Twitter has invested $70 million in online music discovery service SoundCloud, according to a report on Re/Code. In May, it was reported that Twitter was looking to buy SoundCloud but walked away from the deal. The publication added that the $70 million was part of a $100 million round of funding for SoundCloud and added that the company was valued at $700 million.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and SoundCloud confirmed to Re/Code that Twitter now has a stake in the company, but declined to give specifics.
Twitter had been looking to break into the music streaming business for some time. Twitter failed at creating a radio station based on what songs were trending and shut down its #Music app in April last year. One of the reasons why Twitter failed at this was because it tended to be very passive and it gleaned over hash tags to search for what was trending in music and could not take requests.
However, in September 2015, Twitter added a new discovery feature to its video sharing service Vine that let users explore songs in the new featured tracks section. . The company mentioned that it would also add a Billboard Social 50 chart which will list most popular music Vines to aid music discovery.
SoundCloud subscription service
SoundCloud recently launched a subscription service. In April, the company signed a deal with record label Sony Music. The new deal would allow SoundCloud to legally stream artists who have signed up under Sony Music. SoundCloud claims to have more than 110 million tracks on its platform; that number is expected to rise with Sony Music’s 20,000 independent lables in partnership from Universal Music, and Warner Music.
Other developments in online streaming
– Australia-based music streaming service Guvera is looking to raise up to $56.7 million (about Rs 390.7 crore) through an initial public offering (IPO). Guevara says it has over 14 million users across the 10 markets, of which only 3,655 are paid users (as of May 27, 2016). Interestingly, Guvera claims to have 7 million users in India, as of May 2015.
– In April, Times Music was appointed as a curator on Apple Music and will provide editor curated recommendations for music catalogs available on the latter. Times Music will curate playlists across genres like fusion, Sufi, electronica, devotional, pop and rock weekly. Times Music claims to have 12,000 songs in its library and includes Indian and international artists.
– MixRadio, the service formerly known as Nokia Music, called it quits in March after 17 years of operations. More on that here.
– Music streaming service Rdio will be shut down its operations on December 22, 2015. Earlier in November, 2015, Rdio’s peer Pandora bought several of its key assets for $75 million after it filed for bankruptcy. Rdio had said it would be winding down its service in all markets including India.