Why sound will be bigger than video online

From VentureBeat:

VentureBeat once described SoundCloud as “the biggest music startup you have never heard of.” Since then the company landed a reported $50 million in funding and expanded to touch 180 million users (via web, mobile, and partner widgets) a month, an impressive eight percent of the entire online population. One of SoundCloud’s latest users is the White House, which releases Barack Obama’s key speeches and other content via the site.

The Berlin-based company has long wanted to make sound the sixth sense of the social graph. Flipboard, for example, is using SoundCloud to add audio to its content. SoundCloud’s founders are convinced that sound has the potential to be bigger than video, since we listen to it while doing other things, and it’s much easier to create than video. Ljung talked about how he receives sound recordings (rather than the more traditional photos) of his cousin’s new baby.

Human beings derive richer layers of meaning from a voice than from a written sentence. The background sounds when you call someone give you an instant impression of their situation. “If you want to stop being scared when watching a horror movie, you mute the sound. Sound is the emotional carrier,” Ljung said.

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