Music streaming platform SoundCloud has announced significant cuts to its staff in a bid to ensure profitability. The decision cost 173 employees their jobs. The company also announced that it will close its London and San Francisco offices, leaving only its Berlin and New York branches open.
In January, the company revealed financial concerns, and has continued to struggle in an industry consumed by giants like Spotify and Apple. According to its own reports, SoundCloud has about 175 million listeners each month, most of whom listen for free. Spotify, on the other hand, reportedly has 50 million paid subscribers; Apple Music has 27 million.
The struggle for SoundCloud, which remains enormously popular among independent artists and hardcore music fans, is monetizing its audience. Though it is at the forefont of music trends and continues to break major artists, SoundCloud has yet to profit from its cultural stronghold. Its paid subscription service, SoundCloud Go, launched last year, but the company has yet to release usership numbers.
“By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future,” CEO and co-founder Alex Ljung wrote in a message posted to the company's blog.
Indeed, acquisition rumors have flared around the company in recent years, with Spotify touted as a potential buyer; as recently as this week, reports suggested that Apple, Google, and Deezer were each considering purchasing the platform. But for now, it seems, SoundCloud will try and navigate the ever-changing streaming landscape alone.