Somewhere in America right now, an unknown artist with more talent than your favorite singer is in their basement creating an entire album. Without the exposure or money to have their tracks distributed on official platforms like iTunes, Spotify, or Tidal, they are way more likely to upload their finished product to SoundCloud. The audio-hosting platform has played a huge role in letting creators share their content — including podcasts and comedy routines — with audiences. It’s basically YouTube for audio. Unfortunately, it was on the verge of shutdown earlier this year after suddenly laying off 40 employees. According to TechCrunch, in an all-hands meeting a week later the company told employees that they were only set to last until Q4, which is at the end of September. Apparently they were running out of money. But there appears to be good news on the horizon.
According to a new blog post by the company’s chairman, Alexander Ljung, which was reported by Select All, a successful round of funding is allowing them to keep the platform up, running, and completely independent. In the statement, he proudly writes, “I’m happy to announce that together with investors The Raine Group and Temasek we’ve just wrapped up the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud. This financing means SoundCloud remains strong & independent. As I said, SoundCloud is here to stay.” I can hear a guy that has been begging you to listen to his mixtape breathing a sigh of relief. And he is probably not the only one.
You might remember that when the future of SoundCloud was first threatened, Chance the Rapper was one of the most recognizable figures to defend the platform. As an independent artist, Chance is possibly one of SoundCloud’s biggest success stories, relying on the platform to distribute his music. He had a phone call with Ljung and felt confident about site’s future, despite the negative reports. The Chicago native was quick to tweet out today’s affirmation.
But this isn’t just good news for some tech employees and independent artists. SoundCloud has long been offering something unique to listeners as well. When Remy Ma took those fatal shots at Nicki Minaj on “ShEther,” the track was first uploaded onto SoundCloud. The platform has been the battleground for many a rap battle. And before “Bow Down” was the first half of “***Flawless” on Beyoncé’s self-titled album, it was the other half of “Bow Down/I Been On,” a song with a chopped and screwed rap verse from Queen Bey herself that was posted to SoundCloud. You can’t find it anywhere else except YouTube. We should all be grateful that this music has a home.
Now go listen to your friend’s mixtape.