Breaking: SoundCloud, the artist-friendly audio distribution and streaming platform started in 2008, has been saved from bankruptcy thanks to an emergency infusion of investment capital totaling $169.5 million. It’s actually the largest round of investment capital in SoundCloud history, but the bailout doesn’t come without a cost, Billboard reports—CEO Alex Ljung has been replaced by former Vimeo boss Kerry Trainor.
Ljung is one of SoundCloud’s two co-founders, the other being Eric Wahlforss. Both founders will stay with the company, Ljung as chairman and Wahlforss as chief product officer. But as part of a cost-cutting move, 175 of the company’s staff were let go in recent days—that’s over 1/3 of the company’s workforce.
The site has long been a popular platform for independent musicians and sound artists. It’s a space where collaborations occur, and users comment on songs as they play. I’ve had a SoundCloud account as Dub King for the past seven years.
The new CEO told Billboard that “SoundCloud is the largest open audio platform in the world. Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world; that will remain at the focus and center of the company.”
SoundCloud depends on user subscriptions to make money. It offer Pro and Unlimited subscription plans priced at $7/month and $15/month respectively. There is also a free tier, but higher tiers get you more storage, more downloads, and statistics about listeners.
Rumors of SoundClouds imminent demise had reached a fever pitch in recent days, but so too did message of support from artists as well as some of its 170 million users.
Anyhow, with this cash infusion and news that SoundCloud’s subscription base is growing, hopefully the service will be around for the foreseeable future. After all, I’d hate to see my 15 minutes of Internet-musician fame disappear, and I suspect many other musicians feel the same.