SoundCloud is seeking a buyer, and that could make it much more difficultÂ for indie music artists across all genres to have their music heard. The streaming music service is reportedly seeking a sale in the $1 billion range in a deal that could alter that part of theÂ music landscape for a long time.
According to Bloomberg, SoundCloud execs are currently mulling over a strategy that would result in the sale of the company. No potential buyer has been identified however, and one may not be on the horizon at the valuation the company appears to be asking. Either way, itâs beginning to look as if the streaming serviceâs days are numbered, at least in the form that we know it today.
SoundCloud has sometimes been compared to an audio version of YouTube in that itâs basically a free service for user generated content, most of which is posted by indie music artists. Itâs been good for that niche in that itâs easier and cheaper to post a music file to SoundCloud than to host on the artistâs private website or social media network. That said, the company was never going to earn enough revenue just from usage fees by artists, and itâs really not much of a draw for music fans when compared to any of the sites like Apple Music or Spotify that feature commercial music from label-signed artists. It may have 175 million users a month, but most are not high-volume listeners like on the larger services.
But what really hurt SoundCloudâs prospects for turning a profit is the fact that it was forced to sign expensive licensing deals with the major networks in order to avoid pending copyright issues, and to clear the way for the service to offer a subscription tier in an effort to finally increase revenue. While that sounds good on paper, the biggest distinguishing feature of SoundCloud is its indie artists, and that hasnât proved to be enough of a draw when its free, so itâs difficult to imagine how it could work for a monthly fee. [Read more on Forbes…]