If Spotify Successfully Buys SoundCloud, It Could Fully Stand Out Against Apple Music
Compared to other music streaming services out there, SoundCloud may have a lot of catching up to do, especially in terms of the volume of its user base. But it does have something that other services might envy -- the ability to let users post remixes and be their own version of a DIY DJ. And it is no surprise that another music streaming giant, Spotify, is eyeing to acquire SoundCloud, according to the Financial Times.
Interestingly, Spotify has already passed on purchasing SoundCloud a couple of times over the past eighteen months. Those attempts never materialized because of a lack of agreement with regards to the pricing. But ever since those talks failed, SoundCloud has been busy throwing offers to major record labels in order to prevent specific content (mainly those remixes) from being removed from SoundCloud. Also, considering that the SoundCloud Go, which costs about $10 a subscription, never really took off, the company needs Spotify more than ever.
Of course, there is always the possibility that these latest talks between SoundCloud and Spotify could still break down. But if the latter ever completes its acquisition of the former, it just might have gotten the last piece it needs to fully distinguish itself from that other music streaming giant, Apple Music.
SoundCloud’s branding is so unique because it basically allows users to upload audio content to its service, and people can do it without having to court a record label or a distribution service. In that aspect, this service is like the YouTube in music streaming, and its catalog of audio content is incredibly massive -- to date, SoundCloud has 125 million tracks. It is easily the most extensive in the industry right now, and effortlessly dwarfs the 30 million tracks featured on Spotify and Apple Music.
Furthermore, instead of offering tracks belonging to major record labels, most of SoundCloud’s content consist of demo tracks, DJ sets of other artist’s songs, and even unauthorized remixes of tracks. Some of the tracks are owned by the user who uploaded them, while others may have skirted (or even violated) copyright laws. But this attribute from SoundCloud is what attracted users in the first place. Quite simply, listeners flock to the service because they can find tracks in SoundCloud that are just not found in other music streaming services. Like those really clever mashups, for instance.
Of course, if Spotify ever purchases SoundCloud, for sure it will inherit these legal conundrums, too. But if it could bring SoundCloud’s massive catalog and deliver it to consumers via its polished interface, it will most certainly be a win for Spotify.