.podcast.co.uk is to approach it slightly differently and give another alternative. We’re listing hand-picked episodes from various feeds and trying to present them in a better syle than many of the other pod asting sites out there. Thats the goal anyway, any feedback would be highly appreciated!

    @podcast_team

  17. wow this house set ive discovered it at soundcloud soundcloud.com/dutch-dialect/dutch-dialect-no-light-without

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