Music hosting service SoundCloud got into a public argument with TechCrunch today, disputing claims that the music company—which recently laid off a large percentage of its workforce—is rapidly running out of operating cash. As back-and-forthed over on Variety—which somehow became the tennis court playing host to this little financial dispute—TechCrunch initially reported that SoundCloud only had cash on hand to keep itself going through the start of the next quarter, i.e., 80 days. The TechCrunch piece also alleged that morale at SoundCloud had bottomed out, and that even people who survived the recent layoffs were jumping ship.
SoundCloud fired back, claiming there were “extensive inaccuracies” in the report, and that it’s “fully funded through Q4.” (To be clear, that’s essentially the same claim TechCrunch made, just with a different spin on what happens after the year’s final quarter begins.) SoundCloud says news of its financial problems stems “from a misinterpretation of information by one or two laid-off employees during a recent all-hands meeting,” and insists that the recent changes to the company’s structure—i.e., the layoffs—”put us on our path to profitability and ensure SoundCloud’s long-term viability.” The company also says it’s doing everything in its power to help laid-off employees land on their feet.
Undaunted, TechCrunch responded in turn, now getting openly tetchy at the accusations of dishonesty. “SoundCloud has clumsily attempted to refute our TechCrunch article on its financial and morale problems by issuing a statement to Variety saying our post contains ‘extensive inaccuracies,’” writer Josh Constine responded. “Yet its supposed ‘corrections’ simply repeat what we did publish, and refute something we didn’t publish…TechCrunch stands by its reporting.”
As one of the biggest independent audio-hosting sites on the internet, SoundCloud has been invaluable to musicians working outside the studio system. However, the company has never managed the knack for monetizing itself, and has been facing financial difficulties since at least last December, when Spotify dropped negotiations to purchase it.