SoundCloud is joining the depressingly long list of companies in the tech industry that are letting personnel go due to the economic downturn. According to Billboard and Variety, company CEO Michael Weissman told employees in an email that it's "making reductions" to its global team that will impact up to 20 percent of SoundCloud. Weissman said the move is necessary "given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds." Further, the layoffs and the prudent financial decisions the company had recently made apparently put it on the path to sustained profitability.
A spokesperson has confirmed the job cuts to Billboard, adding that SoundCloud is providing support to employees who have to exit the company. The online audio distribution platform last laid off a significant chunk of its workforce — 40 percent in all — back in 2017, when it was struggling financially. As Billboard notes, SoundCloud has secured hundreds of millions of investments and has announced its first profitable quarter in 2020 since then.
In 2021, the company introduced a listener-based royalties model that could lead to better pay for indie artists, since subscribers' payments go straight to the artists they listen to. Warner Music Group recently adopted the model, becoming the first major label to do so. SoundCloud also purchased an AI music curation company called Musiio in May to help users find hidden gems before they make it big. Musiio's technology listens to songs, tags them and then inserts them into appropriate playlists.
SoundCloud's LinkedIn profile says it has 1,707 employees, but that doesn't always reflect the real number of workers in a company. Weissman told staff members in his email that the layoffs will affect employees in the US and the UK, who will be notified in the coming days.
Update 08/04/22: Clarified that the layoffs could added "up to" 20 percent of the company's workforce.