The Verge: How Soundcloud’s Broken Business Model Drove Artists Away. “In December 2012, as part of a major redesign, SoundCloud introduced a feature called the repost. Similar to Tumblr’s reblog or Twitter’s retweet, reposts were designed as a way to help new music spread virally. But from the start, artists abused the feature by constantly reposting their own tracks, pushing them back to the top of their followers’ feeds every few days. Artist collectives made agreements to repost one another’s songs, and eventually, a popular music blog was caught selling ‘slingshot’ packages that included paid reposts. Fans and artists alike loudly complained — but SoundCloud, which was busy fighting an existential threat from major record labels, didn’t address the abuse for nearly three years.”
Motherboard: A Team of Volunteers Is Archiving SoundCloud in Case it Dies. “Spurred by recent reports the German streaming music and audio company may be running out of cash, The Archive Team is racing to preserve sound files—at high cost.”
TechCrunch: SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time. “A tense scene unfolded yesterday as user-generated, music-streaming service SoundCloud held an all-hands meeting to explain to employees why it suddenly had to lay off 40 percent of its staff last week.” If SoundCloud unexpectedly closes it’s going to mess up a lot of podcasters.
NME: SoundCloud may sell for $250 million in desperate bid to raise cash. “SoundCloud is reportedly considering selling for $250 million, despite being valued at three times that amount back in 2014. The streaming platform has been trying to raise $100 million since last summer, according to sources, and has raised around $250 million in investments to date, hence the sale price.”
SoundCloud has launched a new subscription plan (PRESS RELEASE). “The new SoundCloud Go plan marks a music industry first by offering a fully on-demand, mid-priced music streaming subscription. SoundCloud Go lets listeners discover, stream and share a constantly expanding mix of more than 120 million tracks from established and emerging artists, offline and ad-free for $4.99 per month. SoundCloud Go+, formerly known as SoundCloud Go, is SoundCloud’s premium subscription offering which gives subscribers full access to more than 150 million tracks, ad-free, offline with no previews for $9.99 per month. Additional exclusive product features for SoundCloud Go+ will be announced later this year.”
There’s a bit of shuffling going on at SoundCloud. “Eric Wahlforss, who co-founded the audio streaming startup with Alexander Ljung, is stepping away from the role of CTO and taking a new position as chief product officer. Meanwhile, SoundCloud has hired a new CTO, Artem Fishman, who most recently had been a vice president of engineering at Yahoo, overseeing mobile engineering. Both will be based out of SoundCloud’s offices in Berlin.”
Wha? Is Google thinking about buying SoundCloud? “After Spotify spurned the chance to acquire SoundCloud, some assumed the end was nigh for the loss-making streaming platform. High-level rumors are now beginning to bubble, however, that Google is very interested in snapping up the Berlin-based company – which boasts more than 175m users around the world.”