SoundCloud has been around for a while as a way for up and coming musicians to get themselves and their material out there, but it has recently come into favor with bigger names, too. Artists like Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Katy Perry can be found, as well as foreign fare such as Janne da Arc or Rammstein, and even lesser-known local bands like Not Tonight Josephine, all mixed in with the amateurs and cover artists. SoundCloud’s platform serves as a listening service with a little something for everybody and a link to artists’ other venues, such as their listings on Google Play and iTunes, makes it a perfect way for new and old artists alike to interact with fans and gain a bigger following. Plans to start a premium subscription service are starting to get into motion now, after scoring a deal with Universal Music Group. As part of that initiative, they’ve hired Alison Moore as their chief revenue officer.
Alison Moore is a bit of a veteran in the industry, with tenures at NBC and HBO under her belt. She will be serving in a brand new position for the company, keeping watch over revenue streams and helping the company find other ways to stay profitable and competitive. In the face of stiff competition in the space like Apple Music and Jay-Z’s Tidal, which their former chief business officer Jeff Toig left to head up, SoundCloud will have to innovate and do a great job of getting their name and value proposition out there in order to make a dent in the market.
After a failed sale to Twitter in 2014, this new venture may mark a renaissance for SoundCloud, or could be seen as a death-or-glory gamble. Competing with or surpassing the music streaming services out there right now, from the monoliths like Pandora and Spotify to the lesser known players like iHeartRadio, will require SoundCloud to bring their A-game. Though they do have an edge that the other services largely do not, and that’s artists that fly under the radar, or unknown artists. Just about any average Joe with a guitar can upload tracks to SoundCloud and make a profile for themselves to gain influence and fans, leading to their inclusion in SoundCloud’s music discovery portfolio. Although other services do boast artist discovery in some form or another for users, SoundCloud is the biggest, if not the only streaming service to allow users to discover the millions of artists out there who have yet to strike a record deal or self-publish on a large scale.