SoundCloud chief content & marketing officer Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood has departed the company after nearly two years, Billboard has confirmed. There is no word yet on her next moves.
Wirtzer-Seawood joined SoundCloud in June 2021 from UnitedMasters, where she served as president for more than two years. Prior to that, she worked as head of music partnerships at Instagram for over three years and head of digital at Beyoncé‘s Parkwood Entertainment for over two years; she has also held senior roles at Def Jam and Zynga.
“I came to SoundCloud to help transform the company and set it on a path toward success,” says Wirtzer-Seawood in a statement sent to Billboard. “After nearly two years of building teams, processes, priorities — and hiring some really stellar people — it was time to move on. I have no doubt that Eliah and the executive team will drive massive success for SoundCloud.”
During Wirtzer-Seawood’s tenure, SoundCloud has made efforts to differentiate itself as a more artist-friendly alternative to rival streaming services. Chief among these efforts is the fan-powered royalty payment system, first unveiled in March 2021, which has since been opted into by both Warner Music Group and Merlin. Unlike the traditional pro-rata model, under which streaming services collect all subscriber revenue and then pay out earnings based on each rightsholder’s share of total streams, fan-powered royalties direct a portion of every listener’s subscription or advertising revenue to the rightsholders for the specific tracks they listen to.
“Fan-powered royalties give us the ability to have specific data around who those fans are,” Wirtzer-Seawood told Billboard last year, “and we can now unlock those relationships with the superfans and communicate with them, to sell them something or whatnot.”
On Monday, SoundCloud unveiled “Fans,” a new SoundCloud for Artists product that’s being billed as the next evolution of the fan-powered payment system. Now in beta, the tool allows music creators to tap into the platform’s proprietary data and sort their most engaged listeners based on factors like comments, listening behavior, sharing habits and location — and then directly message individual fans to share previews of upcoming releases; sell tickets and merch; and more.
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