Aug. 10th, 2017
Artists React to Recent SoundCloud Drama
Many aspiring artists and music fans panicked when they heard SoundCloud was in danger of shutting down, until Chance the Rapper came to the rescue.
As of July 13, 2017, SoundCloud was rumored to be shutting down due to only having enough funding to last 50 more days (the number was later reported as 80 days), and even had to lay off 40% of its staff in order to save money. CEO Alex Ljung stated that the decision to do so was good for the future of SoundCloud and would help it stay independent.
Meanwhile, up-and-coming artists everywhere panicked because they all know how important SoundCloud is in the music industry for independent artists. Yet the rest of the internet seemed to have a field day making fun of the situation.
As an artist and avid SoundCloud user myself, I can’t say I was truly moved by the whole situation (mainly because I’d only heard the news a couple hours before Chance came to the rescue) So in my mind, SoundCloud shutting down was never a real possibility. Even though SoundCloud is the only platform I use to promote my music, it just seemed like too big a platform for me to even worry about it never existing again.
Logan Schmitz, a producer under the username Hollow Sol on SoundCloud, had a stronger reaction to the situation.
“It was definitely surreal. When you use something that becomes part of your daily routine like Instagram, Facebook, etc. you don’t really think they will have a death. That is exactly how I thought of SoundCloud.”
Schmitz has been using SoundCloud for about 2 years and has gained a following of over 1400 users. He stated that the platform is his go-to app for music and promotion, and the thing he loves about it most is that there is no separation between the artist and the fan.
If SoundCloud was truly in trouble, that would mean Schmitz, as well as every other SoundCloud user, would have to start over on a new platform.
— Slanted Door Comms (@slantedcomms) August 10, 2017
However, I personally feel like there is no other music app like SoundCloud, in terms of convenience for both the artist and the fan. Artists can post their sounds for free, and share links to their music on their social media pages for quick and easy access for fans to listen for free. Yes, there are other apps that have those characteristics, but an artist is much more likely to get discovered on SoundCloud than on Bandcamp, for example.
“In my opinion Bandcamp is for an established artist if you’re releasing on to YOUR Bandcamp page,” Schmitz explained. “Your best bet is finding an established label on Bandcamp to get in contact with and see if they will release a project of yours.”
South Florida rapper Lee Sun (LeeSun on SoundCloud) would surely agree that SoundCloud is one of the best apps to promote music, and would without question be affected by the termination of the platform.
“I have back up platforms, but I was thinking SoundCloud would’ve been a loss for all of us, to be honest,” he said.
SoundCloud's struggles serve as a reminder: there is always a risk of digital culture disappearing forever https://t.co/9GeuBsgAq2
— New York Times Music (@nytimesmusic) August 9, 2017
The back up platforms he was referring to are Spotify, Audiomack, Amazon, iTunes, and even social media platforms like Twitter. But Lee prefers using SoundCloud over those because “SoundCloud allows the freedom to drop what you want, as opposed to what will sell in stores.”
As for the current state of SoundCloud, it seems to be in a good position at the moment. Although neither Alex Ljung nor Chance the Rapper have enlightened people on how they plan to keep SoundCloud alive. One theory is that Chance could have just invested his own money to save the platform, but if that is true, how long will that last?
That is one thing that worries me and many other up-and-coming artists around the world, but all we can do right now is enjoy it while we still have it, and hope it is truly here to stay.
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