Well, here we are again.
It seems like anytime the Wall Street Journal or some other ‘financial news’ source (however obscure it may be) decides to post something regarding a new round of funding for SoundCloud, the internet can’t help but blow up with wild speculation about what ‘the news’ means for current users. Certain bloggers have even gone so far as to suggest that free accounts will be halted completely and that users will be forced to pay a subscription to use SoundCloud. I’m reading comments from people saying things like “R.I.P SoundCloud” and “what a dumb move” and, literally quoting this one: “soundcloud has started going downhill since the crackdown on copyright a while back.”
If you read that WSJ article and thought something along these lines, I may have some shocking news for you:
You are basic, bruh. Very, very basic. From the sound of things, it’s terminal– I’m sorry for you.
Thankfully, I’m certain most of the people making these embarrassingly silly comments didn’t bother to read the actual article because if they did, they would notice that NOWHERE does it mention anything about SoundCloud changing its core services or subscription model. In fact, the article doesn’t focus at all on any future plans for SoundCloud and contains NO forward-looking statements regarding the company or its investors. The source of information is, after all, “two people with knowledge of the negotiations.” Brilliant. At a whopping 651 words in length, I’m honestly at a loss for how these poor, young music bloggers interpreted “[SoundCloud] has plans to launch a subscription service for listeners beginning next year” as some actionable news like “SoundCloud is getting rid of free accounts.”
So to clarify things and save everyone a few minutes of their life (time that should be spent enjoying MUSIC), I’ve gone ahead and accurately paraphrased the article in a way that is relevant to you, dear readers, because you know we know and we know that you know that we know. Here it is:
SoundCloud has been raising money from investors all year and just broke 1 billion dollars raised. They are one of over 60 start up companies to raise over a billion dollars from within the last 3 years. They plan to continue raising money. Sony and Universal still haven’t struck a deal.
That’s it. That’s all the article said. They would never, ever, EVER get rid of free accounts because that would 100% defeat the purpose of going though all this trouble to implement advertising as part of the site…
ADVERTISING IS HOW THE INTERNET MONETIZES FREE USERS.
Without free users to advertise to, services like Soundcloud and Facebook and Google would shut down. So why don’t we calm down with the whole “SoundCloud is evil” argument and remember that the most likely reason Universal and Sony are holding out on deals with SoundCloud is because they already have as much as an 18% stake in all revenue coming from SoundCloud’s biggest competitor, Spotify.
Yeah, you never really hear anyone talking about that but in case y’all forgot, the majors all still have undoubtedly generous, undisclosed agreements with Spotify giving them every incentive to hold out on signing a deal with SoundCloud until the two have made competing offers against one another for some kind of future exclusive rights– something that could potentially make or break either company and determine how future generations will consume music. The real story here is the one that won’t be told until everything is said and done… but if money is as powerful as free speech (and it is), Soundcloud will have a tough battle against Spotify who’s managed to raise four times as much capital in just as many rounds of funding.
When I was in 10th grade, I used to have to convert my WAV tracks from Sony Acid to CDA so I could burn CDs of my music to share with friends. Now I can send shit directly from my DAW to Soundcloud and my friends can play it on their phones within the minute. We love you SoundCloud, we’re rooting for you. Thank you for being the most legit music streaming service on the internet. Thank you for empowering musicians across the globe and giving us a free distribution platform to share our art with the world. I don’t mind if you stick some audio ads in my feed…
I happen to like jingles, they’re one of my favorite forms of pop art.
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