How It all Started:
Soundcloud was started in Berlin in 2013 by two swedes named Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss. Their vision became a reality when they launched what is now the “Youtube of audio.”
Their motive lives on, as their platform allows all users to share audio for free. It became the perfect way to discover new, underground, and upcoming artists.
The Copyright and Moolah Struggle:
All of the gossip circling around, that SoundCloud only has mere days of survival left on its clock, were debunked by famous artist Chance the Rapper. He may have eased everyone’s minds with his phone call to HQ and tweets, but Chance did not give any money to the company. He was just checking up on the website’s stability.
The truth is, SoundCloud is totally capable of staying afloat due to some inside investors, and Ashton Kutcher.
Still, just because it has the resources to maintain itself for now, does not mean that everything is ok.
So go ahead and start writing your thank-you cards now to the investors keeping SoundCloud alive now, because it is only moments away from becoming a non-profit that relies on donations, which only millionaires can afford to dish out.
Nearly half of their staff were fired in layoffs so the company could “ensure our path to long-term independent success.”
This has been going on for awhile. In 2013, they lost $29 million that could not be backed up in advertisement sales.
On top of that, every day is a struggle with copyright issues, being that their platform is free to the public, and anything can be uploaded.
There is no surprise as to why SoundCloud is on the struggle bus. It’s competitors have already sunken ship.
Rdio, a streaming service that arrived in America before Spotify, declared bankruptcy in 2015, when it was losing a mere $2 million a month. Pandora, which picked up Rdio’s scraps, has fallen into the fiscal embraceof SiriusXM. Looking at other sites where, like SoundCloud, artists can upload their own songs, survivors are all too rare. YouTube, still going strong as the most-visited streaming site overall a dozen years after its purchase by Google, is an exception. From MP3.com to the Internet Underground Music Archive, from imeem to MySpace, good luck recovering your old streams. –Pitchfork
Spotify is the main competitor, and their credibility and support shows no signs of financial struggle.
SoundCloud Forever Soap Box Speech:
I did not mistype this headliner. Contrary to popular belief that SoundCloud cannot afford to live, the more important matter at hand, is what were to happen if SoundCloud disappeared from our lives forever.
Reason number one as to why our lives would never be the same without SoundCloud, is the liberty of using our first amendment on a free platform. There are multiple podcasts who utilize SoundCloud to voice their opinions on issues freely. Unlike YouTube, SoundCloud does not demand as much attention as a video would. All the creators ask for is your ears. Even artists take use of their first amendment to sing and write whatever music they so please without having to pay for a big production company.
Reason number two why this hypothetical loss would be a travesty, is the loss of discovery that would come with it. Think about all of the amazing talent we obtained from SoundCloud. Not just underground artists, but the mainstream artists that have risen from SoundCloud made millions without having to pay the website any royalties.
Chance the Rapper released his first mixtape through SoundCloud, and to this day he still refuses to sell his music for profit. Instead the Rapper makes money through his merchandise and inexpensive sold out shows.
Bryson Tiller, R&B legend, came up through SoundCloud. There, he was discovered by Drake, and the rest is history.
Lorde released her first EP through SoundCloud titled The Love Club. It included the song “Royals” which she now owns a grammy for.
Leon Bridges, Kaytranda, Lil Pump, Flatbush Zombies, and more have been exposed to high-end labels due to their music being distributed on the free sharing platform that is SoundCloud.
The third reason why SoundCloud cannot afford to die, is the concept of free music whenever you want it. Music is an art form that changes people. Music defines our history, culture, and way of life. Without a free outlet to allow anyone to hear their favorite artist or discover their own true sound, consumer America will win. The quality of free music would be lost in Youtube Ads and clips.
Don’t worry. I highly doubt that SoundCloud is going anywhere, due to the list of artists it helped to jump-start careers. At the speed which Chance ran to attempt to save the company, this business, soon to be a non-profit donation center for millionaire artists, is surely not going anywhere.