July 27, 2014
I was poring over SC stats on my 47 public tracks to get an idea which ones might be in first need of remixing, which is something I’ve been meaning to dive into for quite a while. Of the stats made visible to the public, only one — Total Plays — is not 100% dependent on a listener first establishing a Soundcloud account in order to be counted. Though I would never minimize the great value of opinions from fellow SC peers, we all know there are ways to skew stats by actively “gaming the social media,” especially adding in Facebook and Twitter promotions. And while Total Plays stats are not all, or even mostly, from anonymous listeners outside the SC Community, and so, can be skewed right along with reposts, ♥s and comments, at least the general listening public can push play without first opening yet another online account with yet another password to remember.
There is, however, another statistic involving solely anonymous listeners that previously was publicly displayed but, for whatever reason (Philo has a good theory, and I have another), SC now keeps hidden from all but the account owner: I’m speaking of a track’s Download Totals. Some of you will not allow DL’s because of a prior professional agreement; some of you don’t choose to allow them hoping instead that listeners will purchase your tracks; and others simply don’t bother to change SC’s default setting when uploading a new sound. But for those artists at a similar level to myself and with the same intent to freely spread your sounds around to as many interested listeners as possible, the DL stat is perhaps the purest gauge of a track’s overall public appeal. After all, it requires time and effort to download tracks from the Internet, and extra space is needed on one’s listening device as well. And beyond these deterrents, the anonymity of downloaders means no mutual backscratching, tit-for-tat advantage from it can be had nor ever expected.
I found this private data and different angle on my songs intriguing enough to create a new playlist of 21 tracks that have reached 21+ downloads. They are sorted in descending order, and the bracketed numbers next to titles are DL statistics as of this posting. Obviously these totals and the track order will change as time goes by. It’s also interesting to compare and contrast DLs against total plays and ♥’s, pondering why anyone would DL but not ♥ a track and vice versa. And finally, this little data project shows me I sure have my re-work cut out for me on any older tracks not yet hitting vingt-et-un.