SoundCloud lays off 40% of its staff and closes two offices

08 July, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Amelia Krales

In a blog post on SoundCloud's website, Alex Ljung, the company's co-founder and CEO, discussed how the cost-cutting move will work to ensure the company's "path to long-term, independent success". Most of the content on SoundCloud is free, and a subscription tier introduced a year ago that put some music behind a paywall hasn't been as successful as executives hoped.

As Spotify and Apple Music continue to flourish in the music streaming sector, SoundCloud continues to be on the struggle bus.

"Eric [Wahlforss] and I founded SoundCloud almost 10 years ago as we saw a need for something that would enable artists to share and connect through music", Ljung wrote. Its New York City and Berlin offices will remain open.

This is exactly why today's news reports, per Bloomberg, that Soundcloud is cutting staff and shutting down some of its offices may have a potentially devastating impact on the way fans discover new artists, and how artists - both emerging and established - release music to those fans and build their base. It has approximately 175 million listeners and a vast archive of music.

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SoundCloud bagged $2.5m of Series A funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures in 2009; raised $10m Series B investment from Union Square Ventures in 2010; and took in $60m in 2014.

"With more focus and a need to think about the long term, comes tough decisions".

Two SoundCloud employees said the announcement came as a shock, adding that they hadn't anticipated anything like this happening in the near future. However, it incurred a 51 million Euro loss in 2015 on revenue of 21.1 million Euros.

Subscription services proffered include SoundCloud Pro, which lets digital minstrels upload six hours of audio and includes features such as analytics; and SoundCloudGo, a music streaming service with diverse content including songs, DJ mixes and podcasts.

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