SoundCloud rolls out beta Pro Partners service; KQED among first partners

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SoundCloud, the Berlin-based web company that serves as a hub for listening to and sharing audio, added a new tier of service this month for producers and media companies seeking more exposure to its users.

The new Pro Partners service, now operating in beta, offers an enhanced interface that integrates moving images and a recommendation system promoting partners’ content. San Francisco’s KQED is among the first wave of 12 Pro Partners and the only public media outlet to participate in the launch.

Profile pages with “moving sounds” — rotating images that accompany audio tracks — are among the perks available to Pro Partners. In addition, other SoundCloud users will see Pro Partners recommended in “Who to Follow” lists, giving more exposure to those who join at the higher tier.

SoundCloud announced the Pro Partners program March 11, along with changes in pricing and structure for its other Pro accounts. Heavy users of the service previously chose among Lite, Solo, Pro and Pro Plus accounts. Now they can select between two service levels: Pro or Pro Unlimited. Pricing for Pro Partners varies based on the needs of the partners, but SoundCloud would not disclose specifics.

The company demoed its new services during the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.

SoundCloud users and brands must approach SoundCloud to be selected as Pro Partners, but the startup intends to expand the presence of public media outlets in coming weeks, according to Jim Colgan, senior manager of content relations.

“We want to meet with a lot of public radio stations. We’re not being restrictive,” Colgan told Current. “The goal is to make sure that SoundCloud as a platform caters to everybody’s needs — so, the independent producer or the low-resource public radio station.”

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