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SoundCloud gives artists more data while its new CEO shifts focus to creators

After a rough summer marked mostly by gloomy headlines, SoundCloud is ready to start announcing new things. Today, the Berlin-based music streamer is expanding its data analytics for artists, offering up more insights around playlist activity: Who’s adding songs to playlists on SoundCloud? How many listens are coming from those playlists?

It’s a relatively minor product update–Spotify has offered data on playlist traffic for months–but it’s the first one under new CEO Kerry Trainor, who replaced SoundCloud cofounder Alex Ljung as chief executive in August. The update offers a hint at where Trainor, who previously served as CEO of Vimeo, plans to focus much of his effort, at least initially: on creators, rather than on doubling down on subscriptions. 

The mostly free SoundCloud has been slow to grow its on-demand subscriptions amidst tough competition from Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and others. Over the summer, the company seemed to barely escape financial peril when it got a $170 million lifeline investment to keep things going. As part of that deal, Trainor and former Vimeo COO Michael Weismann took over as SoundCloud’s CEO and COO, respectively. The new leadership will presumably turn its attention to the company’s business model in due time, but right now it has a bigger priority: keeping artists as happy as possible.

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