Now that whispers of an acquisition by Spotify have petered off, Berlin-based streaming platform SoundCloud appears intent on independence (for now), with co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss saying in a new television interview the company is laser-focused on the expansion of its revenue-generating Go subscription tier across the globe.
Launched in late March, SoundCloud Go gives subscribers ad-free listening to 135 million songs for $9.99. The company obviously wants to convert as many of its 175 million monthly users into paying customers, though it has avoided divulging any subscriber numbers. In a chat with Bloomberg TV, Wahlforss was characteristically vague, but did claim that, with the aid of advertising deals, the service is growing.
"Growth is extremely good both on the user side but particularly on the revenue side since we’re rolling out advertising as well in all of those markets," he said, referring to the seven countries where Go has a presence, including the U.S., France and U.K. Wahlforss said the company wants to expand Go to new markets, including throughout South America and its home country of Germany. Doing this will take “a lot of investment,” he said, without going into specifics on financing plans.
In June, SoundCloud wrapped a $100 million round of financing that included $70 million from Twitter. Wahlforss told Bloomberg there were "multiple levels" of talks with Twitter on how to collaborate. A month ago, rumors began flying that market leader Spotify was interested in buying SoundCloud, though a source told Billboard it may have been a tactic to solicit bids. When pressed repeatedly on sale rumors, Wahlforss said the goal now is to gain stability with what they have.
"Ultimately as a founder as well, that’s kind of where you want to go," he said, referring to independence. "You want to have something that’s completely sustainable and a well-functioning business, and obviously that’s what we’re focused on doing."