With streaming services having emerged in the last few years as the primary means for consumers to listen to their favourite music, overtaking the more traditionally used routes of illegal downloading and iTunes purchases, their stock has been on a meteoric rise ever since.
Just two years ago social media giant Twitter was hoping to buy one of them in SoundCloud but backed out of the deal at the last minute. Now, having revisited the deal, Twitter has this time successfully purchased a stake of the Berlin-based service, once dubbed ‘the YouTube for audio’ to the tune of approximately $70 million and a figure that could rise to as high as $100 million. SoundCloud presently valued at $700 million, it works out to roughly 10% that Twitter now owns.
Rory Fresco, who was signed to a record deal after one of his tracks played after Kanye West’s on SoundCloud
The move appears to be a strategic partnership on the surface, SoundCloud looking for inventive ways to promote its brand new subscription service, SoundCloud Go, arriving quite late in the game and finding itself pitted against already established powerhouses such as Spotify and Apple Music. Twitter on the other side of the coin are possibly hoping for better integration of music into its platform as a way to increase its base of users. Twitter previously dabbled with music sharing in the past with the failed Twitter Music standalone app which performed well initially but was yanked from the App Store after less than a year.
There has been little comment from either side beyond simply confirming the investment, though SoundCloud stated the sale was in part to help with ‘global rollout of many company initiatives’ including SoundCloud Go.
Perhaps the partnership will allow SoundCloud and Twitter users to share their music in more of a real-time environment and it will absolutely allow artists to give their fans a much higher level of accessibility than that which already exists in SoundCloud’s current form. At this point though it is difficult to tell what the partnership will look like and whether it will yield success for both sides but whatever integration comes from the pairing of two of the most popular social platforms on the Internet has to at least intrigue users and could very well play a role in propelling the way we listen to and share music into new dimensions.
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