SoundCloud is finally making its audio-streaming service more accessible to non-English speakers, with the news that it’s localizing its platform for Brazilian Portuguese.
The company has also revealed a key new hire — Sonia Flynn joins the company in Berlin as VP for International, leaving her position as managing director for Facebook Ireland.
With more than $120 million in funding and 175 million unique monthly listeners across 36 nationalities, SoundCloud has built a sizable audience since its launch out of Sweden way back in 2007. So it may well surprise you to learn that it has hitherto relied entirely on English as its default language globally.
The iOS app was quietly given the language update a few weeks back, but the translation of the website is now available too, covering the interface, content, and design.
“We chose to use English as the default language for our global platform: as the internet’s lingua franca, this helped us to create a global community of 175 million users every month,” SoundCloud said in a statement. “But while more than a billion people have a basic understanding of English, this is a barrier to six billion others. At SoundCloud, we want to create and enable local communities as well as a global one, and that’s why we’re beginning to work on taking down that barrier.”
While the move is a notable milestone for SoundCloud, opening the platform to Brazil’s gargantuan 200 million population, it also signals SoundCloud’s push to monetize. Last August, the Berlin-headquartered company launched On SoundCloud, a new platform that runs ads against audio tracks for users within the U.S. However, questions have emerged of late around SoundCloud’s ability to monetize music, with Sony recently pulling some recordings due to a “lack of monetization opportunities,” according to Billboard.
With that in mind, SoundCloud’s new VP for International, Sonia Flynn, will be charged with helping to “drive growth into new markets and expand our On SoundCloud program internationally,” a company statement said.
Tailoring its platform for specific markets will be key to monetizing music around the world. While SoundCloud is only available in English and Brazilian Portuguese for now, we can probably expect further localizations in due course, though we haven’t yet been able to confirm this with SoundCloud. We’ll update here when we hear back.