SoundCloud just announced that it is laying off 41% of its staff. In a blog post published on the SoundCloud site, founder Alex Ljung said that it was letting go of 173 staff members and shuttering its London and San Francisco offices in an effort to keep its company doors open. Despite “doubling is revenue” in the past year, SoundCloud says the layoffs and office closures are necessary cost-cutting measures on its path to becoming profitable.
How’d it come to this?
It appears that the beleaguered music company continues to sink ever deeper. For many, this all started when SoundCloud clamped down on copyrighted material on its site, with longtime members complaining of music takedowns and account bans. As far as investors were concerned, this was necessary in order to ease mounting pressure from major labels.
Originally, the site was a community of DJs and producers sharing DIY mashups and bootlegs, so the strict copyright stance alienated its core fanbase and created a backlash that the company has arguably yet to recover from. This, coupled with bankruptcy concerns, failures to get acquired, and unclear communication have contributed to where SoundCloud is today.
Where will the company go from here? Your guess is as good as ours, but for now we reiterate the advice we’ve been giving the past few years: Get your mixes off SoundCloud while you can, and post them on sites like Mixcloud instead. If you’re a DJ/producer and you’ve got productions, sites like Bandcamp are a good alternate.
• Next week we’ll follow up this piece with a comprehensive guide on what you can do to safeguard and migrate your music in case you’ve still got it on SoundCloud.
What do you think about this latest development? Is it the end of the road for SoundCloud? Do you even still care? What has been your go-to upload site for mixes? Share your thoughts below.