It’s a frenetic start to 2014 for SoundCloud, with the announcement of a $60m funding round, a new messaging system to connect creators and fans, and now a brand new “visual player” that claims to make “tracks look as good as they sound, anywhere” as it’s embedded around the web. It builds on the more-visual profiles launched on SoundCloud’s website last March, meaning that big, bold artwork can now be shown when tracks are embedded on other sites. Pro Unlimited users can also have their ‘Spotlight’ tracks shown in the player when paused and after playback, to drive more listens. Meanwhile, the new player also supports continuous listening, like the website. The new player looks very good, and is also tailor-made for brands and (possibly) advertising in the future, if SoundCloud decides to go further down that road. Brands already on SoundCloud will benefit from using the visual player elsewhere on the web, but the new design may also suit other forms of display advertising – handy if and when SoundCloud does its rumoured licensing deals with music rightsholders, and has more bills to pay as a result.

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