SoundCloud lays off 20% of staff, citing ‘tough’ economy


Photo credit: Brusk Dede

Berlin-based music-sharing platform SoundCloud is preparing to lay off 20% of its global workforce.

SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman acknowledged the unfortunate news in a LinkedIn post today, following a general statement from the company itself. For reference, SoundCloud revealed in early 2022 that it had employed 359 full-time team members by the end of 2020.

“Earlier today,” Weissman wrote, “I shared the news that we have decided to cut our global team, which will affect up to 20% of our business. Making changes that affect people is incredibly But it’s necessary to ensure SoundCloud’s long-term success given the difficult economic climate and headwinds in financial markets.

“For those impacted by this decision, I want to personally thank you for your passion and contributions to SoundCloud and the artist communities we serve. You have all had an incredible impact on the music industry and on the lives of artists.

“SoundCloud has always been resilient, and together we will continue to rise to the challenge of leading the future of music,” concluded the former COO of Vimeo Weissman.

As of this writing, none of the affected employees appear to have written LinkedIn posts about the layoffs, and it’s unclear when superiors will notify the approximately 72 people affected.

But the less than encouraging development represents the latest in a series of staff cuts at major tech companies – as well as some businesses in and around the music space. Destination event promoter Pollen, for example, laid off around a third of its team in May before parting ways with a senior executive (and signaling fundamental operational changes) last month.

(Despite the $150 million Series C announced in April, Pollen still faces criticism from angry customers who claim that they have not yet received the refunds due. Several employees are also waiting for their wages due, according to social media posts).

Of course, Spotify kicked off 2022 with several layoffs and in June revealed plans to slow hiring by 25%. This modest cost-cutting measure, however, hasn’t stopped the streaming giant from losing substantial sums on acquisitions, including the July takeover of music trivia game Heardle.

More recently, TikTok – which may be gearing up to launch a streaming service in the US – has begun layoffs as part of a possibly far-reaching “reorganization”. One of the former employees of the ByteDance subsidiary, David Ortiz, said he was “the very first hire for the short-form video-sharing app outside of China, in my product and engineering organization, tasked with building the entire international product management team from scratch.”


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