Soundcloud is Saved (for Now)

It’s been rumored for months that the financially struggling digital music service, SoundCloud, would be declaring bankruptcy and “closing their doors.” Great news of funding and a new executive team have come to save the day for the popular music platform.

The boutique merchant bank, The Raine Group, and the Singapore-based investment company, Temasek, joined forces by investing $169.5 million into the cash-starving company. The other big news for SoundCloud is that former Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainor, will succeed founder and CEO of SoundCloud, Alex Ljung. Michael Weissman, another fomer Vimeo executive will join the team as Chief Operating Officer.

“All of this together — the capital, the capital partners — with Kerry and Mike joining our team — it puts our company in a really great position to stay strong and remain independent,” Ljung said to Billboard. “We see a strong, independent future for the company.” Ljung and SoundCloud co-founder Eric Wahlforss will remain with the company they founded a decade ago. Ljung will serve as Chairman of SoundCloud’s board, and Wahlforss as Chief Product officer.

Trainor told Billboard that his experience in running Vimeo will assist his work at SoundCloud. Trainor is planning on placing greater emphasis on developing tools for artists, musicians, DJs, and other creators. Trainor is planning on using the approach that he used at Vimeo, which was charging filmmakers to use its video-sharing, marketing, and analytics tools. When Trainor left Vimeo in June of 2016, his accomplishments included tripling the video site’s monthly users to 280 million and having 710,000 paid subscribers.

SoundCloud’s Pro and Pro Unlimited subscription services provide analytics into which tracks are most popular and where. The $7 monthly Pro service provides basic stats that includes play counts and likes, view plays by country, the ability to turn on or off public comments, and upload up to 6 hours of audio. The $15 monthly Unlimited Pro service has unlimited uploads and more detailed analytics. By adding a more detailed creative toolkit, Trainor hopes to increase the number of artists who pay to use the Pro Unlimited service.

It was last reported that SoundCloud has 170 million users, and the company has seen noticeable gains in artist subscriptions, uploads, listening time as well as listener subscriptions. Total revenue for SoundCloud has more than doubled to over $100 million this year, so the future does look bright for Soundcloud.

Source: Billboard Bulletin

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