Globally popular, and perseveringly free, music streaming platform SoundCloud has finally decided to slightly change the rules of the game. The Berlin-based company announced a new program titled OnSoundCloud where a ‘Premier’ tier will let the users get more upload time as well as the chance to make money out of their music they put on the platform. And the money to be paid to the creators will be financed via ads.
The company says the Premier partner level will give the artists the opportunity to make money from their tracks “through advertising”. At the launch, entry to the Premier tier will be by invitation, the company says, and monetization will occur only on content when it’s played in the US. The program will be opening to more countries very soon.
The announcement reads “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.”
SoundCloud will sign music companies to run ads on its service and the incoming money will go to the content provider, says Jeff Toig, SoundCloud’s chief business officer, to The New York Times. Red Bull, Jaguar and Comedy Central are among the first recruits whose ads will run with the licensed content. Sony/ATV and BMG are among the initial content partners.
The NYT also says the company is preparing to introduce a paid subscription option for listeners who may wish to avoid ads.