The news of SoundCloud’s seemingly imminent demise, with a reported 50 days left of funding – even after slashing 40% of its workforce and closing two offices – has exasperated the entire music industry.
Artists and fans alike are already mourning its death, headlines are already telling creators and tastemakers to move on and save all their tracks, and yet SoundCloud has released a response that most people are not even discussing. In it, they clarify that they’re funded “into the fourth quarter,” basically nullifying the 50 day report that came from an alleged anonymous employee via TechCrunch.
(full statement below)
There are a number of inaccuracies within the TechCrunch article. They seem to stem from a misinterpretation of information by one or two laid off employees during a recent all hands meeting.
Due to the extensive number of inaccuracies, we will only comment regarding funding and layoffs. To clarify, SoundCloud is fully funded into the fourth quarter. [emphasis our own] We continue to be confident the changes made last week put us on our path to profitability and ensure SoundCloud’s long-term viability. In terms of layoffs, it is our policy not to discuss individual employee cases, but we can share we continue to work with all employees who were let go to support them during this transition, with employment and financial assistance.
Still, multiple publications have published headlines right before our eyes announcing the end of the 175 million monthly user platform. Even our own post from yesterday was interpreted in a more inflammatory manner than we had hoped.
I’m here to tell you to stop stressing the fuck out over this because SoundCloud isn’t dead. Is it in trouble? Absolutely. However, the company now has an extremely wide array of options before it. With the massive influx of negative press and funding desperately needed, one fact is crystal clear: it won’t cost a lost of money for any potential investors. A platform of SoundCloud’s size and ubiquity is an attractive look for people with money. Yes, it would take a lot of work to turn it profitable. Still, options remain.
Here are just some attractive possibilities for potential investors.
- Make SoundCloud pay-to-use, much like Apple Music
- Mine the personal data of its users to funnel off to advertising agencies who can retarget ads their way based on demographic and interests (data like this is extraordinarily valuable)
- Adopting a monetisation system similar to YouTube’s, where major labels can claim a percentage or all of a track’s rights. This could also help with the constant takedown of bootlegs
I’m sure any number of people could poke holes in any of those ideas, but the point is that letting the one of the top 3 most popular audio platforms in the world die is something that is simply unlikely. So, before you go heralding the death of the beloved, yet flawed SoundCloud era, maybe think twice and hold your tongue – or cross your fingers – for the time being.
Oh yeah, and the SoundCloud prodigy himself, Chance The Rapper, says he’s working on it.