Twitter’s $70 million SoundCloud investment is officially wiped out

Jack Dorsey invested in the music streaming service in 2016; last year he wrote off the deal.

One more reminder that digital music remains a very, very difficult place to make money: Twitter has written off a $ 70 million investment it made in SoundCloud, the music streaming service.

Twitter put the money into SoundCloud in in 2016, via its Twitter Ventures unit, in a deal that valued the company at $ 700 million. Now Twitter, via its 2017 annual report, says it has written off $ 66.4 million it invested in SoundCloud because that money is “not expected to be recoverable within a reasonable period of time.”

Variety first reported the news. For context: Twitter generated revenue of $ 2.4 billion in 2017, and ended the year with $ 4.4 billion in cash and short-term investments.

Twitter’s SoundCloud writedown isn’t a surprise, since almost all of SoundCloud’s existing investors were crammed down in a last-ditch funding deal last summer, which also brought in a new management team.

But it should be a formal coda to Twitter’s on-off infatuation with SoundCloud. Two years before the investment, Twitter had looked at buying SoundCloud for more than $ 1 billion, but didn’t.

And it’s a reminder that even though consumers have embraced free and paid music streaming services, the companies that run those services generally aren’t making a profit.

For giant tech guys like Apple and Google who run streaming music as a side business, that’s probably OK. For standalone companies like Pandora and Spotify, that’s not (reminder: Spotify is planning on going public in the next couple months).

Meanwhile SoundCloud, which had been pushing a $ 10-a-month subscription service like the one Apple and Spotify offer, is changing its strategy.

The new plan, as outlined by CEO Kerry Trainor at our Code Media conference this month: Focus on a more limited $ 5-a-month plan, as well as a renewed emphasis on a subscription service SoundCloud has always sold to music creators, producers and other prosumers.

Here’s my Code Media chat with Trainor:


Recode – All

How to Use Spotify, SoundCloud and Pandora on HomePod

As you might have already read, HomePod’s voice assistant functionality only works with Apple Music. If you want to speak into the air and you want your smart speaker to start playing some music, you’ll have to sign up for Apple Music. But what if you want to play some music from Spotify, SoundCloud or Pandora? Or you want to listen to podcasts from TuneIn or Overcast? There’s AirPlay for that. Continue reading
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How to Stream Spotify, Pandora, and SoundCloud to HomePod

How to Stream Spotify, Pandora, and SoundCloud to HomePod

The verdict is out! HomePod has got the best sound and is fully capable of toppling the numero uno status of Amazon Echo. But that doesn’t mean Apple’s smart speaker doesn’t have any drawback. Currently, the only music service you can control using your voice is Apple Music. And, to stream Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud or any music app to HomePod, you need to use AirPlay.

Luckily, beaming music from iPhone to HomePod is dead simple. And if you have used it to stream audio or video wirelessly, you may already be pretty much aware of it. Read on to find out how to AirPlay any music streaming app to HomePod.

How to Stream Spotify, Pandora, and SoundCloud to HomePod

How to AirPlay Third-Party Music Streaming App to HomePod

Before getting started, make sure to enable Bluetooth on your iOS device. Settings → Bluetooth. Alternately, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up Control Center. (On iPhone X, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to access Control Center.) Then, tap on the Bluetooth button to turn it on. Besides, make sure your iOS device is connected to Wi-Fi.

Step #1. First off, swipe up from the bottom to bring up Control Center. On iPhone X, swipe down from the upper right corner on iPhone X to access CC.

Step #2. Now, select audio options icon in the upper right corner of the Now Playing control panel.

Step #3. Next, tap on your HomePod.

Voila! Now, enjoy the music in its full-fledged form.

How to Stop Streaming Third-Party Music Services on HomePod

Once you have had a long run with your favorite third-party music app and don’t want to stream it to the smart speaker, you can easily stop it.

Step #1. Bring up Control Center on your iOS device.

Step #2. Now, tap on audio options button located in the upper right corner of the Now Playing control panel.

Step #3. Next, you need to tap your HomePod.

That’s done!

Now, the music will return to your iPhone. If you wish to continue to jam along, take the full advantage of Apple Music to stream music directly on the voice-based speaker.

Have your say:

As per the latest report, Apple Music currently has 36 million paying subscribers around the world as compared to 70 million subscribers of Spotify.

The tech giant has confirmed that its music-streaming service is growing at a faster pace than Spotify in the United States. The company has further added that it could soon overtake the service in popularity in the country.

Though I’m pretty happy with Apple’s music service, I would be really glad if the company allowed to directly stream even third-party music apps to the voice-enabled speaker. What’s your take on it?

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SoundCloud plans to replace its CEO as part of a new funding deal

Investors want to replace founder Alex Ljung with former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor.

Investors want to replace the CEO of SoundCloud, the troubled music-streaming service, as part of a new round of investment.

Under terms of a proposed funding deal circulated this week, former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor would run SoundCloud in place of founder and current CEO Alex Ljung, who will stay on as chair of the company’s board. Trainor would also bring in a new chief operating officer, according to investor documents that lay out details of the new round.

SoundCloud plans on raising around $ 170 million, in a deal that would value the company at $ 150 million prior to the new investment. Most of the new money would come from Raine Group and Temasek.

In the past, SoundCloud had valued itself at $ 700 million, and in 2014, the company thought it could sell itself for more than $ 1 billion to Twitter. Last year, it also talked to rival streaming service Spotify about a sale.

I’ve asked Ljung, Trainor and SoundCloud PR for comment. Trainor left Vimeo, IAC’s video service last year. Last month, former Vimeo general manager Anjali Sud took Trainor’s old job.

The last time I wrote about SoundCloud, back in March, I reported that the company was struggling, looking for money, and that investors thought the company might go for $ 250 million — about the amount of money SoundCloud had raised over its lifetime.

Since then, things have gotten worse: Last month the company laid off 173 people — 40 percent of staff.

The new funding would be used in part to pay off SoundCloud’s existing debt, including a $ 70 million credit line it took on in March, and would dramatically reset SoundCloud’s cap table.

As Axios’s Dan Primack noted earlier, Ljung has told existing investors that if they don’t accept the new funding proposal, he “suggests the company would not be able ‘to continue as a going concern.’”


Recode – All

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