Somethings we definitely take for granted, we assume that because they’re so dear to us, that they must be super successful and they’ll be around forever. Take the UK 2008 recession, for example, the likes of HMV and Woolworths both going under to the point of virtual extinction (this won’t mean a lot to our readers from outside the UK) and we very nearly had a similar situation with streaming platform giant, Soundcloud.
Since it’s birth in 2008 (funnily enough) Soundcloud has been groundbreaking and unparalleled in the development of new talent, predominantly through its ease of uploading and user-friendly timeline layout. One of the biggest draws for all users was that it was completely free and allowed for massive exposure of the smallest artists. With the likes of Chance the Rapper (who actually offered to help save them), Khalid and Lil Uzi Vert all paying homage to the career making streaming site, it’s no joke when we talk about how serious their disappearance would’ve been.
Only a month ago Soundcloud laid off 173 of their 420 employees (that’s 40% btw!) in order to “secure long-term independent success” CEO Alex Ljung said. However, the power of the social media, and the love that the music industry has for our beloved Soundcloud, investors came in with a collective £132M, a new CEO and no doubt endless business plans and restructuring proposals to keep Soundcloud afloat and nurture it back to full strength in the industry. Since this announcement, current CEO Ljung has openly said that he is “absolutely not leaving“, hmm…interesting?!!
It may sound like a scapegoat call and an easy remark for us to say having lived through the “cost free” streaming years, but we genuinely believe that they never should have introduced a premium option. It killed the whole consumer concept of the platform, whereby anyone can upload any track, be it a cover, a rip-off or mostly, their own (often home recorded) music. Once the paid option was introduced and adverts played after every other song, with no option to skip, people stopped listening!! Us and our peers certainly did.
Now, we’re no business moguls about to change the economic models of fortune 500 companies, and these comments probably aren’t that original, but could they not have secured financial backing without going premium? And if they really had to introduce adverts, could they not be skipped like Youtube? OR even only be 5-10 seconds long? Whilst this may have implications on payment from said advertising companies, it would almost guarantee higher continued listeners, again we’d have stuck around! Let’s hope that the above investors have more concrete and thought out business plans that our suggestions and manage to save Soundcloud for the foreseeable future.
How do you guys feel about the possible loss of Soundcloud? Let us know by commenting on this post.