SoundCloud Lays Off 8% of Workforce, Seeking Profitability
SoundCloud leaders told staff on Tuesday (May 23) that there would be an 8% reduction of its workforce. Stressing transparency, CEO Eliah Seton noted in an all-hands meeting that the layoffs are being made in order to help the company turn a profit. Leaders had set a Q4 target date for profitability, and sources within the company noted that these cuts get them there.
In the meeting, Soundcloud leadership also noted that it would seek further investors for the audio streaming service, sources at the company tell Billboard.
The decision mainly affects U.S.-based employees, a representative from SoundCloud confirmed.
The news was followed by an email obtained by Billboard, which Seton sent to the entire staff, noting that they would conduct a “headcount reduction.”
“Everyone whose job is impacted by this change will receive an invitation today to meet with the People Team and their manager. Meetings will take place today and tomorrow.” While Seton said in the memo that he “takes accountability for this decision… This is a challenging but essential decision to ensure the health of our business and get SoundCloud to profitability this year.”
The news of the 8% staff reduction comes less than a year after the company conducted a previous round of layoffs that affected up to 20% of staff in August 2022. Then-SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman told staff about the reduction in a memo to the global team, also citing issues with profitability.
“Today’s change positions SoundCloud for the long run and puts us on a path to sustained profitability,” Weissman added. “We have already begun to make prudent financial decisions across the company and that now extends to a reduction to our team.”
SoundCloud had previously announced a number of layoffs back in 2017 — at that time, the company cut around 40% of its workforce. Alex Ljung, who was then CEO, said those cuts were necessary for the company to “control” its “independent future.”