SoundCloud app

This time last week, I published “What’s happening with SoundCloud and why does it matter?”. Judging from some of your passionate reactions on social media, this is a topic that many of you care about. And for good reason. It’s hard to argue SoundCloud’s importance in today’s music scene. Independent, up and coming artists have little other recourse for reaching as many listeners as they are able to on the platform.

independent SoundCloud artists
Independent artists have long flocked to SoundCloud

Since last week, there have been some important developments in the story, so I figured I would continue to keep ya’ll looped in. If you already read last week’s post, cool. I appreciate you. If you missed it, to briefly recap, SoundCloud has been fighting recent rumors that its demise is imminent. The company laid off 40% of its staff in the beginning of July and has struggled to properly monetize its service for years.

 Over this past weekend, news broke that SoundCloud is in the final stages of closing deals with two private equity firms. The two separate, but simultaneous, transactions would give the pair of equity firms a majority stake in the company. Keep in mind that SoundCloud has long touted its title as “the independent music-streaming service.” Maybe its situation is just as dire as some speculated if they are willing sacrifice their independence to keep their doors open.

embattled SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung
Embattled SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung

While fresh investment will keep SoundCloud in business for the foreseeable future, it’s become clear that merely pumping money into the company will not be a panacea. Don’t forget there’s still the small detail of formulating a workable business model moving forward. According to a BuzzFeed report, SoundCloud plans to course correct by bringing in new leadership. As a stipulation with their new investment efforts, their current CEO, Alexander Ljung, will step aside and take a diminished role within the company.

While these talks of new investment and leadership do give me hope for SoundCloud’s future, we must not turn a blind eye to the past. The company has been in the advanced stages of acquisition talks several times in recent years. For one reason or another, the deals have always fallen through. Let’s hope this time is different.

Do you, esteemed reader, think that SoundCloud can return to its roots and once again be a mecca for independent music? I would love to hear your thoughts on Twitter!


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