Spotify sells previously acquired Soundtrap back to original owners

Soundtrap, a cloud-based music creation platform, is on its way to becoming an independent company once again. Spotify has announced its plans to sell the business back to its founders after nearly six years since its acquisition. In November 2017, the streaming giant acquired Soundtrap, which is based in Stockholm, from its founders Per Emanuelsson, Björn Melinder, Gabriel Sjöberg, and Fredrik Posse. Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, reports suggest that the transaction was valued at a minimum of $30 million, considering the significant increase in Soundtrap’s value since its series A funding round in 2016.

Since the acquisition, Soundtrap has operated as a standalone app under Spotify’s ownership. The platform introduced new features such as live collaboration and auto-save tools in August 2022, enabling artists to work on projects in real-time across different devices. Soundtrap also expanded its user base with the launch of Soundtrap for Storytellers, a podcast recording, editing, and publishing tool, in May 2019.

Swedish technology news outlet Breakit reported the news of Spotify’s divestment from Soundtrap, stating that approximately 100 current Spotify employees will have the opportunity to work with the newly independent company. This decision indicates a shift in Spotify’s strategic focus away from music creation. It follows a similar move in late 2021 when Spotify sold music marketplace Soundbetter back to its founders, only two years after acquiring it.

Per Emanuelsson, one of Soundtrap’s co-founders, expressed gratitude for Spotify’s support over the years and shared excitement about returning to an independent operation. Charlie Hellman, Spotify’s Vice President and Global Head of Music Product, expressed pride in the achievements made together and anticipation for Soundtrap’s future growth.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Soundtrap had attracted over 10 million users from its launch in 2011 until January 2021, according to a study published in February. Spotify’s decision to sell Soundtrap aligns with the ongoing restructuring of its podcast division, which recently involved cutting 200 jobs, representing around 2% of the company’s workforce. The aim is to enter the next phase of Spotify’s podcast strategy, maximizing consumption and success for creators while introducing new business models to help them monetize their work.