SoundCloud is reportedly going up for sale, and is predicted to fetch upwards of £1billion.
News that the owners of the company – which is one of the world’s largest music streaming services – are preparing to sell comes via a new report from Sky News.
According to the update, Raine Group and Temasek Holdings, the Singaporean state investment fund, have begun interviewing investment banks, related to a prospective auction of the brand.
As of today (January 8), more than 40million artists are active on the platform, and a total of 320million songs have been released on the service since it launched over 15 years ago. First emerging back in 2007, the service has acted as a home for many artists – allowing them to publish their work online and direct listeners to their respective pages.
The reports of the company going to auction follows a string of redundancies made in recent years.
Back in August 2022, it was announced that SoundCloud would be making cuts to its workforce, and laying off approximately 20 per cent of its workforce globally.
The reasons were attributed to changes in the economic and financial landscape, and followed another mass lay-off of staff seen in 2017, when a near-40 per cent cut was made.
“During this difficult time, we are focused on providing the support and resources to those transitioning while reinforcing our commitment to executing our mission to lead what’s next in music,” the company wrote in a statement in 2022.
As highlighted in today’s report, when Raine and Temasek invested in 2017, the business was reportedly on the brink of collapse. This came as it had “struggled to monetise its business model in an era of rapidly shifting economics in the global music industry”. It was also said that the progress of the business had “accelerated” in recent years, particularly since Eliah Seton took over as chief executive last year.
As well as the staff lay-offs in August 2022, the following month, the platform made headlines as it was reported that access to SoundCloud has been restricted in Russia; with the country claiming “false information” about a “special military operation” in Ukraine have been circulating on the music streaming site.
According to Interfax, who cited information from communications watchdog Roskomnadzor (RKN) (via Reuters), “Roskomnadzor restricted access to the SoundCloud service in connection with placement of materials containing false information regarding the nature of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.”
Although creating a platform for emerging musicians of all genres, SoundCloud has been particularly fruitful in the rap scene. Gaining the most momentum in the mid-to-late ‘10s, the service helped launch the success of artists including Trippie Redd, the late 6 Dogs, xxxtentacion, Juice WRLD and Lil Yachty, who achieved overnight success with his debut ‘1 Night’.