SoundCloud for Sale?
Bloomberg.com is reporting that privately-owned SoundCloud’s founders and investors are seriously considering a sale. That includes investment firm Doughty Hanson & Co., just one of several stakeholders considering an offer that would value the Berlin-based company at $1 billion.
Sources close to the company are now telling Bloomberg that the owners have been considering a sale for some time now, and while deliberations are still at an early stage, the company may eventually decide not to pursue the sale at all. Two other sources said that the German company hasn’t been able to find a buyer willing to purchase — or even value —the company at $1 billion.
Last June, SoundCloud raised $70 million from social media giant Twitter, and had been priced at around $700 million.
This news comes at a time when the company is reported to have around 175 million active users, all of whom use the site for sharing, listening, and recording their own songs. But as it is a free company, SoundCloud apparently hasn’t been able to monetize their service, which may be why owners are mulling the sale.
In March, SoundCloud introduced their top-tier premium service, GO, which offers users the ability to listen to their tracks offline. That includes more premium tracks from emerging and top established artists, and the ability to listen to the service without any interruptions from ads.
This change wasn’t well received, since most of the music available in SoundCloud is uploaded by independent artists and DJs for free listening, as well as being priced the same as Spotify and Apple, which both have big name artists.
It’s currently unknown how many users from the active user base have actually signed up for GO, with Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Midia Research, telling Billboard in March that “it’s likely they’ll end up with low single digits.”
The last time SoundCloud publicly reported their accounts was in 2014. During that period, the company reportedly spent $63.8 million only to generate $19.7 million.
SoundCloud and Doughty Hanson & Co. have yet to comment on the rumors.