SoundCloud Has Been Saved
DateAugust 13, 2017
Glorious times for all independent musicians and lovers of free music: SoundCloud has been saved.
In an interview with Billboard, the platform’s founder Alex Ljung has announced that the digital music service has obtained a whooping $169.5 million of investment funding from a boutique merchant bank called The Raine Group and a Singapore-based investment company called Temasek.
Along with the insane amount of investment, SoundCloud will change their executive direction team. Vimeo’s former CEO, Kerry Trainor, will take the place of founder Alex Ljung as Chief Executive, and stepping up to the title of Chief Operating Officer is Michael Weissman, another former Vimeo exec.
Among other recent additions is former music industry attorney Fred Davis, who represented musicians such as Kanye West before turning to investment banking. Davis will be joining the SoundCloud board.
“It’s crystal clear to us that what SoundCloud has that is truly unique to its service is a unique set of rights and content that are available to listeners,” said Davis.
Trainor’s known for implementing a system at Vimeo by which filmmakers where charged to use video-sharing, marketing, and analytics tool. In 2016, when he left the company, the video sharing company had tripled its monthly users to 280 million.
And that seems to be the approach he will take over to SoundCloud.
Right now, SoundCloud operates two paying services for musicians: Pro for $7 a month and Pro Unlimited for $15 a month. Pro enables basic stats (play counts, likes, plays by country, turn comments off or on) and has a maximum of six hours of audio. Pro Unlimited offers a complete and full set of marketing analytics tool that are much more detailed and specific, and has no limit hours of audio.
“SoundCloud is the largest open audio platform in the world,” said Trainor. “Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world– that will remain at the focus and center of the company.”
To try and increase the number of musicians and creators who are paying users of SoundCloud’s Pro and Pro Unlimited, Trainor will add even more features to the service’s creative toolkit.
“All of this together — the capital, the capital partners… joining our team — it puts our company in a really great position,” said Ljung. “We see a strong, independent future for the company.”