It’s the story of a little guy battling a giant. As more popular music apps, or media empires, try to bid and acquire the independent favorite, SoundCloud refuses to go gentle into that good night. However, the battle wounds cut deep.
SoundCloud is a music sharing/streaming service that caters to independent artists. While several mainstream performers also offer their music, they found their niche with the smaller, DIY group of musicians looking for a place to collect, archive, and share their portfolios. Music seems to be the headliner, however SoundCloud is also a repository for other types of auditory media including podcasts like our UTB Blogcast.
Yesterday, SoundCloud has announced a 40% layoff of their personnel. This strategic move is not reactive, but instead proactive as the company has committed to maintaining independent ownership. In recent years, giants like Apple and Spotify have both bid out the little music engine that could. With a substantial revenue growth over the past couple years, there’s no question as to why. Co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung stated that SoundCloud “more than doubled our revenue in the last 12 months alone.”
The main angle for the reduction in personnel is of course a move to reduce cost. While this may hurt for the 173 people currently looking for new work, it may be the pivot SoundCloud needs to preserve their self-sufficient road map.