SoundCloud Layoffs Raise Questions About the Future of Music Streaming

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

It’s no secret that the world of streaming has hit some pretty significant bumps in the past few years. From artists pulling their music from Spotify (Neil Young and Joni Mitchell) to an outcry from Congress, streaming platforms have remained in the musical hot seat. And now, SoundCloud is feeling that heat.

In a recent announcement, the CEO of SoundCloud Michael Weissman informed his company that significant staffing cuts would be made. “We will be making reductions to our global team that will impact up to 20% of our company,” Weissman revealed in an official statement. “Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds.”

He continued, “Today’s change positions SoundCloud for the long run and puts us on a path to sustained profitability. We have already begun to make prudent financial decisions across the company and that now extends to a reduction to our team.”

Further, a representative for SoundCloud provided some assurances regarding the looming layoffs. “During this difficult time,” the representative stated, “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.”

These abrupt changes beg the question, What is next in music?

While we hope that music will only continue to evolve in its sound and technology, the future of music streaming seems to be evolving right under our noses. For instance, TikTok recently filed patents for “TikTok Music,” which suggests that the video-sharing giant is getting in on the music streaming game. But on the other hand, Kanye West’s Donda 2 album was not available for streaming. Was West’s decision singular or additional, early evidence of new platforms?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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