Well, it looks like another digital music giant has taken a big leap forward in its efforts to grow up. SoundCloud, claimed to be the "ubiquitous wild child of the digital music world," has announced today the introduction of 'On SoundCloud' - a brand new creator partner program that seeks to reward content creators who sign up and pay to subscribe to the additional service.
The news was broken in a lengthy blog post by SoundCoud's co-founder Alex Ljung who explained the initiative was to give something back to the creators (artists, producers, web platforms) who make SoundCloud what is it today.
“We have listeners in every single country in the world — and in space,” said Alex Ljung.
SoundCloud will begin incorporating advertising and for the first time let artists and record labels collect royalties. Eventually, it plans to introduce a paid subscription that will let listeners skip those ads, as they can with Spotify and other licensed services.
As part of their licensing talks, major recording labels are negotiating with SoundCloud for equity stakes in the company. In exchange, the labels will agree not to sue SoundCloud over past copyright infringements that have haunted the six year-old company in the past. Such deals could make SoundCloud an alluring acquisition candidate; earlier this year Twitter considered buying it, but ultimately decided against it.
Despite months of negotiations, the three major record companies — Universal, Sony and Warner — have not completed licensing deals, and neither SoundCloud nor the labels have commented about the ongoing negotiations.
Here’s some more detail about On SoundCloud, our new creator partner program. Here’s the full breakdown.
On SoundCloud has three tiers: Partner, Pro and Premier.
The Partner tier is for you if you’re just getting started: it’s free and easy to join the community, share your first track, receive feedback and get basic stats.
The Pro Partner level is a paid offering if you’re ready to take the next step On SoundCloud. Pros get more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. As an added benefit, at the Partner and Pro levels, we’ve increased upload time by 50% — you’ll get it automatically if you already have a Pro or free account.
At the Premier partner level, creators will have the opportunity to make money from their tracks through advertising. It also includes Pro features and more benefits. At launch, entry to the Premier tier is by invitation. Monetization occurs only on content when it’s played in the US. We’ll open up the program to more creators and more countries as fast as we can.
The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators. Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid. If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners. We’re bringing ads on gradually. In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud.
Creators have been at the heart of SoundCloud from the beginning. As we continue to develop our creator partner program we will bring you more tools, support, offerings and opportunities. We can’t wait to hear what you create On SoundCloud!
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