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SoundCloud Lays Off 40% of Staff

In what it claims is an effort to stay independent amidst rumors of changing ownership, SoundCloud is laying off 40% of its staff. According to a report from Bloomberg Technology, the company will also close its offices in London and San Francisco, leaving only its headquarters in Berlin and New York office open, and eliminate 173 of its 420 jobs. The company’s co-founder Alex Ljung pinned an open letter about the decision to SoundCloud’s website, which reads:

Eric and I founded SoundCloud nearly 10 years ago as we saw a need for something that would enable artists to share and connect through music. As we hovered together back in 2008 to push the button that would make SoundCloud live for the entire world, we had no idea the impact our, then tiny, platform would have on the future of music culture, and millions of listeners and artists around the globe.

In the competitive world of music streaming, we’ve spent the last several years growing our business, and more than doubled our revenue in the last 12 months alone. However, we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting, continued growth of our existing advertising and subscription revenue streams, and a relentless focus on our unique competitive advantage — artists and creators.

With more focus and a need to think about the long term, comes tough decisions. Today, after careful and painful consideration, we took the difficult step to let go of 173 SoundCloud staffers and consolidated the team into two offices: Berlin and New York. We are extremely grateful for the contributions of each and every staff member who will be leaving SoundCloud, and we wish all of them the best. Without them, we would not be where we are today.

By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.

So what does this mean for SoundCloud? The SoundCloud platform listeners and artists love will remain available in more than 190 countries globally. SoundCloud will continue to be the place for what’s new, now and next in music, powered by the world’s most diverse music community. I look forward to sharing more about our future plans in the weeks and months ahead.


Last year, there were reports that Spotify was having “advanced talks” about buying Soundcloud, and earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Apple, Google, and Deezer are also considering purchasing the company.