Since its inception in Berlin in 2008, Soundcloud has grown from a simple music sharing platform to a publishing tool for music, audio and podcasts. In recent years, the company flirted with both Twitter and Spotify for its buying rights, with Twitter eventually investing $70 million.
Soundcloud, though, has been in very real danger of shuttering its doors for good. The music service lost more than $50 million in launching a subscription service in the US, UK and Germany in 2016. Competition for users includes heavyweights like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, and the company has had major difficulty getting potential users to shell out $9.99/month for its services.
In a statement at the time of the launch, co-founder Alexander Ljung was forthcoming in his evaluation and potential dangers of a subscription launch.
“Whilst the directors believe that the Group will have sufficient funds to continue to meet its liabilities through 31 December 2017, the risks and uncertainties may cause the company to run out of cash earlier than that date, and would require the Group to raise additional funds which are not currently planned,” he said. “These matters give rise to a material uncertainty about the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
So goes money, so goes staff, and this month Bloomberg reported that Soundcloud was cutting up to 40% of its workforce in order to remain competitive with its rivals. Uproxx even reported rumors that Soundcloud only had enough cash to stay afloat for another two months.
Enter Chance the Rapper, who announced on Twitter on July 14 that he had a “very fruitful” talk with Ljung which may have, at least temporarily, saved the company.
Now, in its most recent attempt to make a comeback, Soundcloud has released a trailer for a six-part documentary series which will highlight growing music scenes throughout the world, including in London, Rio, Toronto, New York City, Berlin and Los Angeles. The series is called New Wave and drops Thursday, July 20.