Some of you may have heard the big news last week. Our “friends” over at SoundCloud have now laid off 173 employees and closed offices in San Francisco and London. Now sure, this is being called a cost cutting measure in order to allow them “to ensure our path to long-term, independent success,” as co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung revealed in a blog post.
Well, quite frankly, on top of the unfortunate loss of employment for some folks that is frustrating to hear in our industry, we are also quite fed up with SoundCloud ourselves.
Over the past year or so, you may have noticed that SoundCloud has made a lot of efforts to build some revenue-generating services, such as subscription tiers for specific content in order to virtually compete with the likes of Spotify. To compound that, they have supposedly made special tiers for content creators. Interesting. We here at SMRI are a content creator. We have been since 2012 for them, and have driven over 64,000 plays and have been a paying member since our formation as well.
NEVER once have we received a newsletter or invitation to join the content creators services (which we have duly applied for multiple times,) and nor have we ever made a single penny of revenue for our content on their own platform. That seems silly to us now, as we solely exist to help our creators get recognition for their works. If anything, with the reduction of groups and other social features on SoundCloud, we could easily argue that we have lost more from the service than we’ve gained. We certainly see less traffic on our page there, thus, ridding the reason to be a paid member of their platform.
So, with all this being said, we urge others to not shy away from SoundCloud. It’s a service that has been kind to us, and helped us have a voice at one point or another, but we’re driving into a new direction here at SMRI.
We’re in the business of owning our own content, driving value to our creators, and providing value to potential advertisers and like-minded businesses who see a premium in the high-quality content we provide and distribute.
So as of today, we’re saying goodbye to SoundCloud, while wishing them the best in their struggles for fundraising.
For now on, all content we create, distribute, and provide for will either be available directly from our own website, or the commercial retailers we distribute with. That includes YouTube, for whom we are a partner with. So in a defacto sense, nothing will be changing with SMRI, other than that our presence on SoundCloud will dwindle to lack of existence in the coming weeks as we go fully independent in our new organic approach. You will no longer see us post any of our material on SoundCloud, and we will being converting everything to our own audio modules starting tomorrow.
This will allow us to be more direct, focused, and efficient in our business and the work we provide to our creators.
Goodbye and good luck in the future SoundCloud. You initially gave us a voice and provided a platform for many great creators. We will always be grateful for your platform.