Nicknamed ‘SoundTube’ by its users, after the massively popular video-sharing site, Soundboard.com made its official debut in April after 16 months in BETA. Yet despite its long trial status, Soundboard.com is already one of the Internet’s largest and most popular audio sharing sites and resources.
“It didn’t take long to learn that great audio is sticky and viral,” said Soundboard.com Creative Director Mike Mitchell. “We give users all the tools they need to record, catalog, customize and share their audio worldwide. Before us, you had to either know Flash, graphic design and HTML or hire someone to build a soundboard.”
The idea for Soundboard.com was born three years ago out of frustration with the scattered nature of sound bites, as well as the multitude of formats and players needed to navigate and enjoy audio on the Web. “It was a nightmare,” said Mitchell. “Great sound bites were impossible to locate and even harder to listen to. That’s where Soundboard came from, not YouTube.” Mitchell acknowledges that similarities exist, as YouTube has captured the video market while Soundboard is out to control audio. Originally designed as a software program for personal use, Soundboard has morphed into an online application and service. “While we have not emulated them, we can’t deny that the basic fundamentals are the same,” said Mitchell. “And the objectives are certainly similar as well.”
Mitchell cites Soundboard’s mission to centralize, categorize and standardize audio sound bites as the key to its success, giving its users the ability to share and spread their sound across multiple platforms and sites. And so far, the formula has proven successful. Since its launch date, Soundboard.com users have uploaded more than 120,000 MP3 sound bites for visitors to listen to on nearly 9,000 categorized soundboards, including history, travel, games, movies and sports.
And listen they have, with the Web 2.0 site registering a whopping 16 million downloads in March, up from 11 million in January and 50,000 since its first month. Visitors can listen to clips, download tracks, or embed boards on their site, blog or profile.
“Our growth and success prior to launch was not expected,” said Mitchell. “We haven’t marketed Soundboard.com in any way. It’s all word of mouth.” Mitchell credits this organic popularity to bloggers and social networks like MySpace, as well as social bookmark sites like StumbleUpon and Del.icio.us. Early adopters have included gamers, production studios, voice talent and radio stations. “We’ve made it easy for them to manage and share their audio. Certain sectors and industries are already taking advantage,” Mitchell said.
In other words, they’re learning to utilize audio as another weapon in the marketing arsenal – much as video has come of age in online advertising. Or as Mitchell puts it, “they’ve learned that people spread and share great audio too.”Tags: Soundboard.com, audio sharing, soundtube, audio library