Will Spotify's purchase of Soundcloud ruin the music discovery community?

There are some suspicions, rumors, stories… etc. that Spotify is planning on acquiring Soundcloud and that they are currently in “advanced talks”. The Financial Times, Variety, and Engadget as well as many other media outlets have reported on it.

In my mind Spotify and Soundcloud provide two very different services. Spotify provides a massive library of mainly professional artists while Soundcloud is a music discovery platform, allowing new, unknown talents to be discovered. It is also a community similar to Youtube. Would the Spotify purchase ruin this? That is the question on my mind…

With services in the mix like Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer, Soundcloud remained the bastion of music for musicians and a way for bedroom producers or artist to test their mettle, gain constructive feedback and in some cases be discovered. Sure their many mainstream artists are on Souncloud promoting their stuff but the platform provided a more even playing field between big artists and unknowns, allowing the users to decide what to listen to versus being force fed by record labels and corporations. Snoop Dogg and Diplo used their Soundcloud pages to give great, unknown artists a share of the limelight by reposting those artists’ tracks.

Nothing good stays free for long, however. Soundcloud recently introduced SoundCloud Go to try to provide premium services and monetize the platform but it was not very successful. Which is a bit weird considering it has over 125 million tracks uploaded and roughly 175 million active monthly users. If Soundcloud couldn’t monetize it, assuming the reason is that the community did want to, what is Spotify going to do.

 

Nothing good stays free for long.

 

Back to the question: would the Spotify purchase ruin SoundCloud?  Short answer. Yes, Spotify will likely ruin Soundcloud by purchasing it and it’s a shame. Maybe there is a hope that Spotify, with its coffers of money, can keep the community aspect of Soundcloud alive while making money off it. Only time will tell but just in case there are many other Soundcloud like services, such as Datpiff, Reverbnation, and Bandcamp to name a few.

 For a counter argument, Check out why Fastcompany thinks Spotify should totally buy Soundcloud.

 

Yours truly,

Shaw T. Godo

 

Shaw T. Godo is a highly opinionated unemployed merchant traveler, writer, former Olympic curler and semi-professional karaoke singer who will write an opinion piece for whatsgood. every now and then when he's bored.