The German company SoundCloud has existed for about nine years. All this time, the project team has been actively engaged in expanding the functionality of its service and attracting new users. Actually, SoundCloud representatives managed almost all of their plans. The service began to use not only ordinary people, but also the largest organizations like NASA. But unfortunately, despite its popularity, SoundCloud could not achieve financial success. Now the service is generally close to closing due to the chronic shortage of specie.
In order to avoid the threat of termination of work, the company’s management decided to cut 40% of staff, as well as close offices in London and San Francisco. But this may not help, since SoundCloud runs out of money. This problem has been discussed repeatedly by various media, including The Financial Times
. And although representatives of the service claim that everything is not as bad as it seems from the outside, everything does not look too good. But SoundCloud is not just some kind of service, there are 135 million audio records stored on the company's servers, including the most valuable materials.
SoundCloud user base has tens of millions of people. Monthly resource is visited by 175 million people. Having heard about the problems of the service, some users decided to form a “team of rescuers” who will be engaged in saving files. All records from the SoundCloud servers volunteers call the "digital heritage" of humanity. Of course, not all files correspond to this beautiful term, but losing such a huge base would be ridiculous.
Unfortunately, volunteers are not able to save all 135 million sound recordings. And not because they are lazy or they consider some audio recordings to be less valuable. And because the storage of such a volume of data will be very expensive. We need dozens, if not hundreds of servers, and we need money for their operation, and considerable ones. Volunteers do not have this money, so they are going to save only files that got to the service earlier than others (and which, most likely, are not found anywhere else), as well as files that are most popular.
The initiators of the project to rescue the database of sound recordings of the service claim that SoundCloud servers store more than 1 petabyte of data. At the same time, according to AWS, the volume of all records related to SoundCloud is much higher.
Anyway, if you take 1 petabyte of data as a starting point, then you will need from $ 1.5 to $ 2 million to store them. In any case, the money will have to be spent, but still the total amount will be much less if you take the plan of the “rescuers” as a basis.
Now the project team is studying the database of sound recording service. Representatives of the project say that in most cases they have to deal with gigabytes of data (volunteers back up data from other sites), but in this case they got a real “whale”, which will be hard to cope with.
In order to find the money for the storage of files that will be decided to save, the project team launched a crowdfunding campaign
. The collected money will be spent not only on the preservation of records, but also on the fact that anyone could listen to them. At the service now you can listen to any file, and volunteers-archivers plan to achieve the same.
The service management has already managed to declare that the company will not shut down, but plans to continue
actively: "Last week we had to make several difficult decisions, but we did this in order to leave SoundCloud an independent, strong company." The fact that the service will work now and in the near future, his representatives have repeatedly told on different resources. The only thing they forgot to mention is how exactly the company plans to survive.
In principle, to continue the work, management can even go on to sell the service. But its price has dropped significantly over the past few years. For example, in 2014, the cost of SoundCloud was estimated at $ 700 million. Now the order of numbers is completely different. Previously, the desire to redeem SoundCloud showed Twitter, Spotify and several other companies, but none of these possible transactions were closed. In the latter case, the Spotify service refused to buy because its management did not consider it a good idea to spend big money before going
to the IPO.
Well, it only remains to wait and hope that the optimism of the SoundCloud management is justified, and the service will indeed continue to work.