Farewell (And Hello Again)

Farewell (And Hello Again)

Last week was officially my last at SoundCloud

What an incredible 5 1/2 year ride

What was learned?

Three things come to mind

  • Resilience
  • Small but mighty
  • People

Having left the major label side, my journey at SoundCloud started as head of economics & global rights administration.

With an incredible, small but mighty team, I was able to lead the establishment of SoundCloud's royalty, economic and commercial backbones.

From standing and expanding commercial charting, to developing critical reporting and economic frameworks that can scale, to pushing for industry-shaping change (user-centric, publicly addressing industry fraud).

With Jan Gackenholz's support, I stood up and led monthly executive forums that focused on the 'crown jewels' of SoundCloud's business -- its global content economics, conceptualizing deep insights and evolving strategies that drove long-term impact for both SoundCloud's business and its incredibly diverse creator community.

With Mark Eisenberg and Raoul Chatterjee we redefined licensing practices.

With a tight team of 5 (that wore 7 hats), I had the opportunity to architect and build the industry's first to market user-centric streaming model. John Atzberger George Roldugin Dejan Krstic Louise Columelli

And again, that phrase comes to mind -- small but mighty

The model was not on any roadmap for years. We pushed on regardless of the push-back because we believed in it.

We won innovation awards for the model.

With David Turner, we engaged an expansive network of musicians, unions, trade bodies, journalists, artist management groups and industry stakeholders to preach the impact of this foundational change. This led to developing impactful research papers and artifacts that are still being quoted today.

With Tine Nitsch's support and leadership, I moved into the strategy org to drive strategic partnerships and eventually look after the holistic business as a whole.

With Michael Weissman's prompt and blessing, I was able to conceive and forge the larger Fan-Powered Strategy and its consumer proposition that remains the gateway into the company’s future business.

With Matt Jong, we refined said proposition, conceived the artist-to-fan engagement tool that enhanced its commercial value and created ancillary opportunities in our pursuit of landmark licensing deals.

Co-leading with Ama Walton, I delivered on my promise of pioneering unprecedented licenses with the major labels.

The one common thread across all the above -- resilience -- in my colleagues, in myself, in the face of every challenge within and outside of the walls of SoundCloud.

And SoundCloud is special.

But what makes it special? It is the people. Those mentioned and many more.

I am grateful for you all and the experiences made.

It has been a privilege working with every colleague at the company, with all of its partners, to represent and debate contributions publicly and address what challenges us all as an industry, with SoundCloud continually positioning itself as an agent of change.

I've said this before and I'll say it again -- foundational, impactful innovation requires a long arduous journey and amazingly resilient talent (people!) -- fall in love with the idea before taking that collective jump.

My biggest honor (jump) is having played my part in building and conceptualizing the new music economy at SoundCloud.

And I have no intention of stopping or slowing down.

Considering our industry’s current and critical inflection point, I've decided to engage it as a free agent, feeling elated and empowered to be advising and consulting where I am most needed.

For this reason I had stood up Forms + Shapes, an advisory agency for the new music business.

As I've done in the past -- start-up, established companies, institutions or emerging artists in need -- please feel free to contact me directly here.

There's a lot of work to be done.


Mike P