3 things SoundCloud should do to stay afloat

No Comments 17 August 2017

3 things SoundCloud should do to stay afloat

SoundCloud gave music fans quite a scare last month when it laid off nearly half of its staff – people thought the indie music platform was going to go belly up in a matter of weeks. Luckily, it got a new lease of life last week when it scored a $170 million investment that should help keep the lights on for a good while.

The deal also mandated that CEO Alexander Ljung would be replaced by Vimeo exec Kerry Trainor; Ljung will stay on as chairman of the board, and Trainor will be joined by Vimeo’s Michael Weissman in the COO position.

Hopefully, that’ll make for some healthy changes in the way SoundCloud operates. But beyond just reshuffling upper management, there are a few things the company can do to stay alive, now that it’s starting a new chapter with a leaner team.

Fine-tune subscriptions and licensing
One of SoundCloud’s biggest problems is that SoundCloud isn’t making much money (TechCrunch estimated that its 2016 revenues would only amount to about $57 million).

It’s also spending a fair bit on licensing deals with major record labels and distributors, partly to avoid legal troubles concerning their tunes being used by creators in remixes and partly because it wants to offer mainstream music as part of its SoundCloud Go premium subscription plan.

The fact is that people know and love SoundCloud as a destination for indie tunes; if you want mainstream music, practically every other major service out there is better at this. SoundCloud should consider killing off those deals, spending a bit of money to lay those legal hassles to rest, and focus on marketing its platform to unsigned creators and smaller labels who need the platform to reach listeners.

If it goes down that road, the company would do well to reduce its subscription options for listeners. At present, there’s a free plan and two paid plans, the more expensive of which costs $10 per month – as much as what you’d pay for Spotify – and includes ‘millions of premium tracks’. Offering a single cheap option to simply enjoy SoundCloud’s indie catalog without ads would make more sense than attempting to compete with streaming services that have plenty of money to burn.

Focus on helping creators

SoundCloud is a great choice for people who want to get their music out there in a matter of minutes, and creators also get access to analytics, and an option to sell their tracks. It even supports podcasters equally well. But there’s more that the company can do to keep these folks coming back.

Read More: https://thenextweb.com/insider/2017/08/14/3-things-soundcloud-should-do-to-stay-afloat/#.tnw_9ip5QRy5

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