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posted by martyb on Saturday July 15 2017, @07:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the Take-off-every-'ZIG' dept.

Music hosting biz SoundCloud, having just axed 40 per cent of its staff, is now trying to ward off rumors that it will go broke in less than two months.

The song-sharing service was rumored to be in crisis mode and had to shut its doors, with just 50 days of funding left before it ran out of cash. A spokesperson insisted Thursday, however, that this is not the case, and that following last week's layoffs, SoundCloud is going to be able to turn a profit soon.

[...] This comes as SoundCloud struggles to get its advertising and subscription revenues up high enough to push the music-sharing service into the black. Since 2008, the company has relied on VC funding to stay afloat and, after nine years, is still trying to turn a profit.

SoundCloud is Cutting Nearly 40 Percent of its Staff

Original Submission

Related Stories

Soundcloud is Not Dead Yet 5 comments

According to Techcrunch, Soundcloud has secured the emergency funding which will allow the service to survive:

SoundCloud has just closed the necessary funding round to keep the struggling music service afloat. CEO Alex Ljung will step aside though remain chairman as former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor replaces him. Mike Weissman will become COO as SoundCloud co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss stays as chief product officer.

Further coverage at Ars Technica and BBC News.

Soundcloud's layoff of 40% of staff and the subsequent rumours of a collapse have been covered here before.

Original Submission

SoundCloud is Cutting Nearly 40 Percent of its Staff 7 comments

SoundCloud is cutting over 40 percent of its staff, the company announced on its blog. The streaming service will let go 173 of its 420 employees in order to "ensure our path to long-term, independent success," SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung wrote. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

As part of the reduction, the company will shutter its offices in San Francisco and London, leaving only its New York and Berlin offices operational. It's been a trying year for SoundCloud to say the least. The company announced it may possibly run out of money before the end of 2017 back in January, before landing a $70 million credit line from investors to stave off certain collapse.

Source: The Verge

Original Submission

Music Streaming Service Tidal Offers Free Trial as Financial Issues and YouTube Loom Large 27 comments

Two weeks after various outlets reported that Jay-Z's music streaming service Tidal was having money problems, Tidal will offer a 12-day free trial (Dec. 25 to Jan. 5):

Tidal is getting into the holiday spirit. The streaming service is opening up its platform to anyone and everyone for 12 days beginning on Christmas, with no credit card required (a usual requirement for free streaming trials). The free trial will cover Tidal's Hi-Fi tier as well, so if you've been wanting to try out high-fidelity music, now is your chance.

Meanwhile, YouTube has done some work behind the scenes to launch a new attempt at getting people to pay for music:

After years of bickering over rights, YouTube has finally signed all three of the major music record labels into long-term deals. This week, Universal and Sony both reached rights agreements with the Alphabet platform, joining Warner Music Group. Though YouTube still needs to make deals with companies like the Merlin consortium of smaller labels to be fully comprehensive, the way is now paved for it to launch its hotly-tipped streaming service next year. [...] YouTube's anticipated streaming service, dubbed YouTube Remix by Bloomberg, could seem a little late to the party. With Spotify readying for an IPO and swapping stakes with Tencent, Apple music firmly established and Tidal, well, just being Tidal, streaming is already a crowded space.

Alphabet has tried to crack the streaming market before, launching its own premium Google play music service in 2011, but it's not exactly been a smash hit with a market share even smaller than Amazon, Deezer and Tidal's. It launched YouTube Music Key in 2014 to offer ad-free music videos, and this morphed into YouTube Red in 2016. Hopes that this would change the music scene were dashed, however, as YouTube Red gravitated towards entertainment videos instead. The chances are, Alphabet will look to combine its Google Play service with a premium YouTube service for music fans.

YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge 12 comments

Two music-related Google subscription services, YouTube Red and Google Play Music, are going to be merged:

Right now, YouTube's music ecosystem is unnecessarily complicated. There's YouTube Red, which removes ads from videos and lets you save them offline, while also giving you access to Google Play Music for free. Then there's YouTube Music, which anyone can use, but it gets better if you're signed up for YouTube Red. And YouTube TV is also a thing — an entirely separate thing — but it's not available everywhere yet.

The merger has been rumored within the industry for months, and recently picked up steam after Google combined the teams working on the two streaming services earlier this year.

In a statement to The Verge, Google said it will notify users of any changes before they happen. "Music is very important to Google and we're evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we'll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made."

It doesn't look like YouTube's users want to pay for what they can get for free a click or two away:

The comments came after [Tom] Silverman raved about his experience using YouTube Red, but said that when he mentions to people how much he likes the service they "look at me like I have two heads. They didn't even know you can subscribe. How come people don't know about it?"

"You probably don't know there is Google Play Music either, and people really love that, too," [Lyor] Cohen replied.

That exchange gets to the heart of the existential issue facing Google's two streaming services: identity. Neither service has gained much traction in the music-streaming marketplace despite their best efforts and Google's massive user base. While Google hasn't released subscriber numbers,YouTube Red, which launched in Oct. 2015, was estimated to have 1.5 million as of late last year; Google Music Play has more than double that number. One industry source put their combined paid user numbers at 7 million -- far behind Spotify's recently-announced 50 million and Apple's 27 million subscribers.

The lack of identity for Google's music services in the marketplace may also be due, in part, to the runaway success and ease of use of both YouTube's ad-supported tier, with more than 1.5 billion monthly users, as well as Google search's ability to surface free music with minimal effort

Related: Metallica Manager: YouTube is "the Devil"
Study Claims That YouTube Avoids $1 Billion in Music Royalties Using DMCA Safe Harbor
All Your Bass are Belong to Us: Soundcloud Fans Raid Site for Music Amid Fears of Total Collapse

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Saturday July 15 2017, @08:25AM (2 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 15 2017, @08:25AM (#539490) Journal

    Users are all to well aware of not-your-computer-syndrome *zap*. So it will be very hard to tell people that all is good when the signs point far in the opposite direction. And burning VC capital 2008-2017, nine years without a profit. What makes VCs think that they will turn a profit?
    Almost like the company had some other purpose like finding talent before anyone else does or so..
    Fuckedcompany will probably make an exception and take a new contestant. ;-)

    Trust, hard to get - Easy to loose.

    • (Score: 2) by lx on Saturday July 15 2017, @09:41AM

      by lx (1915) on Saturday July 15 2017, @09:41AM (#539496)

      The most probable exit strategy is being bought out by Spotify, Apple Music or similar.
      Spotify is still not financially sound so let's all keep an eye on that big mountain of cash Apple has stored in the Cayman Islands and try not to drool too much.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by fustakrakich on Saturday July 15 2017, @03:06PM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday July 15 2017, @03:06PM (#539553) Journal

      What makes VCs think that they will turn a profit?

      What makes you think they want to 'turn a profit' []?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @08:35AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @08:35AM (#539491)

    Eds! Some semantic separation is a good idea! Are we talking about fish, or frequency? I know it is not always all about that bass. [] No treble! Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to to the top! We talking about you, Runaway! All about that Bass!!

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @10:26AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @10:26AM (#539504)

    You know, after Napster was allegedly "shutdown", I lost nothing? So why when these, um "legal" music services go down, do their "clients" lose everything? Another case where piracy is the better consumer strategy. You pose risks like this, no one wants to do business with you. Do you hear me, Bloomberg?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MostCynical on Saturday July 15 2017, @11:01AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday July 15 2017, @11:01AM (#539508)

      Ownership is to 20th Century; renting or leasing is where it's at!

      If the artists/ clients upload music, are they also smart/cynical enough to also have multiple redundant backups, or is the "best version" on Soundcloud also the *only* one?

      For "listeners" (consumers?), if your iPhone has moved all 'your' music to the cloud, and your phone data allows "free" streaming, then you quite used to not having a copy of 'your' music on your device..

      Then you get a rude shock when the people with 'your' music threaten to take it away.

      (Score: tau, Irrational)
    • (Score: 2) by mth on Saturday July 15 2017, @01:01PM (1 child)

      by mth (2848) on Saturday July 15 2017, @01:01PM (#539530) Homepage

      As far as I know the majority of content on SoundCloud is in fact legal and put there by the people who made it. It is used by musicians and podcasters, for example. In both those examples, I wonder about profitability though.

      For musicians, Bandcamp offers a way sell tracks and albums, while it also gives them a dedicated space on the site that they can style and that only contains their music.

      For podcasters, RSS/Atom would be the preferred distribution method, so SoundCloud would only be hosting the audio files and not be getting any page views. Or am I the only one who still loves RSS/Atom?

      • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Saturday July 15 2017, @03:56PM

        by Pino P (4721) on Saturday July 15 2017, @03:56PM (#539567) Journal

        I've read that SC was having a hard time finding revenue sources because a lot of the stuff on SC is fan-made medleys that aren't quite legal. Want me to try to dig up the article?

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday July 15 2017, @10:59AM

    by turgid (4318) on Saturday July 15 2017, @10:59AM (#539507) Journal


    Don't let Righty keep you down. #freearistarchus!!!
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16 2017, @08:11AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16 2017, @08:11AM (#539835)

    I hope they go die.

    After taking down a parody without review and without a way to retrieve the original upload, claiming to be copyright of the original song and having no easy way of communicating or making an appeal they can get fucked.

    I never used it ever since.

    Most of the content there is over compressed cut down 'demo' versions of tracks anyway that are only 30 seconds long. is better.

    • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Sunday July 16 2017, @01:25PM

      by fakefuck39 (6620) on Sunday July 16 2017, @01:25PM (#539886)

      Alright... Maybe I'm the one not getting this, since both you and the article are saying the same thing. I'm going to assume you and the article writer are complete fucking morons though instead, since that's easier. Now I'm going to diss you and maybe you can calmly set me straight about a site/product I've never used and know little about.

      What the fuck to do mean "without a way to retrieve the original upload?" Do you know what the fuck an upload is? Let me guess, when you send an email with an attachment to someone, and you later want to look at that file again, you ask them to email it back? Fucking retard.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19 2017, @02:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19 2017, @02:55PM (#541447)

    Another site I won't be using. Well, enjoy bankruptcy.