from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

legal form Limited
founding August 2007
Seat London (legal seat)
Berlin (branch office Germany)
  • Alexander Ljung (Founder & Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
  • Kerry Trainor (Managing Director)
  • Michael Weissman (COO)
  • Dave Haynes (Business Development)
  • Jamie Kantrowitz (Executive Director)
  • David Noël (Marketing)
Number of employees 247 (2017)
sales EUR 17.4 million (2014)
Branch Music industry , online music service
Status: 2014

SoundCloud is an online music service for the exchange and distribution of audio files . It serves as a cooperation and advertising platform for musicians.

The company is a member of the cooperation network of the Berlin music industry, the Berlin Music Commission .


After the first beginnings in Stockholm, the audio designer Alexander Ljung and the musician Eric Wahlforss alias Forss started the SoundCloud project together with the music producer Chris Zippel as sponsors in August 2007 in Berlin. It should enable musicians to exchange recordings. SoundCloud soon developed into a platform that is available to every Internet user worldwide without a registration process.

After a few months, SoundCloud began to compete with Myspace as it allowed artists to communicate with fans more quickly.

In 2009, co-founder Alexander Ljung said in an interview with Wired :

“We both came from backgrounds connected to music, and it was just really, really annoying for us to collaborate with people on music - I mean simple collaboration, just sending tracks to other people in a private setting, getting some feedback from them, and having a conversation about that piece of music. In the same way that we'd be using Flickr for our photos, and Vimeo for our videos, we didn't have that kind of platform for our music. "

“We've both been into music in the past, and working with other people musically was just extremely annoying for us - I mean a simple collaboration, just being able to send pieces to people in a private environment, get feedback from them and to have a conversation about this piece of music. In the same way that we use Flickr for our photos and Vimeo for our videos, we didn't have a platform of this kind for our music. "

- Alexander Ljung

In April 2009, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures invested 2.5 million euros in SoundCloud. In May 2010, SoundCloud said it had a million users. In January 2011, another $ 10 million funding round was confirmed by Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures . In the following month, the platform is said to have registered three million users. In June 2011, the company announced it had grown to five million users and had received additional investment funds from Ashton Kutchers and Guy Oseary's A-Grade Fund.

In January 2012, the number of users was 10 million. That same month, the company received additional $ 50 million in funding from California investment firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and GGV Capital. In return, the startup granted financial analyst Mary Meeker an observer post on the SoundCloud board. In August 2012, SoundCloud in Berlin was voted one of the Technology Pioneers 2013 by the World Economic Forum . In 2012, SoundCloud is an important hub for musical exchange on the internet.

Twitter announced in March 2013 with SoundCloud and iTunes that it wanted to build its music app. However, this collaboration never came about. One reason for this is said to have been the lack of agreements with music labels for licensed titles. In April 2013 Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss from SoundCloud in Amsterdam received the “Europioneer Award” as entrepreneur of the year from the European Commission . In July 2013, the music service had 40 million users, half of whom used the service on a monthly basis.

January 2014 announced another $ 60 million funding round with a valuation of $ 700 million. This money should be used for the conclusion of the contract with the music labels. In May of the same year, Twitter is said to have been interested in buying the company for two billion US dollars. The purchase did not materialize.

From 2014 to 2016 SoundCloud reached license agreements with various labels, including the Merlin Network and Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment . SoundCloud started its payment service in March 2016.

In June 2016, Twitter Ventures invested $ 66.4 million in the company as part of a $ 100 million financing round. Also in 2016 it became known that Spotify had withdrawn from plans to take over SoundCloud after extensive negotiations.

Since December 2016, SoundCloud has been playing commercials between songs if the user has not taken out the paid subscription.

In July 2017, SoundCloud fired 173 employees to “ensure its path to long-term and independent success”. The layoffs affected around 40 percent of the 420 employees, and the offices in San Francisco and London were closed. Handelsbank Raine Group and Singapore-based investment firm Temasek led a $ 169.5 million financing round in August 2017 to provide SoundCloud with much-needed fresh liquidity. At the same time, the former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor was announced as the successor to founder Alex Ljung as Managing Director and Michael Weissman (also previously at Vimeo) as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

At the end of 2017, the SoundCloud archive contained around 120 million music and audio tracks uploaded by users.

At the beginning of 2019, Eric Wahlforss resigned from his position as chief product officer in order to only work as a consultant at SoundCloud. At the same time, he described the new team as "stronger than ever".

The website is blocked in Kyrgyzstan for being extremist based on an October 2017 decision by the Bishkek Oktyabrsky Court.

In January 2020 it will be announced that Sirius XM is investing $ 75 million in SoundCloud.


With SoundCloud, musicians can offer their pieces for download and embed them on websites . The audio files are graphically displayed in Waveform on SoundCloud . Users can comment on their own tracks or those of other users on a comment bar.

With so-called widgets and apps, users are offered to display the music on their websites. It is possible to automatically advertise new pieces of music via Twitter (if you have a Twitter user account). Music files can be uploaded and downloaded via a programming interface using other programs or mobile devices. The programming interface has already been integrated into several programs, including the Pro version of PreSonus Studio One , Logic Pro X and Cubase 6.5.

There are a number of web players that access SoundCloud's offering. The maximum upload size for files is 4 GB; SoundCloud cannot process files longer than 6 hours and 45 minutes. The file formats supported by SoundCloud are AIFF , WAVE (WAV) , FLAC , ALAC , Ogg , MP2 , MP3 , AAC , AMR, and WMA . The files are transcoded into MP3 format at 128 kBit / s for streaming, but can also be downloaded by the user in the original upload format if the creator approves it. With the free basic offer you can upload up to three hours of music. Two different paid offers (Pro and Pro Unlimited) allow the extension to six hours or unlimited uploads of music.

Paid subscriptions

SoundCloud Pro

SoundCloud offers a premium service for musicians under the name SoundCloud Pro. SoundCloud Pro allows users to upload up to 6 hours of music and offers additional functions such as B. on extended analysis functions or the deactivation of comments on pieces of music. The Unlimited offer allows unlimited music uploads.

SoundCloud Go

On March 29, 2016, SoundCloud introduced their SoundCloud Go offering, a subscription-based music streaming service ; the service is ad-free, has an “offline mode” and offers licensed music from major labels in addition to the pieces of music created and uploaded by users . Co-founder Eric Wahlforss said this helps SoundCloud Go differentiate itself from other music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music because it technically has a wider variety of different songs to choose from than the competition. However, The Verge found that the service's music library without user upload is smaller than that of its nearest competitors.

The service originally cost US $ 10 per month. On February 28, 2017 SoundCloud changed the name from Go to SoundCloud Go + and offered an additional model SoundCloud Go for US $ 5 per month, which does not include the licensed music library, but is still ad-free and includes the "offline mode".

SoundCloud Premier

Since October 2018, Pro and Pro Unlimited subscribers can use the SoundCloud Premier service to get paid for streaming their music from Soundcloud. At that time, this option had already existed for four years, but until then it had required an invitation from Soundcloud. The subscribers also receive statistics about their audience. Since February 2019, subscribers have been able to use SoundCloud Premier to get paid for other major music streaming services at the same time. SoundCloud has stated that these payments will be forwarded to the subscriber without a discount.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. SoundCloud Accepts $ 170 Million Rescue, Taps New CEO to Replace Alex Ljung
  2. a b c Alex Hofmann: SoundCloud dismisses 173 employees. In: Grü July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017 . ("to ensure our path to long-term, independent success")
  3. a b c d Mike Butcher: Now a million on SoundCloud - This startup is scaling globally. TechCrunch , May 18, 2010, accessed December 13, 2010 .
  4. ^ SoundCloud - Berlin Music Commission. In:, archived from the original on May 5, 2014 ; Retrieved January 3, 2016 .
  5. Forss. In: Sonar Collective, accessed January 3, 2016 (American English).
  7. Emin Mahrt: proud magazine. In: proud works GmbH, February 2, 2009, accessed on January 3, 2016 .
  8. a b c Eliot Van Buskirk: SoundCloud Threatens MySpace as Music Destination for Twitter Era. Wired , July 6, 2009, accessed December 13, 2010 .
  9. ^ Mike Butcher: Confirmed: SoundCloud takes funding from Index and Union Square. In: TechCrunch. Retrieved June 20, 2016 .
  10. - SoundCloud announces 3 million members. Archived from the original on February 13, 2011 ; Retrieved February 15, 2011 .
  11. Ashton Kutcher and other donors invest in Gidsy. In: Gründerszene Magazin. Retrieved June 20, 2016 .
  12. - SoundCloud hits 10 million users, adding 1 million more per month. Retrieved September 10, 2013 .
  13. Big injection of capital for German startup SoundCloud. In: Retrieved January 3, 2016 .
  14. Felix Knoke: Netzwelt-Ticker: Soundcloud gets new millions. In: Spiegel Online. January 3, 2012, accessed January 3, 2016 .
  15. SoundCloud is “Technology Pioneer 2013” ​​- Senator von Obernitz congratulates Berlin start-up. In: July 23, 2015, archived from the original on November 29, 2013 ; Retrieved January 3, 2016 .
  16. Christoph Twickel: Elektro global: Bastards with fat basses. In: Spiegel Online. January 12, 2012, accessed January 3, 2016 .
  17. ^ A b Peter Kafka: SoundCloud Has a New Pile of Cash, and Wants to Cut Deals With Big Music. In: Recode. January 24, 2014, accessed June 20, 2016 .
  18. European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - SoundCloud and SwiftKey win European Web Entrepreneur of the Year award. In: Retrieved January 3, 2016 .
  19. Who's listening to SoundCloud? 200 million. In: USA TODAY. Retrieved June 20, 2016 .
  20. ^ Nathan Ingraham: Twitter's plans to purchase SoundCloud have evaporated, claims report. In: The Verge. May 20, 2014, accessed June 20, 2016 .
  21. ^ Janko Roettgers : Soundcloud Signs Indie Labels As It Preps Subscription Service. In: Variety . June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016 (American English).
  22. Micah Singleton: Soundcloud strikes licensing deal with Universal Music Group. In: The Verge. January 13, 2016, accessed June 20, 2016 .
  23. ^ Sarah Perez: SoundCloud confirms its deal with Sony Music, paving the way for its subscription service's launch. In: TechCrunch. Retrieved June 20, 2016 .
  24. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Streaming service: Twitter joins Soundcloud. Retrieved June 20, 2016 .
  25. INTERNET WORLD Business: Twitter is writing off its investment in Soundcloud . ( [accessed on February 26, 2018]).
  26. Jon Russell: Spotify has backed out of talks to acquire SoundCloud. In: TechCrunch. December 8, 2016, accessed August 27, 2019 .
  27. Nadine Wenzlick: Soundcloud introduces advertising. Interview with Alison Moore., December 13, 2016, accessed April 15, 2017 .
  28. SoundCloud Cuts 40% of Staff in Push for Profitability . In: , July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  29. Josh Constine: To fix SoundCloud, it must become the anti-Spotify. In: December 12, 2017, accessed August 27, 2019 .
  30. Natasha Lomas: SoundCloud co-founder and chief product officer, Eric Wahlforss, is leaving. In: January 24, 2019, accessed on August 27, 2019 .
  31. Суд в Кыргызстане признал экстремистским музыкальный сервис SoundCloud. Retrieved May 14, 2018 (ru-RU).
  32. Music streaming pioneer SoundCloud raises $ 75M from Pandora owner SiriusXM. In: TechCrunch. Retrieved February 17, 2020 (American English).
  33. Musikmesse 2010: PreSonus launches major enhancements to Studio One. MusicRadar, March 22, 2010, accessed December 13, 2010 .
  34. Logic Pro X: Making Projects Available for SoundCloud. August 30, 2013, accessed September 11, 2014 .
  35. Cubase 6.5 Released - With Built-In SoundCloud Export! Retrieved January 31, 2015 .
  36. My Cloud Player - The SoundCloud Organizer. In: Retrieved January 3, 2016 .
  37. ( Memento of the original from August 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (requires a Google account for full functionality ) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  38. Become a SoundCloud Pro subscriber
  39. Requirements for uploading. In: SoundCloud. Retrieved August 10, 2020 .
  40. Requirements for uploading. Retrieved August 28, 2018 .
  41. Go Pro on SoundCloud - Listen to music. In: SoundCloud, accessed January 3, 2016 .
  42. SoundCloud offers a subscription service in a late play for mainstream music fans . In: Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  43. Jacob Kastrenakes: SoundCloud's subscription streaming service is here (and it needs work) . March 29, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  44. Jon Russell: SoundCloud revamps its subscription service with cheaper $ 4.99 option. In: February 28, 2017, accessed August 27, 2019 .
  45. Josh Constine: SoundCloud finally lets more musicians monetize four years later. In: October 9, 2018, accessed on August 27, 2019 .
  46. Soundcloud: Second founder leaves the company. In: January 28, 2019, accessed August 27, 2019 .
  47. Get paid for your plays: Why monetize with SoundCloud Premier? In: Accessed August 27, 2019 .
  48. ^ Sarah Perez: SoundCloud adds a music distribution service to its premium subscriptions. In: February 19, 2019, accessed on August 27, 2019 .
  49. Get paid for your plays… everywhere. In: Accessed August 27, 2019 .
  50. With the beta release of SoundCloud Premier distribution, you can now get paid for your plays everywhere. In: February 19, 2019, accessed on August 27, 2019 .