The term “Soundcloud rapper” has taken on a pejorative meaning recently. In the minds of many, it denotes an artist too small time to make an impact nationally. The truth is, Soundcloud has been an important music discovery tool for an entire generation of music fans, who have taken artists like Chance The Rapper, Big Baby DRAM, Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, Bryson Tiller, and yes, even the much-maligned XXXTentacion from local noisemakers to national phenomenons.
This is exactly why today’s news reports, per Bloomberg, that Soundcloud is cutting staff and shutting down some of its offices may have a potentially devastating impact on the way fans discover new artists, and how artists — both emerging and established — release music to those fans and build their base.
According to Bloomberg:
Soundcloud Ltd. is cutting about 40 percent of its staff in a cost-cutting move the digital music service says will give it a better financial footing to compete against larger rivals Spotify Ltd. and Apple Inc.
Soundcloud, which in January said it was at risk of running out of money, informed staff on Thursday that 173 jobs would be eliminated. It had 420 employees. The company’s operations will be consolidated at its headquarters in Berlin and another office in New York. Offices in San Francisco and London will be shut.