Music streaming platform SoundCloud has laid off 8% of its staff, according to multiple reports. The new round of job cuts comes after the company laid off 20% of its employees last August.
In a memo to staff — seen by Variety — CEO Eliah Seton said SoundCloud is cutting headcount to get a profitable position this year. “This is a challenging but vital decision to ensure the health of our business and make SoundCloud profitable this year. By doing this, we are securing the future of the company for the millions of artists who rely on us for their livelihood and self-expression, and the millions of fans who come to SoundCloud for the enjoyment of music,” the CEO said in the memo. .
“It is critical to ensuring SoundCloud thrives in our mission to impact culture, be the place of choice for artists and fans, and lead the future of music.”
This was Seton’s first big move after becoming CEO in March, replacing Michael Weissman.
In recent years, SoundCloud has expanded partnerships with multiple labels such as Merlin and Warner Music Group to enable its fan-driven royalty program. The project distributes advertising and subscription revenue among artists that users have listened to. It is a more detailed royalty program compared to other streaming services. Earlier this year, the company debuted a TikTok-esque vertical feed for music discovery. Last month, SoundCloud launched a fan engagement tool that helps artists gain insights and engage with their fans.
SoundCloud claims it has 130 million “engaged fans”. It currently contains over 320 million songs from over 40 million creators.
Music streaming startups are in a tough position as they try to become profitable. Last year, Tencent-backed Indian app Gaana switched to a subscription service. Bytedance’s Resso app, which operates in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, followed suit as it also went behind a paywall this month.