Eliah Seton to join SoundCloud in a senior role?

2021 was already a big year for SoundCloud. It may be about to get a lot bigger.

Industry sources are telling MBW that Eliah Seton, the widely respected Warner Music Group veteran, is about to join the streaming music service in a senior role.

If true, Seton’s hiring would be another major coup for new SoundCloud CEO, Michael Weissman, following the launch of the service’s “fan-powered” royalty model earlier this month, and the appointment of Troy Carter to SoundCloud’s board in February.

Seton’s departure from WMG was confirmed by the major music company earlier today (April 7). In a press release, Seton noted that he would be “sharing my next chapter with everyone very soon”.

New York-based Seton spent over a decade at Warner Music Group, leading the company’s global independent services division, ADA Worldwide, for the past six years.

As such, Seton has enviable relationships with the global independent community – both labels and artists – which would clearly be considered a strength by indie-focused SoundCloud.

Having acquired artist services company Repost Network in 2019, today SoundCloud has a direct monetized (distribution and/or services) relationship with around 100,000 indie artists worldwide.

The potential hire of Seton raises the question of how ambitious this part of SoundCloud’s business could become, and even whether the company could make a play for more direct relationships with independent labels in future.

Meanwhile, Seton has impressive M&A experience, having played a key role in WMG’s strategic acquisitions around the world in areas such as China and Eastern Europe.

SoundCloud certainly has capital to invest in M&A, following a $75m investment from SiriusXM last year.

From 2019 until this month, Eliah Seton held the position of President of Independent Music & Creator Services for Warner Music Group worldwide, encompassing ADA.

In 2017, he oversaw the re-launch of WMG’s iconic Asylum Records as a new label focusing on streaming and offering uniquely flexible recording deals to new and emerging artists.

As of November 2020, some 12 million creators (including musicians, DJs, podcasters etc.) were being heard on SoundCloud every month.Music Business Worldwide