Soundcloud: What’s going on?

I was told on Friday morning that Soundcloud was shutting down. Shocked at the news at first, I think I refused to believe it. But it was confirmed to me in the following article: http://variety.com/2017/music/news/soundcloud-has-enough-money-to-survive-only-50-days-report-claims-1202494582/

The above article reports that;

The prognosis on SoundCloud, the popular but financially strapped streaming service, has been grim for all of 2017, with 40 percent of its staff laid off last week and statements from its founders that it may not have enough money to see it through the year. According to a report published Wednesday in TechCrunch, the company may not have enough money to see it through the summer.

I was gutted to find this out, as if you know me I am a long time user of SoundCloud and have uploaded many of my songs. It is a great resource for sharing your music, and listening to many other DIY artists as well as artists that have established a decent fanbase. I know many people who share on SoundCloud, ranging from DJs to producers, to singer/songwriters, I am sure that they will share my feelings on this and want to get to the bottom of it.

After doing some Googling, I couldn’t really find much out about this, apart from the above article. It seemed to be crazy to me that nobody had made an official statement regarding the claims that SoundCloud could only operate for the next 50 days, into the fourth quarter of 2017. It makes me think that SoundCloud really is in trouble, and without the support of it’s user base and funding from pro users and ad revenue – we really could lose it for good. What would this mean for DIY artists, djs and producers then though? After discussion with a few friends about this, we came to the conclusion that we’d probably use YouTube. But it’s not the point, SoundCloud was built for a market – and that market is still there – so why is it struggling so much? Plus YouTube is full of so much variation, so what gives anyone confidence that people would use it to look up independent music in the first place? SoundCloud was always a community to me, people helping eachother out. It’s not like YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, or any other music sharing website. It was built for the people, by the people.

Eventually, I came across this article:  SoundCloud Issues Statement, Says It’s Not Going Anywhere – XXL

This week, the Internet has been in a frenzy after reports surfaced that Soundcloud allegedly only had enough funding until the start of the fourth quarter of 2017. After Chance The Rapper vowed to work on the issue, and claimed to have had a phone conversation with the CEO earlier today (July 14), the streaming service is releasing a statement confirming that the company isn’t shutting down any time soon.

Read More: http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/07/soundcloud-issues-statement-not-going-anywhere/?trackback=tsmclip

I have now found this statement, here: https://blog.soundcloud.com/2017/07/14/soundcloud-is-here-to-stay/

Hey everyone,

There’s an insane amount of noise about SoundCloud in the world right now. And it’s just that, noise. The music you love on SoundCloud isn’t going away, the music you shared or uploaded isn’t going away, because SoundCloud is not going away. Not in 50 days, not in 80 days or anytime in the foreseeable future. Your music is safe.

Along with each of you, we’ve built this incredible creative community of artists, podcasters, DJs, producers and more who are the driving force in pushing culture forward in the world. That’s not going to change. Last week we had to make some tough decisions to let go of some of our staff, but we did this to ensure SoundCloud remains a strong, independent company.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support. Some of you have asked how you can help–spread the word that we’re not going anywhere and keep doing what you’re doing–creating, listening, uploading, sharing, liking, and discovering what’s new, now and next in music. SoundCloud is here to stay.

Peace,
Alex

The above statement didn’t really fill me with too much confidence, for the following reasons;

  • It doesn’t actually say how they expect to keep running into the fourth quarter of 2017, and the “foreseeable future.”
  • It doesn’t define what is “the foreseeable future” – when you think about it, this could be the end of this year, are they seeing how it goes, and trying to brush the problems under the carpet? Who knows? Only the people working at SoundCloud could answer that.
  • They’ve stated that they’ve had to let some staff go, which is an unfortunate step that a lot of companies have to take to ensure that they stay in operation. However, working in the IT industry myself leads me to believe that letting a few staff go is a short-term fix, not one for business continuity. I would imagine that an organisation as big as Soundcloud will have a lot more costs on servers and infrastructure than they will on wages.

One thing that has pleased me to see from the above statement however, is that they’ve stated that “to ensure SoundCloud remains a strong, independent company.”

It’s a good thing that SoundCloud wants to remain independent, after having discussions with a couple of friends regarding this, we thought that perhaps somebody like Google, Apple or Microsoft might snap SoundCloud up. But this wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. Why? Because operating something for independent artists is never going to work when the focus is on profits. That’s not what independent music is about.

I hope that SoundCloud continues to operate, I really do. But the fact remains that however the future goes, the next quarter is going to be a difficult one for them. In the meantime, take their advice, “keep doing what you’re doing–creating, listening, uploading, sharing, liking, and discovering what’s new, now and next in music.”

Peace and love to you all,

Niall

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