SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung has been talking about his company’s intent to play the long game, difficult licensing negotiations included. “We were always planning on a longer journey. It’s a huge platform now, but we’ve been building it up over eight years, very methodically. I don’t think we assumed profitability would come easily or quickly,” he told Billboard.
“Also, what people sometimes misjudge is that it really depends on the timing: We have very tight controls over how we’re spending, but profitability hasn’t been our primary goal.” SoundCloud’s last set of financials, for 2013, revealed revenues of €11.3m but a net loss of €23.1m – while the company’s total losses since 2010 total €40.8m before 2014 was taken into account.
That said, the company has raised $123.3m since 2009, and it still has cash in the bank. Now it is trying to strike licensing deals that will maintain its runway to profitability: “If the question is how are our negotiations going with Universal, I have no comment. If the question is how are our negotiations going with labels more broadly, there are lots of great things happening…”