Soundcloud revolutionised music when it launched in 2007 offering a digital platformer for anyone across the globe to share their music. The online streaming service has often been the light that has sparked the careers of many famous musicians such as XXXtentacion, Post Malone, 21 Savage, and Chance the Rapper. Users across the world saw Soundcloud as their golden ticket to stardom that will fulfil their dreams of becoming a successful artist. New waves and styles of rap music emerged and became extremely popular following the success of the platform. Soundcloud has undeniably had a cultural impact on our modern music. However, in recent years there have been theories on the platformers lifespan and that it is going downhill. Is Soundcloud dying?
In 2014 Soundcloud introduced ads as a way of funding not only the company, but the artists themselves. Other streaming services like Spotify reportedly have paid their artists more. The artists receive 55% of revenue from these ads if the company made money on their songs, for the most part, smaller artists struggle to make any money. Users have stated that there are “too many ads” and that it distracts from the music. Has Soundcloud become too commercialised?
The removal of the Groups feature in 2017 was another aspect that created the idea that Soundcloud was dying. This feature enabled anyone to create a group of music that any user could become members of and add tracks to, similar to social playlisting. The feature was credited as an effective way of discovering new artists in a chosen genre, it also helped small independent artists find their audience. With this feature gone, it made finding smaller artists more difficult as only songs with sizeable listens appear in the algorithm. This challenged the smaller creative users who were looking to get big and has arguably killed the underground rap scene of Soundcloud.
Despite this, statistics prove that Soundcloud is in fact not dying. The site reaches 175 million users every month, a figure that has not changed since 2014. SoundCloud has more than 272 million users in 2019 and over 20 million creators that share their music on the site. If the site traffic is still just as high as it has been for years, why do people say it is dying? The statement that Soundcloud is dying purely comes from how fans see that the underground scene is disappearing. Soundcloud was meant to be space where anyone could share music and be given a chance, not just a space for commercialisation and for only the most popular artists to be heard.
Here at Bassline Promotions, we believe that although there are faults with Soundcloud it is still a quality streaming service. It has had a phenomenal cultural impact over the years. Even if it has become harder for smaller artists to get their music across to the world