Our second SoundCloud story of the day, but too important to bury in an unrelated post.

SoundCloud groups were ways for likeminded artists and fans to form communities around common interests. There aren’t a lot of fans of (say) vintage Chicago industrial music from the early 1990s, but there are enough of them that can pool their resources and share both old material and new stuff from across the service.

People also pooled their work together regionally – especially critical in sparsely populated areas – and… well, there are a billion different uses for groups as you can imagine.

And now they’re gone.

In a shockingly abrupt post, SoundCloud’s James Welch wrote:

As well as adding new features and updates, we review existing features to see if they’re still beneficial to the community.

As we dug into the best ways for curators to connect with artists and fans, we found that Groups aren’t working as well as reposts and curated playlists.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to phase out Groups on Monday, August 22nd to make room for future updates.

Well then. It’s not for nothing that SoundCloud is developing a sparkling reputation as some of the biggest assholes in the music industry (quite an accomplishment!)

Just a few days before SoundCloud flipped the off switch on groups, rival three year old upstart HearThis.at announced they would be adding them:

We are proud to show you our brand new “Groups” feature.

You are now able to create unlimited Groups, join others by Genre or share your content wherever you want.

Grow your own community and reach thousands of listeners all over the world.

In future there will be functions for blogging text content within groups and also new ways of sharing your music to other platforms will be available soon.

HearThis groups are now available here.

Note: 5 Magazine uses HearThis.at (as well as Mixcloud and a few other services) for our audio. We pay full price like everyone. Follow our HearThis.at page here.