SoundCloud lays off 20% of its global workforce

Streaming company SoundCloud is cutting around 20% of its global workforce. Billboard reported on August 3 that SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman told staff in a memo that the change was primarily due to the current economic climate. Affected employees would be notified within the next few days.

“Today’s change positions SoundCloud for the long term and puts us on the path to sustainable profitability,” Weissman wrote in the memo. “We have already started making prudent financial decisions across the business and this now extends to a reduction in our team.” In a statement to Billboard, a The SoundCloud representative confirmed the news and said, “During this difficult time, we are focused on providing the support and resources to those making the transition while reinforcing our commitment to executing on our mission to lead the next stage of the music.”

In 2017, SoundCloud laid off around 40% of its workforce, citing it as necessary for the company’s “long-term independent success”.

In March 2021, SoundCloud implemented a new payment system that allocates funds paid by subscribers or advertisers directly to the artists that fans choose to stream, instead of bundling subscription and advertising money and then split it by artists who contributed the most streams, like its competitors Spotify and Apple Music. In July, they entered into a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group to share the same royalty system.

SoundCloud is just one of many tech companies to recently announce layoffs (Tesla, Substack, Coinbase, and OpenSea, to name a few) or adjustments in hiring plans. In June, Spotify said in a memo that it would cut hiring by 25% and “assess” the company’s “staff growth.” Other companies like Google, Twitter and Meta have also recently announced hiring slowdowns and freezes, while Apple reportedly plans to slow hiring in 2023.

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