Tag Archives: Deezer

SoundCloud Death Watch Signal Flashing Red



SoundCloud LogoThings have seemingly gone from bad to worse for SoundCloud, the Berlin-based music streaming and podcast hosting provider. We brought you the recent news that SoundCloud would be deferring salary reviews for employees. It turns out “deferring salary reviews” was actually secret code for “about to lay off 40% of our staff and close some offices:”

The German-born streaming company has informed its staff today that 173 jobs are being cut, from a total headcount of 420.

The business will consolidate its operation across its New York and Berlin offices.

This consolidation will also close SoundCloud offices in San Francisco and London. A statement from SoundCloud cofounder Alexander Ljung acknowledged that choosing to lay off employees was a difficult decision, but it is part of SoundCloud’s plan to try and keep the company solvent:

In the competitive world of music streaming, we’ve spent the last several years growing our business, and more than doubled our revenue in the last 12 months alone. However, we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting, continued growth of our existing advertising and subscription revenue streams, and a relentless focus on our unique competitive advantage — artists and creators.

Another report that surfaced in the wake of SoundCloud’s layoffs claims that the company only has enough money to operate until the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2017. If this is true, the company has a few months left before it may need to shut down completely.

If there’s any light at the end of SoundCloud’s tunnel, it comes from rumors that France-based music streaming service Deezer might buy SoundCloud. While Deezer does seem like a good match for the music side of SoundCloud’s business, Deezer didn’t do any favors for Stitcher after that acquisition (Deezer later sold Stitcher to Scripps/Midroll). Either way, the future looks very bleak for SoundCloud as a podcasting platform.


Podcasts Now Available thru Deezer



Deezer logoIt seemed inevitable that podcasts would eventually come to Deezer, the streaming service that acquired Stitcher last year. Earlier this month, Deezer added over 20,000 podcasts and radio shows to its catalog. Previously, the platform had only been delivering music to its subscribers.

Deezer is based in France. As such, the new spoken-word content is being rolled out first in its home country as well as European neighbors Sweden and United Kingdom. The company will expand this new offering to other countries over time but no exact timeline has been provided as to when it might reach the rest of the world.

A complete directory of Deezer’s podcasts isn’t immediately available online. But the company is working with partners like Slate, Financial Times, NPR and WNYC to provide its initial spoken word content. It seems only logical that all of Stitcher’s catalog would eventually be rolled into Deezer, and that the Stitcher platform itself would be killed off. Regardless, it looks like Deezer’s podcast directory will be similar to Spotify in that it’s a closed environment, available only to those who have access to a partnership.

If Stitcher is destined to be ultimately subsumed into Deezer, there’s some hope that Stitcher’s partner portal will go with it. In which case, we can expect Deezer’s podcast directory to be open to user submissions. In the end, if companies like Spotify and Deezer really want to compete with Apple in terms of podcast consumption, they’ll need catalogs that carry everything the space has to offer. Not just shows produced by big names and heavy hitters.


Spotify Could Be the Next Big Podcast Directory



spotify logoDigital media platforms are all about one thing: content. Apple has known this for years, and that’s why the company has expanded its iTunes Store to include much more than just music. And while Apple was a trailblazer in its adoption of podcasting, other players have followed suit over the years. Now, it looks like Swedish music streamer Spotify is poised to add podcasts to its own platform.

According to Bloomberg Business, Spotify has held some talks with potential content partners that would bring podcasts to its streaming music player. It’s not yet known who these potential partners may be, or if the Spotify platform will be as open as the iTunes Store in terms of accepting podcast submissions.

The article notes that Spotify is already streaming some content similar in nature to podcasts:

Spotify, which hosts some podcast-like audio such as Spanish lessons along with millions of songs, plans to add more non-music programming, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. While the discussions have occurred for several months, there is no firm plan or introduction date, one of the people said.

One problem that all music streaming services face is the high cost of licensing songs from major labels. Since podcasts are ostensibly free, Spotify adding them to its platform would be an easy way to bolster its catalog with a diverse array of content without having to cut big royalty checks to producers. Podcasting within Spotify may even include video, allowing users to switch between audio and video on the fly.

This news follows other recent moves by Spotify competitors. Last year, Apple acquired Swell, a spoken word-focused audio streaming app, and Deezer bought out Stitcher. It’s still unclear as to why the bigger companies in both those deals even made these moves. But in the end, it all comes down to the content. Everyone’s looking for more of it or at least, different ways to curate and distribute it.


Stitcher Acquired By Deezer



Stitcher RadioPodcast-consumtion app Stitcher has been acquired by European streaming-music service Deezer. From the Deezer blog:

Deezer has acquired award winning radio app Stitcher to provide access to the best in entertainment and talk radio – including NPR, This American Life, Freakonomics, Wall Street Journal, WTF with Marc Maron, Savage Lovecast, BBC, CBC, RTÉ and more.

Stitcher is the leading on-demand internet radio service that features news, entertainment, comedy and sports radio. By giving you access to 35,000 radio shows in addition to 35 million songs, Deezer will bring you the talk as well as the tune.

Next year Stitcher will be integrated into Deezer, so you’ll be able to experience your favourite talk shows and podcasts whenever, wherever. We’ll also make sure to recommend shows that we know you’ll like, helping you to discover more gems like Nerdist, The Moth or Slate.com’s Culture Gabfest.

Stitcher sent two e-mails today in regards to the acquisition. One to listeners and one to partners (Sittcher refers to all podcasters that have provided shows to their directory as “partners”). Both e-mails say pretty much the same things. From the partner e-mail:

Today, we’re pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Deezer, the first truly worldwide digital music streaming service available in over 180 countries, with 16 million monthly active users. Deezer loves audio as much as we do and strongly believes in our mission to deliver a world class listening experience.

First things first: Stitcher isn’t going anywhere. We will continue to support and improve the app, and your listeners will still be able to hear your show on Stitcher the way they always have. Additionally, it is our goal to help you reach audiences not just on Stitcher, but around the globe as we work with Deezer to introduce spoken audio into their products. We’ll continue to provide you with timely updates as we work on new features and integrations.

Together with Deezer, Stitcher will be able to accelerate the growth of our platform and the audience for your shows. We are dedicated to continuing to work hard to build an industry standard set of tools for our content partners and create the best listening experience in the world.

It looks like little will change in the short term for podcasters who are distributing thru Stitcher. It’s too early to say what this acquisition will mean for the future of Stitcher as a podcasting platform. Presumably, Stitcher will eventually be rolled into Deezer to expand Deezer’s functionality as a streaming-media player.

This acquisition is similar to another transaction that made podcasting news earlier this year, when Apple purchased Swell. But unlike with that deal, no specific terms of the Stitcher acquisition have been made public.