Soundcloud Purge – Is your music still online?
Thump have called it ‘The Great SoundCloud Purge of 2015,’ and they’re not far off it seems as the troubles for the music hosting platform appear to be deepening.
Just last week we reported that PRS Music was taking legal action against Soundcloud and more reports have surfaced since then suggesting that the music business at large – i.e. the majors are putting extreme pressure on the website.
So, in reaction it seems that a Souncloud purge of all music it deems to infringe music copyrights has now become the company’s only option; of course they’ve been removing music sporadically for some time now, but this seems to have gone into overdrive, as reported by Thump.
The Berlin-based streaming platform has been struggling to monetize its business model for some time now and whilst free users won’t have been too bothered by it all, if you’re a premium user this Soundcloud purge will no doubt have you worried and maybe thinking of jumping ship.
Mixcloud seems to be the obvious choice since it only streams; i.e. no downloading option, which for a long time is what we all thought was the biggest issue the major labels had with Soundcloud.
But to be honest this too is likely to pose a problem because the future of generating revenue from recorded music seems to be reliant on streaming. With Apple Music launched recently, Spotify already in existence, TIDAL and several other platforms, this is where the music industry has invested its future!
So streaming for free will soon be regarded as piracy too!
What does this mean for DJs and producers?
This Soundcloud purge is a sign of things to come across all controlled platforms. What made the site so popular was the fact that DJs could host mixes and radio shows/podcasts on there. Producers could preview their tracks, or load full tracks on the site, and in fact even offer their music for download if they wanted.
It all seems fine if you’re creating original music, right?
Well producers will sometimes write a bootleg remix of a popular song; often just for fun and sometimes because they’re hoping it will gain some traction and possibly even be picked up by a label who will then take care of getting the samples cleared. Other times producers may just use one small uncleared sample; so it’s not a remix, it’s just a short music loop, riff or vocal sample. This Souncloud purge means if this gets picked up your track gets removed from your page.
Sadly this will make it difficult for bedroom producers to get their music to a slightly broader audience.
But for the underground electronic music industry the potential damage is more severe.
How does Souncloud know when to remove a track?
They use an algorithm that combs through your track or mix when you upload it and if it detects any unlicensed samples, a bootleg remix or any other sound samples that are not deemed royalty-free then your upload will be removed. The Souncloud policy is brutal; “take down first, dispute later”.
The problem is that Soundcloud have struggled to make a profit and as such turned to the major labels and publishing agencies to broker deals to stream their music and pay them.
The platform was once an amazing place to share your music/mixes and discover new music plus many independent labels used Soundcloud to find new artists, particularly in the electronic music world.
But where to go from here? As mentioned earlier streaming without paying could soon be deemed piracy too! Now there’s a thought to ponder!