Mixcloud is an online music streaming service that allows for the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts, which are crowdsourced by its registered users. Its notable users include Wired, Harvard Business School, TED Talks, and Barack Obama. Mixcloud was originally funded by its founders only and continues to be owned solely by its team.
Mixcloud was founded as a startup company through the lean startup process in 2008 by Nikhil Shah and Nico Perez, who met at Cambridge University. Developers Mat Clayton and Sam Cooke were added to the team in its early stages.
Mixcloud allows all users to browse and stream audio content uploaded on its site. Registered users can upload content such as radio shows, DJ mixes, and podcasts, as well as promote and distribute their content through Mixcloud's own social networking widget. As of November 2011, Mixcloud lifted its 100Mb limit on uploaded content and allows uploads of unrestricted size. Registered members may join a Group, a collection of other users who share a common interest, which will periodically update the user when new content related to the Group is available.
Mixcloud also provides an API which users can search, upload, and embed its content. Users may also share podcasts and mixes via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Mobile apps are available for both Android and iOS.
Mixcloud restricts its users from downloading audio content from its website for licensing reasons. Co-founder Nikhil Shah commented on this restriction: “Not offering downloads has been a challenge for us in terms of persuading the content creators to use a platform like ours.” He also compared Mixcloud to the model of its competitor Spotify: "So it's very similar to the Spotify model. Spotify's competitor is illegal downloading and they are trying to cannibalise illegal downloading by offering a streaming-only and superior alternative."
According to the Mixcloud's main website, the platform is licensed only to provide its audio content through streaming, such that royalties are attributed to their respective artists. Mixcloud also requires its users to attribute their audio uploads with correct Artist and Song metadata in order to preserve intellectual property rights.