SoundCloud chief executive Alexander Ljung has welcomed the arrival of Apple Music saying that its launch will only benefit his music streaming service.
Speaking to Music Business Worldwide, Ljung maintained that he was not concerned about Apple Music having an adverse effect on SoundCloud because he doesn’t “see anything out there that’s remotely close to SoundCloud”.
The free online music platform has almost 200m unique monthly listeners, dwarfing even Spotify’s impressive growth in recent years, and Ljung believes that the success is down to the fact that it’s free.
But this model has cause ripples of discontent amongst rights-holders, something which Apple’s $9.99 a month service has avoided.
SoundCloud has attempted to combat this tension by convincing the likes of Warner Music Group to licence themselves on the platform on the understanding that a subscription-based tier of the service would launch this year. Other tactics used in attempting to convince the likes of Sony and Universal to licence their music on the platform include a deal to pass on a share of advertising revenue.
The failure in capturing Sony and Universal has proven troublesome for the company which posted a $29m loss on $14m revenues in 2013.
According to Ljung, Apple’s willingness to invest will only help the market because “all of the marketing dollars they’re going to spend is going to massively raise awareness of streaming”.
He believes that SoundCloud’s 200m listeners mean that the scale of the company means it will “benefit tremendously from increased awareness around streaming of music".
While recognising the similarities between his business and Apple Music, Ljung maintained that it has “something completely different” and “unless someone shows up with the same kind of numbers we have, the same passion from the creative community, the same DNA, we’re in a pretty good spot".