The end may be near for SoundCloud. Sources close to the company are reporting that the music streaming platform only has enough money to avoid bankruptcy for 50 days, despite laying off 40% of employees.
The audio distribution service has hit obstacle after obstacle this year, as they were looking to sell. At first, SoundCloud wanted to sell for 1 billion dollars, but as no buyers came, this was reduced to 250 million, and likely even more since then, bringing us to the present day. Last week, it was reported that two SoundCloud offices were shut down, on top of the 40% of employees let go. An anonymous SoundCloud employee has claimed that the morale at SoundCloud offices is dismal, as remaining employees are jumping ship voluntarily. The audio distribution service, which was launched in 2007, has acted as a platforms for countless independent artists to reach unprecedented levels of success from their own bedrooms.
While it’s still possible for SoundCloud to be saved, listeners and artists should be prepared for the worst.
What Should Listeners Do?
Find other social media platforms for your favorite SoundCloud artists.
The top right corner of every SoundCloud account features an area with a follower count, a following count, and a track count. Below this, artists have the option to post links to other social media platforms. From here, you can find other ways to connect.
Make a playlist of the songs you want to keep.
In the top right corner of the SoundCloud website is a tab with your name on it. From here, you can look through every track that you’ve liked. Since we have no idea what will happen to these if SoundCloud were to fall, it’s worth making a new playlist of songs that you want to remember.
Look for alternative listening options.
Once you find the tracks you want to keep from SoundCloud, go to the tab below the song’s waveform. If there are other ways to listen to the song, an option will be available for such to the right of the ‘More’ button. It’s not uncommon for SoundCloud artists to give their tracks a free download. Likewise, this button can lead you to the song’s page on a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music.
Consider that many bootlegs and remixes are often uploaded to YouTube.
Legally, artists can’t sell content that they don’t own, even in the form of a free download. Over the past few years, SoundCloud has become more strict with this, taking down entire accounts in violation, sometimes even wrongfully (see Kaskade‘s tweet about SoundCloud) which ultimately has encouraged artists to upload this material to YouTube.
What Should Artists Do?
Build your fanbase on other social media platforms.
If there was any lesson to be learned from the fall of Vine, it’s that no creative venture should exist solely on a single platform. While it may be true that few see the fall of SoundCloud as imminent, it’s not too late to take advantage of the ability to link other forms of social media to your page.
Unless something insane goes down where Google goes out of business, YouTube isn’t going down anytime soon. Video is the future of content, and better yet, you can even make money with it on YouTube. As long as your content is 100% original, you can monetize it and make (some) bank with ad revenue. While the community of musicians on YouTube may not be as strong as the community of musicians on SoundCloud, this might be about to change.
Use online distribution services to spread your music.
Symphonic Distribution, Distrokid, CDBaby, TuneCore, and countless other services allow for independent artists to publish their music onto the biggest music platforms around. While these services have their differences, the main idea is that artists can pay a fee to have their music put on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Shazam, and countless other platform. Of course, this is also profitable, as some revenue is made each time a song is downloaded or streamed. In addition, many foresee that what getting a SoundCloud repost was, getting on a Spotify playlist will be.
*Consider Orfium as an alternative.
Orfium is a fantastic new platform for artists and music fans alike. With unlimited free music hosting, artists can upload, sell, license, and distribute their music via one simple website. Fans can enjoy capabilities far beyond those of SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. As it stands, Orfium is one of the only major platforms to offer remix monetization, rights management, and more. At a time when streaming preferences are scattered, Orfium proves to be advantageous in the sense that you can generate earnings from user uploaded content on other websites that use your music. Not convinced yet? Check it out here and see for yourself.
Browse, discover, and listen to free and premium music. Follow and get updates from your favorite artists and friends. Curate your library and create, follow, and share playlists.
Most importantly, don’t panic. Chance The Rapper just tweeted “I’m working on the SoundCloud thing,” and there’s always hope that SoundCloud will live on. The worst case scenario is that SoundCloud will shut down, but if preparation ensues, we should be alright. After all, if you can survive the fall of a social media platform, you can survive anything, right?