SoundCloud Introduces Advertising for the First Time

It’s been a big week in the world of digital music. On Tuesday, DJ Skee announced the launch of DASH Radio and Mixcloud unveiled subscription plans, and today, SoundCloud debuted a three-tiered program which introduces advertising to the platform for the first time.
Recognizing that not every artist has the same needs, On SoundCloud comes in three different flavors: Partner, Pro Partner and Premium Partner.
The free Partner tier is for beginners that don’t need a lot of upload time or advanced analytics while the Pro Partner tier is a paid plan for those that need more upload time, advanced tools and other nifty features.
Last but not least, SoundCloud is inviting select partners to participate in the Premium tier which gives creators the opportunity to make money through advertising. It also includes Pro features and more benefits.
SoundCloud’s Chief Business Officer Jeff Toig told Billboard:

“This is where we start to figure out how to generate revenue and help our creators make money in order to enable them to build careers with us . . . When Alex [Ljung, SoundCloud’s CEO] and Eric [Wahlforss, SoundCloud’s CTO] founded the company, they really saw an opportunity to build a business with a global, open platform that would kind of evolve over time.”

It should be noted that today’s announcement is not the result of SoundCloud’s on-going talks with the major labels. Toig told Billboard that the company is in “active and ongoing, advanced discussions” with Sony, Universal and Warner Music, but that this week’s launch was meant to illustrate how SoundCloud can be for anyone.
He continued, “SoundCloud is not just a service that depends on the majors only — although we do work with them and hundreds of their artists all the time, and we’d obviously love to have them onboard . . . But there is a much broader creative ecosystem here and we’re really keen to represent that in a full and complete way.”
Toig also said a paid subscription service is expected to be launched in the coming months, although details about the plan were not mentioned.
Related: SoundCloud Removes 70% of Kaskade’s Content

SoundCloud Reportedly Close to Deals with Major Labels

SoundCloud is close closing deals with all three major record labels in exchange for an agreement “not to sue the startup for copyright violations,” reports Bloomberg.
The negotiations are said to be with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, which could potentially receive “roughly 3 percent to 5 percent stake [in SoundCloud] along with a percentage of future revenue,” according to unidentified sources who spoke with Bloomberg.
The digital music service has faced increased pressure from labels in recent months to stem the tide of copyright violations. As a result, analysts believe that SoundCloud stepped up their efforts to remove unlicensed content, a move that’s angered many users.
Last month, Kaskade voiced his disappointment with SoundCloud after the service removed 70% of his uploads. The legendary DJ/producer also announced plans to launch his own platform in response to the crackdown.
SoundCloud has long been the go-to service for DJs to host their mixes at. However, some users have migrated to other platforms such as iTunes, Mixcloud, Mixcrate, and PodOmatic as SoundCloud becomes an increasingly hostile environment for DJs.
At this point, it’s uncertain how a deal with major labels might affect the DJ community.
Related: SoundCloud Removes 70% of Kaskade’s Content

SoundCloud Removes 70% of Kaskade’s Content

Earlier today, Kaskade revealed that 70% of his uploads have been taken down by SoundCloud. The legendary house DJ/producer spoke out about the situation in a series of tweets:

Kaskade then announced that he’ll be building his own direct-to-fan site, which we presume will be similar to the one Deadmau5 launched last year:

It didn’t take long for Kaskade’s label Ultra Music to respond though. The company’s reply suggests that they’re currently working with SoundCloud to restore his content:

Even if Kaskade gets his content back, the current situation reaffirms concerns that SoundCloud is increasingly becoming a hostile platform for DJs and producers.
Recent reports have indicated that SoundCloud is in talks with major labels to stem the tide of “unauthorized uploads.” This has led many analysts to believe that the current barrage of take down notices are a result of possible negotiations.
So how will this affect the DJ and producer community at large? Numerous people have reported similar issues in recent weeks, but many of them aren’t fortunate enough to have the relationships and leverage of artists such as Kaskade.
Have you been affected by take down notices from SoundCloud? Do you have plans to switch to another service? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Related: DJcity Partners with Mixcloud

Twitter Reportedly Considering Buying SoundCloud

Twitter is reportedly considering a deal to buy SoundCloud, according to tech news website Re/code.
The streaming service describes itself as the “YouTube of audio” and claims to have 250 million users.
SoundCloud is currently valued at $700 million, based on a $60 million round of funding earlier this year. If a deal goes through, it would mark Twitter’s most expensive acquisition ever.
Last year, Twitter introduced a music app called “Twitter Music,” which was intended to help users discover new artists and songs. However, the service was pulled in March due to a lack of consumer interest.
In addition to its failed music service, Twitter’s lack of user growth is also a thorn in its back. The company’s stock recently took a beating when its first quarter growth failed to impress some investors.
We’ll be watching this story closely and provide updates as they unfold.
Related: SoundCloud in Licensing Talks with Record Labels

SoundCloud in Licensing Talks with Record Labels


SoundCloud is currently engaged in “serious” licensing discussions with major labels and publishers, according to sources who spoke to Digital Music News.

For years, users have uploaded unlicensed audio to SoundCloud, which is one of the world’s leading streaming platforms. As a result, the Germany-based company implemented a content identification system and copyright holders are able to issue take downs. This arrangement is no longer enough to please rights holders, though.

“The rules are pretty simple: as long as a process exists to eliminate content that is flagged by the content owner, SoundCloud steers clear of any legal entanglements. The only problem is that rights owners are responsible for notifying SoundCloud each and every time an infraction occurs, which is essentially impossible.”

It’s too early to know how these discussions will affect the DJ community but it’s safe to say competing platforms such as iTunes, Mixcloud and Mixcrate might greatly benefit as a result.

Related: DJcity Partners with Mixcloud