According to Twitter’s 2017 annual report, the company’s $70 million investment in the audio streaming platform SoundCloud was a huge failure.
Variety reports that according to Twitter’s 2017 annual report, the company’s investment in SoundCloud was essentially a complete bust. The report states that Twitter was forced to write off approximately $66.4 million of their $70 million investment in SoundCloud in 2016. Twitter was in negotiations to acquire SoundCloud for some time, but ended up investing $70 million as part of a $100 million round of funding for SoundCloud in June 2016. Soundcloud ran out of money in early 2017 and was unable to generate any more financing.
SoundCloud managed to secure emergency funding via an investment from the Raine Group and Singapore’s Temasek in August 2017 totaling $170 million. But this deal was caveated with a corporate restructuring that saw many of SoundCloud’s early investors ousted from the company. This restructuring also saw the departure of SoundCloud’s founding CEO Alexander Ljung. SoundCloud was valued at approximately $700 million when Twitter initially invested in the company, but before the company received a second investment from Raine and Temasek, SoundCloud’s valuation had dropped to a mere $150 million.
Following the company’s dramatic decrease in valuation, Twitter was forced to admit that “the carrying value of this investment was not expected to be recoverable within a reasonable period of time.” Twitter has previously had issues with streaming services — the company attempted to launch their own music streaming app titled #Music but the project was eventually shut down in 2014.
Later this afternoon, we will be removing Twitter #music from the App Store. If you have the app, it will continue to work until April 18.
— Twitter Music (@TwitterMusic) March 21, 2014
At the time the company said that they would “continue to experiment with new ways to bring you great content based on the music activity we see every day on Twitter.” That experiment was the integration of SoundCloud streaming into the Twitter app but as we have now seen, even that investment didn’t work out for Twitter.