BY STEPHANIE ESLAKE
It’s natural that in this industry, many of us rely on SoundCloud to consume our music.
We listen, and we distribute for the world to listen. It’s a home for us to collect melodies that brings us happiness. It’s a place for a composer or performer to share the art she creates.
And it may be about to go under.
Now, before we cast our laptops aside and revert to buying vinyl (oops – too late), let’s look at some figures.
Operating at a loss that’s twice the size of its profit, SoundCloud is acting out big time to ease its immediate financial strain. After closing shop in London, SoundCloud has also cut 173 staff members from its team.
As well as having 40 per cent less people to run the show, there are hints that SoundCloud only saved enough money through the cuts to fund its digital life for a few more months – projections that have been a long time coming.
So what does this mean for those who are still listening?
Well, perhaps not much – with speculation that there are 100 million less users than the website boasts. And the 70 million estimated users who remain represent a $70 million round of debt funding (a line of credit extended to SoundCloud by three investors – the intention? To hire more staff. Go figure).
Of course, in Variety, SoundCloud bites back, claiming that despite the cuts and closures, we have nothing to worry about. But when there are rumours of acquisition, when it may cost up to $2 million to continue to host all of its content online, and when it previously put itself up for sale for a billion dollars (an offer Spotify reportedly turned down), the future is looking grim.
The question is whether it’s plausible for a giant like SoundCloud to drop off the face of the (digital) world and leave Australia stranded before the next big thing comes along.
So now you know where things are at. And whether you’d prefer to let the figures speak for themselves, to trust SoundCloud’s pleasantly crafted press releases, or to share a speculation of your own, one thing is for certain:
It’s always safe to back up your music.
What do you believe will happen to SoundCloud? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Charli Lopez via Flickr CC2.0.