'We're building a service for the creators': CEO Kerry Trainor on how SoundCloud is bouncing back

'We're building a service for the creators': CEO Kerry Trainor on how SoundCloud is bouncing back

SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor has spoken to Music Week about the company’s turnaround plan and his first year in the job.

Trainor took over last August as SoundCloud was forced to seek $169.5 million (£128.8m) in funding and slash the headcount.

While its premium subscription service lags way behind Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon, SoundCloud has renewed its focus on providing tools for the independent and unsigned artist community.

“We’ve been accelerating that business – it’s growing faster now than it has in quite a long time,” said Trainor. “As a creator-driven ecosystem we feel we have a tremendous opportunity – we have one of the largest streaming audiences anywhere in the world.”

Its popularity as a platform for emerging talent means the catalogue runs to 180m tracks, compared to 40m for Spotify. 

SoundCloud does not disclose key metrics, though it reportedly had 88m monthly users in 2017. 

“We ended last year with over $100m [£75.9m] in revenue, we exceeded our targets in terms of growth,” said Trainor. But he added profitability was not yet within reach, meaning 2018 “will be an investment year” for the firm.

The platform recently launched emerging artist programme First On SoundCloud.

To read the full interview with Trainor pick up the latest issue of Music Week – or subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss a big industry story click here.

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