SoundCloud Loses Another Top Exec

Soundcloud logo
Courtesy of SoundCloud

SoundCloud announced Tuesday that its chief content officer, Stephen Bryan, will be leaving the company at the end of the month.

Bryan joined SoundCloud three years ago and, as a press release states, “played a critical role in closing key label and publishing deals for SoundCloud, which enabled the launch of both SoundCloud Go+ and the Company’s new mid-priced subscription plan, SoundCloud Go.”

He is the fourth major executive to leave the company this year, following COO Marc Strigel, finance director Markus Harder and general counsel Neil Miller. In a statement, the company said that Bryan’s direct reports will assume his core responsibilities, and will report directly to SoundCloud’s executive leadership team. The company does not have immediate plans to replace Bryan.

“Stephen’s ability to negotiate favorable deals for SoundCloud with key industry players was instrumental in getting us to where we are today, and we wish him the best,” said Alex Ljung, SoundCloud co-founder and CEO. “Under Stephen’s leadership, our world-class content, strategy, and creator products teams established pivotal industry partnerships that prepared us for our next phase of growth.

“We have a clear path forward, and are well-positioned to expand on what differentiates SoundCloud: providing a unique platform and music discovery experience that our creators and listeners are passionate about. This continued evolution would not be possible without the immense talent across our organization,” Ljung continued in an unusually long comment for a release announcing an executive’s departure.  “We are pleased to have such a deep bench of talent at SoundCloud to help us continue to drive our mission to give people the power to share and connect through music.”

The company has been weathering a rough patch as it attempts to transition to a more conventional paid streaming service from its free model. Although it received some good news in March when it raised some $70 million in debt funding, the company incurred a 51 million Euro loss in 2015 on revenue of 21.1 million Euros. At the time Ljung expressed concern that “risks and uncertainties may cause the company to run out of cash . . . and would require [SoundCloud] to raise additional funds which are not currently planned” — concerns that were partially, although certainly not completely, allayed by the March debt-funding infusion.

For his part, Bryan said, “I am grateful to have been a part of such an amazing team and am proud of what we accomplished together. I’m confident our industry partners are in great hands and I look forward to following SoundCloud’s continued success. I’ll be sharing more regarding my future plans soon.”

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