The Streaming Wars have been going on for a minute now and, as with any war, casualties are starting to pile up. While the major movers and shakers like Spotify, Apple Music and (we guess) Tidal are still strong, there are some services out there still standing are holding on by a thread. When the dust settles, it’s possible they may have all obliterated themselves and we’ll be cast back into a world of homemade mix tapes and recording tracks off the radio. I hope you kept your Walkman.
Alright, maybe not that bad, but the competition and recent victims of the Streaming Wars were Grooveshark, who called it quits last year after being engaged in a legal battle with some of the major labels and Rdio, which was snatched up by Pandora. And even Pandora, who by all accounts, is doing okay for itself, is considering selling. Now it looks as if SoundCloud could be the next service to fall.
Newly released financial reports have revealed that SoundCloud has lost upwards of $70 million over the past two years, despite claiming to have more than 200 million subscribers world-wide. They are facing the same problem that nearly all of the streaming services out there are enduring — people don’t want to pay to use them. All those alleged subscribes and even still, SoundCloud has had difficulties turning a profit. The people actually paying to use SoundCloud are largely the ones providing the content, mostly DJ’s, producers and podcasters.
In late 2015, there were rumors that SoundCloud was going to test drive a paid subscription service, along the lines of rivals Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. Given the state of their finances, that rumor might become a reality, but SoundCloud will likely explore other options first (they raised $77 million last year and are currently looking for investors, as well as working on licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) instead of trying to get people to pay to use their services, something the majority of users are against.
(Via Consequence of Sound)