Editorial: Why the biz should help SoundCloud and Cinram


Three weeks away can give you a lot of perspective. While I was sunning myself in Australia, the Music Week team was kept busy as the SoundCloud saga played out another chaotic chapter, ending with a rescue deal financed by a merchant bank and an investment firm.

As I returned, old school indie distributor Cinram went into administration.

Both companies look set to survive, at least in the short-term, but what’s really notable about these two dispatches from opposite ends of the 2017 industry spectrum is the lack of music biz involvement in the fallout.

SoundCloud, for all its car crash finances, offers the biz a different model and audience to the other streaming platforms.

That sounds worth preserving, so why leave the rescue mission to financiers, surely the equivalent of a shark bringing a drowning man a lifebelt? (I’ve been to Bondi Beach – did I mention that?)

And, while there remain other options for the physical business – still defying gravity by-and-large – it would surely prefer to have as many of those options as possible.

The biz has rallied behind threatened venues, magazines and radio stations in recent years, and has proved itself an effective campaigner when it really matters.

But, with the good times returning, would it not make sense to see the music industry – which already owns stakes in other, less challenged music platforms – putting its money where its mouth is, in order to help preserve vital parts of its ecosystem? 

After all, if something’s worth saving, it’s worth saving properly. Now, who wants to see some holiday snaps…?

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