SoundCloud Hysteria: A Look Back

Adam Marx
2 min readJul 27, 2016

I’ve written extensively over the last year or so on SoundCloud. How the company has changed, how it’s moved away from it’s core constituency, and how how it’s financials just don’t add up. Currently I’m finalizing a draft on the latter topic (those pesky earnings numbers), which I’m hoping to put out soon. Today, though, some news broke that has been a long time coming in my opinion.

Sources like Hypebot and Bloomberg just reported that SoundCloud was for sale — but that it’s having trouble finding a buyer at the moment. That’s not surprising since their fiscal losses have fast outpaced their profit. The reported $1B price-tag that the music service is looking for seems way outside the reasonable realm of their current $700M valuation — a number arguably generous itself already.

So as the details trickle out (and as I finalize a few last details on my next piece), I figured I’d take a trip through yesteryear and take a look back at some of the pieces I did over the last few months. Buckle up.

  1. If You’re an Independent, Kiss SoundCloud Goodbye — 4/9/15
  2. SoundCloud’s New NMPA Deal Is Irrelevant for Independents — 3/6/15
  3. SoundCloud’s Failed Highwire Balancing Act: The Sony-SoundCloud Breakup — 5/23/15
  4. The Continuing Money Troubles of SoundCloud — 9/3/15
  5. Why Ignoring the Independents Means Thunderstorms for SoundCloud — 2/26/16
  6. The Spotify-SoundCloud Supergroup Is Dead — 12/29/16
  7. The Streaming Wars Continue, And SoundCloud Is In The Balance — 3/17/17
  8. Without Majors, SoundCloud Had The Potential To Be A Better, Independent Music Space — 8/21/17

Is this the end of the SoundCloud saga? I don’t think so, but it does underscore the larger issues in the music landscape like royalties and licensing cost which all future music-startups should be very aware of. It underscores something else, though, as well: in the new music universe, a lot of the financials are heavily affected by the independent dynamic, something which new music companies cannot afford to ignore. I think a lot of these factors had a much great effect on the music company’s situation than perhaps initially reported.

What will happen next we shall see.

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Adam Marx

Master Relationship Builder @Zero2OneNetwork 🚀 | @ATLTechVillage Advisor 😎 | Speaker 🎙️ | Prev. CEO @glipple + published @crunchbase, @mattermark + more ✍️