SoundCloud: ‘We’re on the same path as creators to revenue’

SoundCloud founder Alexander Ljung appeared in front of an audience of electronic music industry creators, fans and execs at the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza today to answer a few questions about the future of his streaming platform.

The challenges around solving the streaming music space is what Ljung said he spends his “entire day trying to solve”.

“Part of the [monetisation process] is a long arc, and we are actually trying to change things quite significantly. There is a lot of creativity that’s happening in the world, the culture around remixes, derivative content, we know all of this is part of life and contemporary culture,” Ljung explained.

“For a long time, that’s been sitting outside of the industry and no one is doing anything about it. We’ve said we’re going to fix that.”

In order to do that, parts of the industry need to be re-shaped, technology that “never existed before” must be built, and creators and law makers across multiple different territories “need to be influenced” to be able to get to a point where creativity is “more free”, said Ljung. “On top of that, we want to build out ways to be able to monetise and actually get paid back as well.

“When you think of it in that scope, there is a lot of things on our to do list. There are all this numbers about the large valuation of the company, but if you look at the company revenue trajectory, we’ve started quite late with our own revenue generation as well, so we’re on the same path [as the creators].

“We’ve taken in a bunch of venture capital to be able to build up the tools and the audience before we started building up the monetisation. The timing for monetisation through advertising and subscription is ripe over the next couple of years.

“We have the scale of the platform partly already in place, and it’s still growing massively. That means that over the next couple of years we can ramp up the monetisation piece quite quickly.

“In the overall arc of trying to build all of these things, solving a lot of problems around derivative content, that’s been our battle, how to best navigate through it.

“If we were monetising more there would be more pay outs as well, but we also want to make sure that we are doing that in a smart way, not just post a bunch of banner ads all over the place [that would] ruin the great experience that SoundCloud is.”

Via Music Week