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As SoundCloud‘s future hangs precipitously in the balance, WeTransfer president Damian Bradfield is offering former employees the opportunity—and resources—to create something new.
In an email titled “Please, don’t get a job,” Bradfield wrote that he wants to offer a $10,000 grant to each of the 173 recently laid off SoundCloud employees in order to “start something.” “What we would like to see is a proposal for something you could design, build or manage that could be the new mail-order record club, SoundCloud or iTunes,” he added.
Bradfield said the purpose of this grant was “to prevent you from just simply ‘getting a job,'” as he feared “you might stray from your original mission to change the way we consume or create music—an endeavor that made SoundCloud unique in the world of tech.” The tech mogul admitted that $10,000 is a relatively small amount to create something new, but noted that WeTransfer started with a similarly scrappy budget. “It could act as a runway,” he wrote. “Or it could pay for the lights on a runway. Somehow, it could help you get off the ground.”
A more detailed PDF reveals that the grant is “not an open call.” It’s only available to former SoundCloud employees who were recently laid off, and recipients must not have accepted another job since then. They must propose to “build something digital in the music realm,” and it “cannot be a white label, copy or imitation of anything that already exists.”
Just had a very fruitful call with Alex Ljung. @SoundCloud is here to stay.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
*airhorn* Spread the word: your music isn’t going anywhere. Neither are we.
— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) July 14, 2017
Bradfield’s offer comes less than two weeks after Chance the Rapper tweeted that he had a “very fruitful call” with SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung, and proclaimed that “SoundCloud is here to stay.” Shortly thereafter, he uploaded a track titled “Big B’s” featuring Young Thug to the platform. The streaming service also tweeted, “Spread the word: your music isn’t going anywhere. Neither are we.”
Bryan Rolli is a reporter who specializes in streaming entertainment. He writes about music and film for Forbes, Billboard, and the Austin American-Statesman. He met Flavor Flav in two separate Las Vegas bowling alleys and still can’t stop talking about it.