Soundcloud to pay remixers and DJs
Graphic: Kyle Petreycik

Trouble At SoundCloud? They Just Laid Off 173 Employees and Closed Two Offices

SoundCloud, the website used for years by underground artists, including everyone from Lorde to Matt Ox, appears to be looking at some rough financial times. Yesterday the company announced that it would be laying off 173 of its 420 employees and that they would be closing their offices in San Francisco and London. Alexander Ljung, the company’s chief executive and co-founder, wrote in a blog post:

In the competitive world of music streaming, we’ve spent the last several years growing our business, and more than doubled our revenue in the last 12 months alone. However, we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting, continued growth of our existing advertising and subscription revenue streams, and a relentless focus on our unique competitive advantage — artists and creators.

With more focus and a need to think about the long term, comes tough decisions. Today, after careful and painful consideration, we took the difficult step to let go of 173 SoundCloud staffers and consolidated the team into two offices: Berlin and New York. We are extremely grateful for the contributions of each and every staff member who will be leaving SoundCloud, and we wish all of them the best. Without them, we would not be where we are today.

By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.

The company tried to rollout a subscription service but that didn’t seem to be going well. The monthly price of $9.99 seemed like a bit much. Then SoundCloud got hit with another blow when Sony Music announced they were pulling their entire catalog. When that happened, speculations began circulating that the demise of SoundCloud was inevitable. There were talks of a acquisition by Spotify, but that fell through. The company hasn’t reported the number of SoundCloud users, but analysts believe that it’s much lower than the 175 million SoundCloud said were using the streaming servcie three years ago. The company also announced last year that they were having financial issues and got a $70 million line of credit to help float them along. With Apple Music, Amazon Prime and Spotify all killing the subscription market and record label partnerships, it’s hard to say where SoundCloud will fit into the mix of online streaming services. There’s also Tidal, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Related Posts


Prince’s Catalog to Arrive on Streaming Services, Sort of


Jay Z Ethers His Own Catalog From Apple Music and Spotify


Gorillaz Shake Up Your Christmas Party with Spotify Playlist


Report: SoundCloud May Have Only 50 Days To Live


PREMIERE: Von Alexander “WAVES” Video


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over