One of the headlines from Next Big Sound’s Summer 2015 report was the growth of SoundCloud, with the music analytics firm claiming that monthly plays on the streaming service had nearly doubled from 2.5bn in June 2014 to 4.9bn in May 2015.
Perhaps don’t expect to see that figure updated in the summer of 2016, though. SoundCloud has stopped sharing data with Next Big Sound, citing the latter company’s recent acquisition by streaming radio service Pandora as the cause.
Not that Next Big Sound is keeping this a secret. The company was open about the lapsed partnership in a tweet to a client who’d asked why SoundCloud data was missing from its analytics reports.
“We’re sorry to report that Soundcloud decided to stop sharing data with @nextbigsound last month,” explained the company’s official Twitter account yesterday (18 August).
Music Ally contacted SoundCloud to confirm, and a spokesperson provided us with this response.
“Since SoundCloud’s beginning we’ve focused on building an ecosystem where creativity thrives. That creativity includes developers who have built innovative services using SoundCloud’s API. With the recent acquisition of Next Big Sound by Pandora, we have decided, as a normal course of business, that the time has come for Next Big Sound to discontinue using SoundCloud’s API.”
Pandora acquired Next Big Sound in May, with the latter company saying at the time that its service – providing data on streams and social stats to music industry clients – would continue.
“As part of Pandora, we’ll continue to provide best-in-class analytics and enhance our platform with access to the number one most requested data source: Pandora,” explained Next Big Sound in its blog post announcing the acquisition. “Clients, partners, and artists — rest assured it’s business as usual at Next Big Sound.”
We wondered at the time whether other streaming services – who might not be direct rivals to Pandora but which compete with it for listeners and (often) advertising spend – would agree. In SoundCloud’s case, it seems not.
Next Big Sound isn’t the only music analytics firm to have been snapped up by a digital music service. In January, Music Ally broke the news that Apple had quietly acquired British firm Semetric, which ran the Musicmetric service.
That has left SoundCloud, Spotify and other digital services mulling their partnership strategies: Spotify, for example, had made its analytics available to labels through Musicmetric and to artists and managers through Next Big Sound.
These acquisitions have also left a gap in the market for other analytics companies (and digital distributors) to promise the kind of one-stop-shop access to streaming, sales and social stats that was the main pitch for Musicmetric and Next Big Sound.