A brief history of Soundcloud’s almost death
By Celene Sakurako
It’s no secret that popular music streaming service SoundCloud has been on a downhill spiral lately. Reported just last Thursday to have closed their London and San Francisco offices, which make up 40% of their workforce, the Berlin-based company’s recent mishap has got us to prop the question: is SoundCloud on its last legs?
Founded in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, the audio distribution platform has been experiencing classflow problems for some time now. Posting a net loss of $44 million dollars in 2014 and $52 million dollars in 2015, the company has tried to save itself by starting a subscription service that allows you to listen to ad-free music offline with SoundCloud Go+ from last year, but it seems that their efforts are falling short. The rumors of their possible shutdown by the end of 2017 stay the same.
So again, we ask: Is SoundCloud really shutting down?
Despite all signs pointing to “yes,” their co-founder Alex reassures its fans that SoundCloud is here to stay with an official statement on their blog saying:
“There’s an insane amount of noise about SoundCloud in the world right now. And it’s just that, noise. The music you love on SoundCloud isn’t going away, the music you shared or uploaded isn’t going away, because SoundCloud is not going away. Not in 50 days, not in 80 days or anytime in the foreseeable future. Your music is safe.”
So is it really here to stay? We don’t know, but here’s one guy who might:
Just had a very fruitful call with Alex Ljung. @SoundCloud is here to stay.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
An avid follower of SoundCloud, hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper tweeted this cryptic tweet the next day after the Internet went wild over SoundCloud’s possible shut down, then released track “Big B’s” featuring Young Thug exclusively on SoundCloud the following day.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 15, 2017
We don’t know what other tricks Chance has got in his bag, but we know he’s cooking up something real good. I mean if him releasing his Grammy-winning album Coloring Book on the site for free last year isn’t proof enough, then we don’t know what is.
But let’s play with the rumors, if SoundCloud were to shut down by the end of this year, where shall we listen to our music now? Here’s are our picks of alternative music streaming sites:
Everyone’s already on Spotify, so might as well embrace it. The Stockholm-born freemium music streaming platform allows users to listen to over 30 million songs, while artists get to upload their music in exchange for royalties from premium subscribers.
The Parisian music streaming service works just like Spotify, but provides a more varied catalogue of over 40 millions songs for users to browse over, allowing the option for unsigned artists to upload their own music.
This California-based music streaming platform allows you to listen to uploaded releases by artists and record labels alike. Catering to independent artists, the site functions more like a music store or gallery.
Hailing from the U.K., this Last.fm is more for listeners who like to discover new music. Implementing a music recommending system, the platform tunes into your musical preferences and provides you with a detailed library on your profile.
Based in Nashville, Texas, NoiseTrade is a lot more intimate than the others. It’s a music and book distribution platform that allows you to freely listen to artist-uploaded music, as well as download music and books in exchange for your e-mail address and zipcode.