The move has been cited as owing to the current financial landscape. The company’s CEO, Michael Weissman, wrote in a LinkedIn post that the move “is one that is necessary to ensure SoundCloud’s long-term success given the challenging economic climate.”
“For those impacted by this decision, I want to thank you personally for your passion and contributions to SoundCloud and the artist communities we serve,” he added.
“SoundCloud has always been resilient, and together, we will continue to embrace the challenge of leading what’s next in music.”
The Berlin-based company has faced similar struggles in the past. In 2017, the company had to let go of 40% of its staff and close two offices in London and San Francisco.
The company, which currently has around 76 million registered users, have tried to adapt amidst an ever-evolving streaming landscape. Earlier this year, SoundCloud teamed up with music-creation platform Splice, in a bid to promote and nurture emerging music creators; and have acquired artificial intelligence platform Musiio.
In March last year, the platform introduced a new ‘fan-powered’ model for streaming, whereby artists are paid based on their fan’s actual listening habits – an initiative that was met with some praise as the debate around streaming royalties continues. Bristol band Portishead, for instance, reportedly earned 500% more from royalties under this new ‘user-centric’ approach.
Yet that’ll all now be of little comfort to the near-20% of the workforce who have now lost their jobs.
In a statement to Variety, the company said: “During this difficult time, we are focused on providing the support and resources to those transitioning while reinforcing our commitment to executing our mission to lead what’s next in music.”
We’ll have to see just what that entails.