SoundCloud Confirms Layoffs Impacting Nearly 20% of Its Workforce

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SoundCloud will be laying off approximately 20% of its global workforce citing “a significant company transformation” and the current economic and financial landscape.

“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,” reads a statement by a rep for SoundCloud.

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Earlier this year, SoundCloud began detailing changes to the company with the aim of providing increased levels of artist-focused support by incrementally upping monetization and providing additional distribution tools for artists at all levels of their careers. In this year alone, the company has teamed up with Pandora and Splice, acquired artificial intelligence company, Musiio, and also entered a joint venture with management and creative services company, Solid Foundation.

In March of 2021, the company made the atypical move of introducing “fan-powered royalties” — where a listener’s subscription or advertising revenue is distributed among the artists that they listen to, instead of their plays being piled into a collective pool.

The music-streaming platform has made similar layoffs in the past. During its initial transition from a free service to a formal subscription business in 2017, the company cut off 40% of its staff and closed offices in San Francisco and London.

On Wednesday (Aug. 3), Billboard released portions of SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman’s email to employees which notified the staff of the forthcoming layoffs. The email cited the various changes made to the company as “the driving force” that would help the brand “continue to be laser-focused on our mission to lead what is next in music.” Additionally, Weissman’s email confirmed that impacted employees in the U.S. and U.K. “will be notified over the next few days.”

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