Orfium Sub Sinks Soundcloud Boat

Earlier this year a new and exciting music streaming platform hit the internet with hopes of disrupting the status quo and offering user an alternative to Soundcloud. The platform is called Orfium and as Soundcloud continues to raise viability questions these guys are gaining momentum with 1000s of new users spinning up accounts on a weekly basis.

The guys from Orfium, what I might call the “little start-up that could” have already gotten further than most people thought possible.

With an artist-friendly approach and some impressive tools, this little u-boat is starting to make some noise. We caught up with Orfium co-founder Christopher Mohoney to get the latest update on the status quo.

This parody video on YouTube kind of sums it all up…

It has been a bit crazy for the music streaming world as of late. With Soundcloud going through the news cycle almost every couple days, Spotify backing off, etc.? What is your take on all this?

I’m not surprised that the deal fell through. I think SoundCloud values itself higher than Spotify does, the reason being that I don’t think much of SoundCloud’s IP is of any actual use to Spotify other than its large user base. Spotify keeps a clean music library with data on all the rightsholders, whereas SoundCloud permits anyone to upload any recording, not just music, and they have a lot of duplicate content and little data on who the true rights holders are. For example, I still don’t understand why, after clearly becoming a music-based platform, SoundCloud still allows people to upload live recordings through the mobile app. I mean when is someone going to actually upload a well-produced music recording this way?

SoundCloud’s library has much lower business utility in its current state than if it had been kept clean like Spotify’s, and for Spotify to attempt to integrate it would be like accepting a cancerous organ donation. The only way any integration would work would be for Spotify to push its clean content into SoundCloud’s tainted system, something Spotify probably would not be willing to do.

I think all Spotify really wants is access to SoundCloud’s 175 million monthly visitors in order to convert them to paying Spotify users. If SoundCloud values its tech and music IP while Spotify doesn’t, it would make it difficult for them to agree on a number. Considering that Spotify has 1 billion in debt plus rumors say that they are planning to IPO, I don’t think Spotify is any position to take on additional complications and risk right now. Also if Spotify feels like there is a good chance that SoundCloud won’t be able to continue as a going concern then, their strategy might be to wait until SoundCloud goes belly-up and then buy their assets for pennies on the dollar, ideally following a strong IPO.