So if you read this headline and were tempted to just move on as it possibly didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Even if you don’t use SoundCloud, you need them to stay in business, at least for a few more years.
It was the first week of this month (July) and if you are an early adopter and/or savvy music consumer, you probably heard from your friends or saw on your feed that SoundCloud was in immediate danger of extinction. Later that same week on 7/6, Alex Ljung (CEO, SoundCloud) broke his silence on the subject in an official statement on the streaming site’s blog (blog.soundcloud.com) confirming that the rumor indeed had some validity to it.
Today, after careful and painful consideration, we took the difficult step to let go of 173 SoundCloud staffers and consolidated the team into two offices: Berlin and New York. We are extremely grateful for the contributions of each and every staff member who will be leaving SoundCloud, and we wish all of them the best. Without them, we would not be where we are today … By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future. – SoundCloud Blog, 7/6/2017
more than 190 countries globally” and therefore “SoundCloud will continue to be the place for what’s new, now and next in music, powered by the world’s most diverse music community.” On the other hand, what does it mean when a company touts that they’ve “more than doubled [their] revenue in the last 12 months (Ljung),” but then turns around and terminates almost 200 people and “consolidates” offices? Damn that…Here’s what the sum-total of heresy, layoffs and PR posturing means for you, the listener.
Music and Porn Sharing Are Always the Litmus Test of What’s Coming Next
First of all … If you want to know where internet based tech is headed, step 1) follow the porn and step 2) follow the music. So if read this headline and were tempted to just move on as it possibly didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Even if you don’t use SoundCloud, you need them to stay in business, at least for a few more years. Why? Because whenever a major company like Blockbuster, or Sam Goody, or Tower Records closes – it’s never good for the industry-at-large. Likewise, when DVD sales for Porn collapsed, it was a red-flag that Blockbuster was on it’s way out as streaming was going to be the new thing (shout out to Brazzers and Bangbros and a moment of silence for Blu-Ray). Closures and medium-shifts don’t mean that the business is dying, it means a vital segment of the business that said company monetized, dried up a long time ago and we all are finally realizing it. Companies don’t close suddenly, they die slow deaths of prolonged group-think and misplaced optimism.
If SoundCloud crashes, Bandcamp is still around.
The chess moves mean something bigger is coming
However, we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting, continued growth of our existing advertising and subscription revenue streams, and a relentless focus on our unique competitive advantage — artists and creators. – SoundCloud Blog, 7/6/2017
Bingo! If I were a betting man, and I am, I’d wager that SoundCloud is liquidating assets for a bigger play. Either an acquisition, merger or they know something we don’t about the business. Why else would Chance the Rapper go to such lengths for the convo. Something is up lol.