According to a new report from the Financial Times, Spotify is in “advanced talks” to acquire SoundCloud, the popular user-focused streaming music service. Details of the acquisition talks are unclear at this point, the report comes the same day as Apple Music was ranked #1 for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power in its first streaming music study.
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Today’s report cites “people briefed on the discussions” and says that the two services are in “advanced talks.” Spotify declined to comment on the report, while SoundCloud was not available for comment.
The acquisition would give Spotify a leg up on Apple Music thanks largely to SoundCloud’s strong social features, an area in which Apple Music has struggled since launch. SoundCloud is largely focused on content from unsigned artists, though some label-signed artists do have a presence.
It’s unclear if Spotify would keep SoundCloud as its own service or integrate it into the existing Spotify apps. Though a blend of both of those ideas is what would likely end up happening, at least at first.
Apple was rumored to be in talks to acquire the Jay Z-owned Tidal streaming service, but ultimately denied those reports.
The battle between Apple Music and Spotify has been going strong since Apple Music’s inception last year. A recent release form the Recording Industry Association of America showed that paid streaming services like Apple Music and some of Spotify’s tiers were helping contribute to the rebirth of the music industry. However, it was also reported that while Apple Music has 17 million paid users as of this point, it has struggled to win over Spotify subscribers, with most of Apple Music’s growth coming from first-time music subscription service users.
SoundCloud has a strong community-driven user base, so should Spotify end up acquiring the service it would be a strong point of differentiation in terms of social features. What do you think about SoundCloud potentially joining Spotify? If the integration was strong enough, would you switch? Let us know in the comments.
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