In this article, David Emery explores the industry wide issue of “fake hits” tracks which, although they may amass a host of plays on platforms like SoundCloud, generate little to no appreciable revenue for artists or any label with which said artist may be associated.
“You can’t sell out shows based on big streaming numbers alone. These numbers represent attention and revenue, which is great, but the engagement is transitory, at least to the scale that the numbers would suggest. They’re the start of a fan’s journey with an artist rather then the end.”
Spotify already passed on buying SoundCloud. But Deezer thinks this just might be a winning play.
SoundCloud is enormous. And, enormously unprofitable. The site has amassed 150 million songs on its streaming service, mostly from indie DJs, rappers, and other musicians. Chance the Rapper has thanked the service for his success. However, the company has quickly bled through most of its cash.
Now, as it faces certain bankruptcy, a new buyer may have emerged to save the company: Deezer.
Last July, SoundCloud apparently mulled a $1 billion offer. Yet, late last year, Spotify walked away from SoundCloud acquisitions talks. Had they acquired the popular yet underperforming platform, it would’ve slowed down their IPO plans. Then, after posting a very poor financial report, co-founder and CEO Alexander Ljung admitted that the company may close its doors at the end of 2017.
That’s now less than 6 months away.
Following the dismal financial news, top executives quickly jumped ship and deserted the company. Its COO and Finance Director saw that SoundCloud had no straightforward way to post a profit. As a last-ditch effort to gain users, it slashed the price of its premium Go+ service to just $5.
Things continued to deteriorate. Clearly in a dire situation, to obtain at least some cash, the company reportedly offered to sell itself for $250 million. The company also reportedly then begged German investors for money.
In less than a year, SoundCloud had lost 75% of its valuation.
After Spotify walked away from acquisition talks, Google reportedly wanted to purchase the company for $500 million. Apple’s Jimmy Iovine had also reportedly expressed interesting in purchasing the company. Cupertino insiders quickly dismissed the rumors as “fake news.” Now, sources close to SoundCloud have told the New York Post that the company “is being eyed by a host of players.”
A ‘senior music source’ told the New York Post,
The first requirement for being successful in anything is to define what success means to you. That is one of the biggest challenges musicians face today. There is no standard to follow.
It’s not like going to college, where there is a defined set of measurable parameters. You attend classes, you pass exams, you write papers, and after completing all of the requisite steps you succeed in earning your degree. That’s an ideal scenario where you can demonstrate that you are making progress and, therefore retain the ever so important support of your friends and family. Unfortunately, the pathway to a career in music isn’t so cut and dry.
Let’s first examine some characteristics that are pretty much universal in successful people:
Authentic Interest: A genuine state of curiosity, concern, or attention.
Consistency: Steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.
Persistence: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or oppression.
Goals: The objects of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Those are the basics. Those are the characteristics that will enable a student to take the SAT, go to college, pass the exams and write the papers, take the MCAT, attend medical school, complete a residency and come out the other end as a doctor.
A career in music however is far less arbitrary. There is no curriculum, no checklist, no predetermined pathway to become a professional musician. Even earning a degree from the Berklee Colloge of Music won’t necessarily give you a leg up. And because of that lack of definitive stepping-stones you find that the people that are supposed to be your cheerleaders (friends and family) start to celebrate your failures more than your successes. They really do want what’s best for you. And since a career in music is not a sure thing, they think that it’s better to get you on track for something with more defined goals and measurements.
“I’m very proud to share my new single “Out of Time”. This song is about getting older and all the stages you go trough in life. Every stage has its up and downsides so enjoy the ride I’ve been working very hard on it so please share it! Would mean the world to me!”
- Lizzy V
Special thanks from Lizzy V:
Roberto (management), Louis Henry Sarmiento (sonic vista studios), Ruben van der Velde (Fields Studios), Serge Dussault (Black Oak Studio), Sander Veenendaal (Bass, Keys, Dobro, Electric Guitar), Jens van der Ham (Percussion) and Robin van Beek (Backing Vocals)
Glenn van de Wiel and Felice Klop (Music Video Evolution studios), Yfke Wegman (Little Lizzy), Rita Arends (Old Lizzy), Jens van der Ham (Drums), Joost Koevoets (Bass), Mark Sloesen (Guitar), Ronald Veenendaal (Teacher), Dustin Hofman, Katja Visser, Colin Beunis (Friends), All the kids that played as extras
BREStheater Brielle, R.K. Basisschool de Rozenhorst
Taylor Guitars, DigiGrid, Koch Amps, Jerry Harvey In Ears
The London-to-LA time difference means that MBW talks to Diane Warren quite late in our day, pretty early in hers.
We’ve packed quite a lot in, thanks. Smashed out 1,000 or so words, almost all spelled correctly. And those stairs didn’t vacuum themselves, don’t worry about that.
Warren? Well she’ll have had her breakfast, sure. Maybe cleared some email. But we’re way ahead, bound to be.
Nope. Turns out she’s written a global smash recorded by one of music’s biggest superstars. Well, actually, she’s written a song, but in Warren’s world, the words ‘a song’ and ‘global smash recorded by one of music’s biggest superstars’ tend to be quite interchangeable.
She actually doesn’t want to talk about it much, and certainly makes no claims about its chances of success. But, she confirms, when asked about the last song she wrote, “I finished a great one right before I got on the phone with you today. I mean, check in in 24 hours and and maybe I’ll feel differently, but right now I’ve just finished it and I love it.”
Assuming it passes the Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow test, it will join a catalogue that has not only earned Warren a reputation as one of the world’s greatest songwriters, but also generated huge hits for artists including Cher, Kiss, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Aerosmith, Chicago, Toni Braxton, Starship, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, LeAnn Rimes, Michael Bolton and dozens more.
On the way, she’s won a Grammy, an Emmy and a Golden Globe, as well as being named ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year six times and Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year four times.
Herbie Herbert and Friends… Sy Klopps-Vocals, Bobby Cochran-Drums, Ira Walker-Bass, Ralph Woodson-Guitar, Herman Eberitzsch-Keyboards, Danny Armstrong-Trombone & Vocals, Tom Poole-Trumpet, Michael Peloquin-Saxophones & Harmonica. oh yeah, Steve “Maurice” Miller on Guitar & Vocals @35:00! This was a fun band for us from 1995-2002.
This poster / manifesto are 75 of responses about the pleasure of being a musician. I hope this brightens your day as much as it did ours