Soundcloud is one of the giants when it comes to music streaming platforms, with millions of music creators sharing music and over 175 million others tuning into listen. One of the most attractive things about Soundcloud when it launched back in 2008 was it’s free format, creating a gigantic community of music producers and music lovers all in a place where music could be shared freely. Soundcloud not only helped some current big-name artists get on their feet like Lorde or Chance The Rapper, but it also helped establish a sort of collection of amorphous music genres, where artists were no longer constricted by having to label their music in predetermined genres like Pop or EDM. Despite its popularity and large user base, jumping ahead into 2018 we see recent business news that points to Soundcloud being on the decline, and maybe even on its way out. So is Soundcloud really dying? That’s what the marketing experts here at Adwizar are going to be looking at today.
Back when Soundcloud started, Spotify had not yet made it into the U.S. and Apple’s music streaming platform was probably just an idea, so looking at the competition, it was a pretty good time to be filling the niche that they were. After gaining popularity so quickly, Soundcloud didn’t really do much in terms of actually trying to grow. Sure the service they offered continued to be solid and satisfy the user base, but investors didn’t have much to show for it since they didn’t have the means of bringing in more money. The biggest point in this was that Soundcloud was very late to the game when it came to actually monetizing the platform that they had built. There was a limited form of advertising for a few select big name artists and their tracks, but nothing in the form of a subscription service like Spotify or Apple Music has now. In the past, some companies were looking to actually acquire Soundcloud, such as Twitter in 2014, but ended up backing out for various reasons.
Fast forwarding to today, recent news reports stated that Soundcloud laid off about 40% of its current staff, which is usually a pretty obvious sign that things aren’t going so well, despite the co-founder of Soundcloud, Alex Ljung, stating otherwise. The big issue that Soundcloud is facing now is figuring out a way to catch up to Spotify and Apple music in the monetization game, without harming its current users by compromising their free-sharing structure, and they have to do that with 40% less staff and whatever money they have left to work with. Some have speculated that Soundcloud only has enough funding to maintain themselves for another few months based on the layoffs, so whatever the situation really is, we’ll probably know in the next few months.
Despite the dreary business reports floating around, if you logged onto Soundcloud now and browsed around it would seem like everything is just as fine as it's ever been. Creators are still posting new music with tags for genres that are completely new, or adding onto a sub-genre that was born on the platform to begin with, and there are still hundreds of millions of people listening. There have been some community efforts in response to some of the news, with one such effort attempting to archive the music that has been posted on the platform. Soundcloud does seem to have the community and support behind them that they need to succeed, so we’ll see what they choose to do with it.
Whether it’s the new social media trends of 2018 to choosing the best platform to focus on for your online business goals, Adwizar can help you. Our team is composed of experts in the social media and marketing space, offering you all of the tools you need for success like consulting, training, or campaign management. If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, just give us a call at 1-800-661-5095, or fill out the questionnaire on our home page to see it we would be a good match. We look forward to helping your brand reach new heights in the social space.