The music streaming service SoundCloud took to their blog last week to announce a new licensing deal with Sony Music Entertainment (SME).
With the signing of the new partnership, the extensive battle SoundCloud has had with Sony will finally come to an end. In the past year, SME began cracking down on the what, if any, content the streaming service would be allowed to maintain on their site. The copyright claims SME didn’t only remove songs from SoundCloud. The removals included accounts, compilations and even any DJ mixes that included a sample or any variation of a SME-owned song. The reasoning for this, according to Billboard, was that both SME and Columbia Records were upset that there had been “a lack of monetization opportunities.”
Ultimately, the idea that artists weren’t receiving royalties for content posted to the site is what was causing the biggest of the issues. With the new deal, SME is able to provide artists with the tools they need to begin creating a more professional portfolio of sorts.
Along with their free and pro accounts, SoundCloud has added a Premier partnership account. With the account, artists are able to monetize what they post, specifically in the United States, “build and optimize their presence with access to promotional opportunities,” and have better control of their content with more stats and tools. The free account has no cost, but has uploading limitations while the Pro account has two different price points to choose from. Though you are able to sign up for both of those accounts from the website, the Premier account requires SoundCloud to be contacted, more than likely to verify affiliations and the like.
According to The New York Times, SoundCloud currently has a library of more than 100 million songs–all of them provided free of charge–for the more than 350 million monthly listeners. With the new deal, there will surely be a paid subscription service as a result.
This isn’t the first deal signed by SoundCloud. Last year, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) announced they had completed a music rights agreement with SoundCloud. The NMPA was previously another company not in agreement with the lack of monetization generated by the service. According to Billboard, NMPA CEO David Israelite said in a statement the agreement they signed “ensures that when SoundCloud succeeds financially” the “songwriters whose content draws so many users to their site” will also benefit. The wait wasn’t long as the SME signing will allow them to move forward with the monetization.
SoundCloud began in August 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden by a Ljung, a sound designer, and Wahlforss, a Swedish artist. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that they received funding for the site and eventually began to expand at a greater pace. SoundCloud currently has multiple partnerships allowing them to distribute content without breaking copyright laws, but as with any other service, there are still users who upload copyrighted content. As the constant fight to remove that content continues, the new deal with Sony will alleviate a bit of the headache as more music will be available on the platform.