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Soundcloud Cuts 40% of workforce

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starise    373

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/laying-off-173-employees-soundcloud-really-path-profitability/

 

Apple has a successful business model. Amazon and a few others followed that lead. These companies manage to make a profit. Soundcloud hasn't followed that model or even a close approximation of it. 

 

For me, Soundcloud has been a love hate relationship. Soundcloud who was music for the masses isn't doing so well.

 

Pros- A quick effective way to put music to the ears of anyone and everyone who wants to hear it.. Easy sign up and upload process. Can add artwork, descriptions and links. Good exposure worldwide. A nice looking interface.Tier plans from free to unlimited with extensive statistics.

 

Cons- They take your money to let you upload your hard work for free. Somehow that doesn't seem like much of a deal to me. The only advantage is that it offers you some exposure.

Paid advertisements for supported musicians get precedence over unpaid. It's really easy for your track to fall into oblivion unless it gets a strong showing early, you have a lot of friends, or you paid for more exposure in the form of likes and reposts. And this never made a whole lot of sense to me. Invest in social networking to promote yourself to give something away free? 

 

I'm as guilty as anyone else. I think I used it as a kind of litmus test to see if there was any interest. Yet who is the buyer? Who is the main listener?Another musician who is too busy making their own music to really dedicate too much time to others music? People with wives and husbands,kids and jobs with woes and troubles who manage to eek out a few hours a week to make music to upload?...again for free?

 

I would think the demographic we need is a non musician who has some time and likes music, who also has some disposable income right? I hate to disappoint, but I don't think this is Soundcloud. Maybe a very small percentage of the listeners are simply looking for music. Yes music for free. Even they might be disappointed when they search a genre like rock and they end up getting streams of hip hop, and something that can't really be classified as anything. No continuity in the streams. These people will get tired of that and go to Spotify or Pandora paid or XM radio.

So what I'm saying sounds dismal. Probably 90% of the listeners are the posters who might be curious. 10% or less are really serious. 

 

Here's another bomb- A dedicated listener of free music isn't always a buyer. So long as it's free they will come. Turn off the spigot and guess what? If you're a super talented person with tons of comments about how wonderful the music is, this probably makes you feel great and you deserve to relish to some extent in your hard work, yet it's like a puff of smoke. Show me the money or be willing to play for free the rest of your life.

 

I think most of us have kind of hardened ourselves to the fact that we like what we do but we doubt that we'll ever get very far with selling it. This may or may not be true.

 

Some have thought going into music for video games and picture is where it's at. I see some of them on Soundcloud. In these situations there's more to learn. It's more complicated than , " Here's my music, will it work for your video game or film?" The game or picture comes first and you usually need to sync to it and play along tothe mood of the piece. They don't take your song and say, " Hey lets make a game with this music".Syncing to picture can get complicated and you need the right tools to do it. It's a small pond with a few big fish. If you happen to break into it, you need to know a lot more than composition. The industry is very fickle  What is successful one day might have washed down the tubes next year. Probably working more hours than you're being paid for, but I digress.

Of late I've seem some very gifted composers on .Soundcloud using  expensive sound libraries that finally get made into a 128 mp3. to make  free music out of boredom. Don't get me wrong, composing orchestral film music can be very rewarding and maybe this is enough for some. 

 

I think I'm asking why we do it? Why did I do it? I don't really know. I think part of it was how easy it was. Is acknowledgment really more important than common sense? 

 

Don't get me started on piracy lol. How do you know your track wasn't copied and placed on an album half way around the world? You say, " All they have is a 128 mp3". Yes but a good musician can literally play your song note for note and re record it. 128 mp3 isn't below some to make an album, albeit of poor quality. I'm thinking I've had almost 130,000 plays since I joined Soundcloud. If only 10% of those people would have purchased that would be more than I have now. 

 

Soundcloud is a good way to present your music to the public. A good way to let people know you're out there. Hopefully it won't stop at that.

 

I believe Soundcloud should have built more capability into their software to allow direct sales of music.

 

The word is that Soundcloud is simply cutting back at investors requests. Being a little skeptical, I'm not convinced. I would hope that they can be around as something better suited to the musician and not the listener.

 

I think I'll just go find a quiet place with my guitar and forget about all of this for now :D Does it really matter? Not that much to me, yet it's an interesting thing to watch happen over time.

 

 

 

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Just1L    918

I've never expected or cared to get much out of Soundcloud. The only reason I started using it was because it was the best way to post a song on this site without taking up any space on John's server. For that, it's great. Other than that … meh. 

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starise    373

Makes sense. Does work well for that. A good way to listen to ideas and get em' out there. 

 

I agree. meh. We can still get excited about making music though.Maybe excited isn't the right word. More like thrilled or content to create? 

 

Bar none it probably is the best place to put up audio good bad or in between. Kind of like a pot luck of choices. There's probably a recording or a donkey belching on it somewhere :)

 

Or Aunt Harriet practicing her opera lines, yodeling from the swiss mountains. About 10,000 wanna be hip hoppers. You never know.It might be fun to see what kind of stuff is really on there. I've heard some things I didn't know existed. A few things that probably shouldn't exist, but that's the freedom of it.

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Richard Tracey    254

For me, what has ruined SoundCloud is the piranhas that like or repost your track, but are just wanting the hits, the ones that promise you will get 10000 new followers etc... they are a pest and probably put people off posting.

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Just1L    918
8 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

For me, what has ruined SoundCloud is the piranhas that like or repost your track, but are just wanting the hits, the ones that promise you will get 10000 new followers etc... they are a pest and probably put people off posting.

 

Awww c'mon. They're the only ones liking my songs! LOL

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Richard Tracey    254
33 minutes ago, Just1L said:

 

Awww c'mon. They're the only ones liking my songs! LOL

 

Same here:grindance:

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tunesmithth    1,233
Quote

Here's another bomb- A dedicated listener of free music isn't always a buyer. So long as it's free they will come.

 

Isn't that a line from "Field of Dreams"?

Sorry...my bad, that was "if you build it, they will come".

An understandable error on my part ;)

 

Tom

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starise    373
14 hours ago, Just1L said:

 

Awww c'mon. They're the only ones liking my songs! LOL

 

Hey! I'm not a Pirrhanna...did I spell that right? :)

 

14 hours ago, tunesmithth said:

d, that was "if you build it, they will come".

An understandable error on my part ;)

 

Great correlation there. 

 

Let's compare music to chocolate cake. Say I can go to town and get chocolate cake for free. Better yet imagine that I can have it delivered for free to my house. Aside from me eventually weighing 500 pounds that seems like a good thing.

 

This is exactly what some of us are doing. Giving away free chocolate cake. One person has a table set up on the street corner loaded with  coconut frosting chocolate cake and he's begging anyone to eat it. Another person a block away has German chocolate cake and not much further down the road there's a table full of dark decadent chocolate cake with a big FREE sign on the table.

 

As human nature would dictate eventually chocolate cake wouldn't be worth very much in spite of all the effort put into baking it. There might even eventually be an aversion to it and folks would rather have pecan pie or key lime. Some bakers might be content to realize that their cake was really good because they were complimented on it. It just feels good to make a good cake. Eventually there would be a few places known for good cake for free. People will say, " If you want GOOD chocolate cake, go see so and so."

 

These bakers really aren't into it for any money. They will bake the cake no matter what.

 

I see nothing wrong with the lady at the grocery store offering free samples of cake so you'll buy the whole cake. This is probably the best use of places like Soundcloud IMHO. A place for samples and ideas and maybe leads.

 

As I see it WE are part of our own problem. If we all boycotted Soundcloud and any site similar, if we set OUR terms and had some REGULATION to control supply and demand we might start to get ahead.It would seem the primary way we now make money in music is more about the delivery medium than the music itself. If the user wants to listen to a particular song any time of the day or night on their personal system then they might pay for that. Another reason to buy is quality. A site like SC allows anyone to upload. I respect everyone here and you all make wonderful music. However we know that a lot of what ends up on soundcloud is ( how can I say this tactfully?) dookie.:) Some of this depends on the eye of the beholder and some of it is just plain dookie no matter what IMO.

 

Food for thought? I know this is a sweet subject.Can get a little dark too.No matter how you slice it I think there needs to be some kind of change. Maybe a shakeup at Soundcloud will help that.

 

 

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HoboSage    1,943

YouTube is pushing Soundcloud to the outer fringe of relevancy, like Facebook did to MySpace.

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starise    373

I confess to not really knowing how YouTube works exactly monetarily. 

 

I watch it every night usually. I can see why it's popular. Never looked at it like that, meaning one player pushed another player off the field. I don't see a Soundcloud app on new devices nearly as much as YouTube. You make a good point. Maybe it's more about exposure and access.

 

People still seem to be giving things away even there. Up to them. With SC there's really no potential I can see other than exposure. With YouTube a person could upload a quirky video that catches fire and has a million plays. How exactly this translates into cold hard cash I don't know. I haven't looked into it much.

 

 

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HoboSage    1,943

It's more than just the video.  I think for kids, YouTube is the go-to portal to listen to music.  I know it is for my kids.  Kids don't want to download .mp3's and take up space on their SD cards, and they don't want to pay for streaming services.  So, they listen to streamed music for free via a YouTube app on their tablets, smart t.v.'s and smartphones, and if an engaging video comes with the song, all the better.  Soundcloud seems quite popular among musicians, those wanting to sell shit to us, and those looking for indie music.  But, I don't think it's really all that popular with the general public for streaming music - certainly not like YouTube is.

 

 

Edited by HoboSage
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Jenn    194
4 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

It's more than just the video.  I think for kids, YouTube is the go-to portal to listen to music.  I know it is for my kids.  Kids don't pay for streaming services.  They listen to music via a YouTube app on their tablets and smartphones.  That's how my kids listen to music.  Soundcloud seems quite popular among musicians, those wanting to sell shit to us, and those looking for indie music.  But, I don't think it's really all that popular with the general public - certainly not like YouTube is.

 

 

Guilty

 

I find SoundCloud more work to navigate and harder to come across something really worthwhile

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HoboSage    1,943

It's understandable, Jenn. Getting all my music on Youtube is on my To Do List.  Then, it's goodbye Soundcloud.

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I guess the people using SoundCloud have a specific agenda while those using YouTube don't necessarily have one... or even if they did, they'd get distracted. Even if someone wanted to listen to music on YouTube, their eyes would start wandering after a while.. another kind of "idiot box" under the garb of knowledge provider? If only Google lent a helping hand to the likes of SoundCloud... but they're very smart  B)

Edited by Sreyashi Mukherjee
typo
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Just1L    918
1 hour ago, Sreyashi Mukherjee said:

I guess the people using SoundCloud have a specific agenda while those using YouTube don't necessarily have one... or even if they did, they'd get distracted. Even if someone wanted to listen to music on YouTube, their eyes would started wandering after a while.. another kind of "idiot box" under the garb of knowledge provider? If only Google lent a helping to the likes of SoundCloud... but they're very smart  B)

 

It's all about building a monopoly. Google owns YouTube so they'll do anything to make sure YouTube thrives. Even to the point of making sure when you search for a song title, YouTube videos show up well before Soundcloud. For example, the song "Another One Bites the Dust" is on both Soundcloud and Youtube. Do a google search for it and see what happens. For me, soundcloud wasn't even on the first page, but notice where the YouTube version is ranked. Granted, the Youtube version has a lot more plays no doubt, but it's more than that.

 

UPDATE

I also did the same search on Bing and Yahoo with similar results. Souncloud seems nowhere around in the searches. Guess they're to blame as well for their exposure or lack thereof.

Edited by Just1L
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28 minutes ago, Just1L said:

 

It's all about building a monopoly. Google owns YouTube so they'll do anything to make sure YouTube thrives. Even to the point of making sure when you search for a song title, YouTube videos show up well before Soundcloud. For example, the song "Another One Bites the Dust" is on both Soundcloud and Youtube. Do a google search for it and see what happens. For me, soundcloud wasn't even on the first page, but notice where the YouTube version is ranked. Granted, the Youtube version has a lot more plays no doubt, but it's more than that.

 

UPDATE

I also did the same search on Bing and Yahoo with similar results. Souncloud seems nowhere around in the searches. Guess they're to blame as well for their exposure.

Lol... and you had to search for only "Another one bites the dust" to make your point :D

Oh well, I think I'll just go and do a random search on "It's all about the money" ;)

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tunesmithth    1,233

An update I ran across this morning, sounds like the death-roll has begun - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-soundcloud-cash-idUSKBN19Y2NR

 

 

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Just1L    918
4 minutes ago, tunesmithth said:

An update I ran across this morning, sounds like the death-roll has begun - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-soundcloud-cash-idUSKBN19Y2NR

 

 

 

Over 10 years in the business and it still can't turn a profit. Who they gonna turn to? Google. Pass Go, Collect $200 … sell out.

 

Oh what a strange plan to build something you know won't make any real, tangible profit, yet still be able to make millions from investors. I would have been all over that idea when I was in the 18-30 range.

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tunesmithth    1,233

Yep, the world of business has truly changed.

Gone are days when proving a potential for profitability mattered to the investment community.

Nowadays, the hope of potential profitability is enough to drive rampant speculation & create assumptive value.

Makes sense to someone ;)

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Just1L    918

The investors already have gobs of cash, I think to them it's equally about control. They want to be able to control the new shiny way of the future. I would gather that is something that has been around though long before the internet. I do think it's the fact that we have watched it evolve since birth and it is just so blatantly obvious now watching it happen real-time as opposed to being more in the dark in the old days. But at least with the old way, companies could actually hire more people and turn a real profit. You see it in almost every sector. Jobs gone, investments up. There isn't much that eventually the internet and tech won't destroy and I really am not sold on the idea that "new jobs will spring up" at least to the point it will cover all the jobs lost. Hence the growing talk of universal basic income. It's like the rolling stone is now gathering moss.

Edited by Just1L

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Richard Tracey    254

So should we be looking to remove so our music from SoundCloud in case it's sold and the new owners put a disclaimer in saying they own anything that's already there ^_^ I'm sure that has happened before.

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Just1L    918
6 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

So should we be looking to remove so our music from SoundCloud in case it's sold and the new owners put a disclaimer in saying they own anything that's already there ^_^ I'm sure that has happened before.

 

That's a good question. To be "better safe than sorry", yes. Only time will tell if it's necessary though. Although, I guess in reality, they already own it as much as they need to.

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starise    373

 

9 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

So should we be looking to remove so our music from SoundCloud in case it's sold and the new owners put a disclaimer in saying they own anything that's already there ^_^ I'm sure that has happened before.

I don't think that will happen. Soundcloud might be sold and the new owner would respect the users. What's more likely is a change in policy, like maybe limiting more the free services. They need money. How they will try to get it is a hunch. They might offer a 30 or 60 day free and then get the bottom tier to pay. Or base it on something else. If a million non paying users go away that really won't hurt them and would open up more server space. 

In corporate terms 70 million dollars isn't a lot of money. Soundcloud appears to still be a small player. This might work in their favor because it makes them easier to buy.

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HoboSage    1,943
29 minutes ago, starise said:

 

I don't think that will happen. Soundcloud might be sold and the new owner would respect the users. What's more likely is a change in policy, like maybe limiting more the free services. They need money. How they will try to get it is a hunch. They might offer a 30 or 60 day free and then get the bottom tier to pay. Or base it on something else. If a million non paying users go away that really won't hurt them and would open up more server space. 

In corporate terms 70 million dollars isn't a lot of money. Soundcloud appears to still be a small player. This might work in their favor because it makes them easier to buy.

 

Losing a million non-paying users won't hurt Soundcloud?  Soundcloud's most valuable asset is it's user base - eyeballs who, even if they won't pay for streaming, might still click on an ad.  That's what attracts advertisers and generates advertising income for Soundcloud.  And, it's not really a hunch what Soundlcoud's income-generating strategies are, as it's a pretty common multi-pronged online approach, and Soundlcoud has been implementing it for awhile now:  http://www.investopedia.com/articles/company-insights/081916/how-soundcloud-makes-money-sne.asp 

 

 

 

Edited by HoboSage

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starise    373

Fair enough. It takes users to listen. The strategy they have to make money isn't working very well now. I pay at the second tier to Soundcloud and I feel like it's a decent value to simply have a good reliable place to post music. If all of the non payers left, they loose no direct income, but fair enough to say there would be some residual loss in other ways.

 

The users provide tracks which are either helping or not. I am making a difference between a user and a dedicated listener. What I think they need are listeners mainly who somehow generate income.The free user does provide tracks which might attract more listeners. I haven't seen any studies on that to see how much that really impacts the bottom line. If all the free people left, you would still have the tracks from those who pay plus the advertising revenue.

 

Interesting question to ponder for me- If I was CEO of Soundcloud and I seen company was tanking what would I do?

 

Firstly I would cut back any unnecessary overhead. The CEO already did that. Next I might initiate a way for the average joe musician to sell his or her tracks at the same location as the streamed music. This would be another expense for the users. Serious users spend it somewhere else to promote their music  anyway.Why not spend it on SC? Or maybe a "support SC and your favorite artist with one click". Funding for both the artist and SC.

 

Maybe as you say, it's mainly YouTube who are killing it for them. If this is true, then maybe nothing can be done but watch them fall.

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Just1L    918

One theory I just came up with is: until the day users, clicks and page views become irrelevant, the internet will always struggle to truly be profitable.

 

Example:

 

Two groups of people walk into Target.

Group One: 10,000 people walked in, looked around, picked up and looked at some stuff, then left without buying anything.

Group Two: 2 people walked in and bought stuff.

 

Which group is more important to Target and those selling products at Target?

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MikeRobinson    151

"No Customer Revenue(!) Increment!"

 

End of story.

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Just1L    918
9 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

"No Customer Revenue(!) Increment!"

 

Interested to know what this means??

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starise    373

Good it wasn't just me then.

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MonoStone    847
On 7/11/2017 at 7:47 PM, starise said:

Cons- They take your money to let you upload your hard work for free. Somehow that doesn't seem like much of a deal to me. The only advantage is that it offers you some exposure.

 

I think there's huge value in that though. I think it's a great deal IF you care about that exposure. You don't get it on any other audio-only site.

 

If Soundcloud goes, since there's nothing close to replace it right now, a lot of people...me included...will suddenly find their 'audience' shrinks to almost nothing... and then we're back to slogging it out live again just to get that 'someone who's not family/friend thinks my music is ace! Woo hoo!' ego boost/satisfaction thing! Imagine that!! Outside of here and a handful of friends I'll be heard by - The cats (I mean actual cats, not 'hip' people) and by...ummm no that's about it... mostly the cats...and they find my performances terrifying.... 

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