Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, SoundCloud’s Chief Content and Marketing Officer, exits company

Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood has exited her role as Chief Content & Marketing Officer at SoundCloud, the exec has confirmed to MBW.

Wirtzer-Seawood joined SoundCloud in June 2021, hired by then-CEO, Michael Weismann.

Prior to joining SoundCloud, she was the President of well-capitalized distributor and services company, UnitedMasters, where she worked for two years.

Before joining UnitedMasters, she was Head of Music Partnerships at Instagram (between 2015 and 2019), and held roles at companies including Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment and video game firm Zynga.

At New York-headquartered SoundCloud, Wirtzer-Seawood was widely regarded as one of the company’s most influential executives working under Eliah Seton, who was promoted from President to CEO of the firm in March.

Wirtzer-Seawood told MBW: “Ultimately, I came to [SoundCloud] to help transform the company and set it on a path toward success.

“After nearly two years of building teams, processes, and priorities – and hiring some really stellar people – it was time to move on. I have no doubt that Eliah, the exec team and the board will drive massive success for SoundCloud in the very near future.”

A source at SoundCloud told MBW: “Lauren came to SoundCloud to help evolve/transform from an open audio platform to a music community.

“Now that the company is firmly on that path and she hired an incredible team to take it into the future, she decided it was the right time to leave.”

“After nearly two years of building teams, processes, and priorities – and hiring some really stellar people – it was time to move on.”

Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, SoundCloud

Last week, SoundCloud announced that it had struck a new licensing agreement with indie music group, Merlin.

The deal gives some of the world’s largest independent labels and their artists the opportunity to earn royalties from SoundCloud via the platform’s “fan-powered royalties” (FPR, aka user-centric) payout model.

Eliah Seton, Chief Executive Officer of SoundCloud, said at the time: “At SoundCloud, we’re committed to being artist-first. The FPR model makes streaming royalties more equitable, helps artists benefit directly from their fans, and opens the door for more meaningful fan-to-artist connection.

“I’m thrilled that Merlin’s extraordinary community of independent labels and distributors, and by extension their artists, will now benefit.”

The “fan-powered” model was on MBW’s lips last week, following the news that AI music-making tool, Boomy, had seemingly been used by streaming fraudsters to create tracks that were then uploaded to Spotify and played via stream farms.

A switch away from the dominant “pro rata” streaming payout model and towards “fan-powered”, say the latter model’s advocates, would neuter much of the current commercial incentives fuelling streaming fraud.

SoundCloud today (May 8) announced its latest innovation: a ‘Fans’ tool that enables artists to directly message their superfans on the platform.

In February 2023, SoundCloud expanded its artist services business globally by entering into a joint venture with Jax Jones’ and Dan Stacey’s UK-based, dance-focused record label, WUGD (What You Gonna Do) Ltd.

That built on an artist-signing joint venture with Solid Foundation, the management and creative services arm of QC Media Holdings.Music Business Worldwide