Focusing on the drama, on the big picture or on the good part of a story – that’s a big question for many online editors, every day. The headlines of articles covering the recently released financial results of Berlin music streaming service SoundCloud for 2014 illustrate this pretty good.
Hypebot: “SoundCloud Reports $56.5M Loss, Faces “Material Uncertainties”
Music Ally: “SoundCloud financial results show €39.1m loss in 2014”
Financial Times: “SoundCloud to seek more funding in 2016”
Gründerszene (German, translated headline): “SoundCloud ends 2014 with almost 40 million Euro in losses”.
Breakit.se (Swedish, translated headline): “Soundcloud has silently filled its coffers – breathing space for 12 months”
Swedish Startup Space (part of Breakit.se): “Soundcloud’s raised $77 million last year to cover huge losses”
I don’t understand the apparent obsession with the losses of 2014. Without the necessary context, this number does not say too much other than that the company was not profitable yet – which really is no news for anyone who has followed the company’s journey over time. It neither tells readers how the financial key numbers have been developing over time.
More newsworthy would be that SoundCloud won’t be profitable for the next three years, according to the company’s own estimation quoted by Music Ally. Also more important than the result of 2014 is for me, as a busy reader scanning through the headlines, how long the company can go with the current amount of funding. And here Sweden-based Breakit.se does a nice job serving me this information on a silver plate. The article mentions the loss of 2014 in one sentence but resits the temptation to make a big deal out of it. Which I applaud.
I wish more news outlets would use the headline to provide meaningful information related to a news item, like Breakit does, instead of using it to “shock”.