A SoundCloud Success Story

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We caught up with Eric Wahlforss – co-founder of SoundCloud – to understand more about why and how he came to EveryCity.

And here is the audio recording on their lovely player.

How we helped Soundcloud grow by Everycity

What is SoundCloud?

SoundCloud lets you move music quickly and easily. The platform takes the daily hassle out of receiving, sending & distributing music for artists, bands, DJs, producers, record labels and others.

When SoundCloud migrated to EveryCity back in early 2009, they had just announced funding of 2.5m Euros to accelerate growth, which was already very rapid – so rapid, in fact, that after just a few months of exponential growth they had started to experience scaling problems. It was at this point that they turned to us.

With EveryCity, they continued from strength to strength, achieving 100,000 users at the end of 2009. Then, during 2010, they ramped up extremely dramatically to their current size of well over 1,000,000 users and counting.

The Need to Scale & Migrate Quickly

It was early on during initial talks that the critical stage was reached for SoundCloud, where there was simply no longer any time for procrastination. A decision was quickly made to move to EveryCity – just in time as it proved!

From making the decision to go ahead with us on a Thursday afternoon, the entire site was migrated to the new platform by close of play the following Wednesday, with only a small amount of non-critical tidy up left to complete.

We now manage a hybrid platform on behalf of SoundCloud, which comprises various services including: dedicated equipment, numerous cloud servers of different shapes and sizes performing different functions, load balancing, Scalable Database Services (SDS), scalable storage and managed co-location of hardware.

From starting the move to finishing it took 3 days to get up to speed on the new platform

We asked Eric the rather obvious question of why SoundCloud needed to scale? The main reason was the user experience. What they had found was that the speed of their application and site had a direct impact on the number of users signing up. A slower site = slower growth, fewer overall users and decreased satisfaction for all.

This trend is nothing new, of course, as growth is key to almost anyone running an Internet start up. The more users acquired, particularly early on, the higher the likelihood of success.

If we didn’t scale we would fail

EveryCity’s Service

We asked Eric how he and his team had found the working relationship thus far. His personal view is that the most important thing is the proactive support provided by EveryCity, coupled with a high level of knowledge and expertise. Issues tackled include custom compiling versions of Ruby, optimising databases and setting up replication. We also provide a considerable amount of advice and guidance on best practices.

Alongside the SoundCloud developers, EveryCity has also been helping to set up bespoke monitoring, replicas of live environments, testing servers and alerts for the transcoding queue.

Conclusion

The guys at SoundCloud have been very happy thus far and the EveryCity team have really enjoyed working with them to get their site running as quickly and efficiently as possible. While we are sure that there will be many more challenges as time goes by, we know that we have what it takes to ensure the success of their business.

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