SoundCloud gears up for sale with potential $1bn+ price-tag (report)

SoundCloud is set to be put up for sale later this year, with its owners potentially seeking a price-tag in excess of USD $1 billion.

That’s according to a report from Sky News today (January 7), which says it’s learned that two of SoundCloud’s shareholders – Raine Group and Temasek Holdings – have started interviewing investment banks regarding a “prospective auction of the company”.

One source told Sky that they didn’t expect the sale process to get underway for a number of months.

Raine and Temasek acquired stakes in SoundCloud in August 2017, in a majority-takeover worth $170 million. The deal saw the streaming company valued at around $300 million.

In February 2020, SoundCloud secured a further $75 million in investment from SiriusXM. As a result, Sirius obtained a minority stake in SoundCloud.

MBW revealed shortly before the end of 2023 that SoundCloud was on course to post its first ever EBITDA-profitable year.

In mid-December, the firm’s internal guidance showed that was projecting annual revenues of EUR €288 million (USD $310m) for calendar/fiscal 2023, up 7.5% YoY or 9% YoY at constant currency (USD).

SoundCloud also forecast a €2 million positive EBITDA for 2023, representing a significant improvement from the €29 million negative EBITDA the firm posted in 2022.

Eliah Seton was named CEO of SoundCloud in March last year.

Seton joined SoundCloud as its global President in April 2021, following a decade-plus tenure at Warner Music Group (WMG).

Seton left WMG as its President of Independent Music & Creator Services overseeing ADA Worldwide, Asylum Records, Level and Arts Music for WMG. He led ADA Worldwide from 2015 onwards.

In May last year, SoundCloud announced it was laying off 8% of its global workforce – a move that affected around 40 employees.

At the time, Eliah Seton said: “This is a challenging but essential decision to ensure the health of our business and get SoundCloud to profitability this year.

“In doing so, we are securing the company’s future for the millions of artists who rely on us for their living and their self-expression, and the millions of fans who come to SoundCloud for the joy of music.”

SoundCloud’s modern-day business is split into two segments: (i) Its subscriptions business (i.e. subscription payments from listeners as well as ad revenue generated by people pressing play); and (ii) its ‘creator’ business (i.e. fees paid by artists for access to distribution, tools, and services to market/monetize their music).

In total, more than 40 million artists have released 320 million tracks on SoundCloud to date.Music Business Worldwide