Hello - I'm building a privacy focussed alternative to Soundcloud

Hey there :wave:

I’m an Indie Hacker / Indie Maker from Scotland who is building an alternative to Soundcloud for music Pros. Biggest struggle for me is in getting it out there in front of people’s eyes.

However I have amassed about 1200 users with about 1% converting on to paid plans.
I was thinking of sticking my “Buy me a coffee” button into the free tier and see if it got any response.

App is at https://songbox.rocks should anyone be curious

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@Primer Hey Mick, very cool. I think the BMC option is a great one. A few questions:

  1. I know Songbox is based on privacy, but is there an embed function so people can share tracks on their blog?

  2. $10 a month is on par with most other sound services. For the average user the jump from the free tier to $120 a year is a big one. Curious if you think there’s a viable tier between those two at maybe $25 a year? Example: I have need to put up a few audio files occasionally for public access. Sound Cloud greatly restricted their free tier to cut out any usefulness and is pushing $12 monthly. That’s not a lot, but I don’t think @ $144 annually is worth it for my current needs. If they had a $25 annual tier, I would have bitten on it.

Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

I think it’s an interesting point you make. The thing is $25 a year sounds great to a customer but it doesn’t make sense to the business. Say I got 100 users at $25 a year. That’s only $2500 over a whole year which is probably making the company loss after paying for their usage (database costs, servers, and the big one which is hosting and streaming the tracks).

I’m totally open to creating a pricing plan for users such as yourself I just wouldn’t know where to position it that made sense for the business and for the user.

Btw I already have pricing plans for 3, 6 and 12 months but you don’t see them until you sign up, at which point you can upgrade to them at any time. Costs are below.

Maybe I should do a one off promotion of $25 for the year at “hobby” and see what happens.

Also yes you can embed.

I guess it depends on how you look at it: A: Would those 100 people be discouraged from paying the $10 a month? Or B: Were they not going to pay anything anyway? From a biz perspective it could mean that you took in $2500 from people who weren’t going to pay a cent. I know that’s all theoretical. It’s likely that it’s a combination of both A and B. Most big businesses don’t do it. Perhaps they’ve done some serious consumer testing and discovered it’s not a viable option. But…

I know that I was paying for Dropbox and then they started to eliminate half the features that I rely on (like the ability to throw an impromptu HTML page online.) Their free tier actually did everything I needed and I only started paying because I was getting a lot of Dropbox and felt it fair that I contribute. Since there are still some Dropbox services I rely on (My blog uses their SDK) I probably would pay $25 a year for that alone, but I dropped back to free since my options were 0$ or $120 a year.

Well I’m all about experimentation so I’ll give it a bash. $50 for the year feels more right to me though.

Hmmm I’ll maybe do $25 as a one off special deal?

Great food for thought. Thanks.

Can I count you in if I do a $25 for the year deal LOL

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I currently don’t need a sound hosting service but I have considerable experience with paid plans as a consumer. I hope my feedback is useful.

Subscriptions make a lot of sense for vendors. But, as a consumer, the problem is subscriptions don’t scale as the budget for this kind of discretionary spending is limited. Consider a typical consumer who already has subscriptions for media streaming platforms, Amazon Prime, streaming music, web TV, productivity apps, mobile apps, news sites, data plans for mobile devices, and more.

A service tier with a price point not too far from an impulse buy (e.g. $20-30/year) can make a difference between a new customer and someone who just clicks away.

Enteprise customers, startups, and entrepreneurs are low-hanging fruits as they often have significantly larger budgets.

So I’m totally with you on this; I also have considerable experience with paid plans. I recently totted up all of my subscriptions and the little $5 - $10 subscriptions I had all added up to over $150 a month.

Adobe creative cloud
Pro Tools

The list goes on.

Well aware of the pitfalls however this does seem to the standard model that has been adopted by… well, everyone.

However as I said above, my product development philosophy is one of constant experimentation and iteration so tonight I’m going to work on making the “hobby” tier much more accessible as an impulse purchase. Let’s see what happens.

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Hey I’ve taken onboard the advice and I’m trialling a $25 per year promotion. You only see it when you’ve created a free account - initially.

If it converts well I’ll roll it out to the homepage.


@Primer Hey Mick, I signed up for the free account to give things a try. Very impressed with what you’ve accomplished so far. Curious if you’ve had any takers at the $25 level?

No not yet. It’s only been a few days. We’ll see how it goes.

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