According to a report out of Music Business Worldwide, Google is the “current favorite” among potential acquirers of the struggling Berlin-based music streaming company, SoundCloud. This comes after Spotify considered picking up the service earlier this year, a deal that ultimately died last month.
SoundCloud still needs a buyer, though, as it struggles to compete with the mainstream music streaming players like Apple and Google itself…
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The company has been struggling to find ways to monetize itself, especially since its relatively new SoundCloud Go subscription service — which provides an ad-free offline experience for $10 a month — hasn’t received much traction. SoundCloud reportedly wanted $1 billion for itself according to a report from Bloomberg earlier this year, but it now seems as its valuation falls that the company will have to settle for far less.
It’s not clear how the service, which has somewhere in the realm of 175 million users, would benefit Google if an acquisitions actually goes through. SoundCloud primarily serves as a large community for indie music artists (and it provides a great place to hosting podcasts as well), which could theoretically complement Google’s other music streaming avenues like Google Play Music and YouTube Red. It’s not uncommon for Google to have many products that do the same things.
There’s also of course the possibility that Google is simply interested in SoundCloud’s talent. The company has clearly succeeded in building a large, niche community in the music streaming space.