Soundcloud: What’s going on and why you shouldn’t be too worried about it
The free-music oasis we know as Soundcloud is no stranger to controversy, but a recent turn has truly put the company in a spotlight of jeopardy.
Or is it? The viral talk seems to be that Soundcloud is going to disappear forever, but not only is that not true; it’s not even feasible. The announcement that sent a shockwave through the music industry was the company closing offices in San Francisco and London and laying off 173 employees. This move looks like classic chapter 11, but sources report that the company made these moves to budget for the upcoming Q4. Soundcloud ensures that uploaded music is safe and won’t be going anywhere soon.
Righty’ho then! Soundcloud is safe, and that means we can continue streaming minimal bit-rate songs on a website that still has an empty content creator compensation program. Opinions on Soundcloud have always been up for grabs for both users and creators alike, some who love it’s wide-open market system and some hate it for brutal strike measures on copyrighted content. In my personal opinion, Soundcloud dying at this stage in the music industry would have a small ripple, and here’s why I think so:
Alternative Streaming Options: Pandora and Spotify are all too familiar streaming services today. The difference between Spotify and Soundcloud is exclusivity, as uploading to Spotify requires the music to be licensed and registered (often through a label). This also ensures a quality control on a lot of the content, ensuring that playlists are being filled with professionals.
Spotify has a far better royalty system. Listening to artists on Spotify is an excellent form of support, as their pay for play rate far exceeds that of Soundcloud.
Soundcloud has repeatedly stepped on the toes of it’s content creators, promising an environment free to upload and share. While obvious copyright infraction is a reason to pull a track from the site, Soundcloud mediators have developed a reputation for bending to the will of major labels demands. This has resulted in epic mixes pulled, strikes to producers, and entire accounts deleted. Many artists have been fiending for a new platform.
Again, Soundcloud isn’t going anywhere. CEO Alex Ljung made a statement that “we had to make some tough decisions to let go of some of our staff, but we did this to ensure SoundCloud remains a strong, independent company.”
Let’s hope they get back to the independent company they started as.
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