As an agile shop, we at Sounds.com work towards building and releasing in quick iterations with the goal of getting new features to you sooner and learning from your feedback. With that in mind, we launched our beta on January 17th to US-based customers. The decision we made to launch with a scaled back suite of features allowed us to pay close attention to our users, glean insight from them, and use that feedback to inform the direction of our next release.
We wanted to take some time to walk you through a few changes we’ve made in response to the helpful feedback from our community. In the six months since we’ve launched, we’ve learned a few things:
The two-tier price plan: We quickly learned that the Free and Pro price plans did not provide enough flexibility for our users. Without tools to track their usage, our subscribers were surprised when they found out that they had reached the 1 GB limit. This lack of transparency in both messaging and tracking left some users frustrated. We also had plenty of users who loved the service and were willing to pay more, but we didn’t have price plan options to allow for this upgrade.
Building partnerships: In order to create a kickass library of loops and samples, we need amazing partners who focus on creating the best sounds out there. To realize our vision of a thriving sounds marketplace, we need to ensure our partners are compensated fairly. Given that our services are intended for producers, sound designers and musicians, we believe our sounds consumers may one day become sounds-supplying partners. Following launch, we found that our two-tier price plan didn’t adequately address the needs of our partners and to ensure that they can be empowered and reach a growing, global customer base effectively, we learned that we needed to make some changes.
Our sounds library is your sounds library: Many users reached out requesting the ability to download releases in bulk, which we intentionally withheld for beta. During our earlier user research, we found that music makers had multiple hard drives filled with tens of thousands of sounds that they couldn’t make heads or tails out of. We want users to think of Sounds.com as their personal sounds library that they can access for a monthly fee whenever and wherever they want. Users download only the sounds they need, when they need them. They no longer need to build up giant personal libraries that are challenging to manage.
We have users well beyond the US: We found that the brand of our parent company, Native Instruments, is strong and there’s a healthy global demand for the work that Native Instruments undertakes including that of Sounds.com. Many users beyond the US requested to be able to access and subscribe to Sounds.com along with their US-based peers. It’s incredibly encouraging to see this global demand and we want to meet our users wherever they may be.
Based on these learnings, we’re introducing the following with this launch:
Free Trial: All new users from supported regions will experience Sounds.com through our free trial. For 14 days, you have 75 credits you can use to download any sound from our growing inventory of loops and one-shots. Following the trial, you will roll into a subscription plan or may cancel at any time. We believe introducing a free trial will provide you with a great taste of what Sounds.com has to offer. Once the trial ends, the sounds you downloaded, are yours to keep.
Flexible Price Plan with transparent sound tracking: We’re introducing a flexible subscription plan with three options to accommodate different production needs and aspirations. You can upgrade, downgrade, and cancel anytime. To help track your usage and anticipate what you’ll need for your projects, we’ve introduced a download counter that’s consistently viewable as you work.
Rollovers: We’re updating our inventory daily with new sounds from creators all over the world. We want users to have a reason to login and browse our inventory every day. At this time, any unused credit will not rollover.
More International Sounds: We’re expanding to serve more users beyond the US. Phase one expansion includes general Eurozone countries along with the UK, Canada, and Australia. We’re already working on Phase two so stay tuned for announcements of when we’ll be available in your country.
We’ve learned a lot from you during our first six months. Thank you for the constructive and valuable feedback you’ve provided to help inform our product priorities. We think you’ll be happy with the updates we’ve made and look forward to your thoughts on the latest.
We have a lot in our pipeline to continue to improve the user experience. We thank you for taking a chance on us and being loyal members of Sounds.com.
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