SoundCloud Warner sign deal to pay royalties
The SoundCloud Warner Music Group deal to pay royalties every time a WMG song is played on the music hosting platform has been signed.
Last month SoundCloud started serving adverts to its customers who use the free music hosting platform to listen to music or to host their own productions or mixes.
The SoundCloud Warner deal is said not to encompass the entire Warner music catalogue although no details as to which artists are included have been revealed yet.
Recent reports surfaced that SoundCloud have given Universal Music Group partial ownership of the platform and it has also been reported that Warner Music Group have similarly inked some sort of ownership deal.
Warner Music, although the smallest of the three global music companies has a massive catalogue of music and is the biggest global publisher so as a music listener it is almost impossible not to be fans of some of their artists, unless you have the most obscure of tastes in history!
SoundCloud Under Fire
SoundCloud has taken some serious flack recently with their deleting of music and even entire accounts on their platform citing copyright infringements at the request of the major music labels. American house DJ and producer Kaskade had most of his music on his SoundCloud page deleted and the American Hip Hop blog This Song is Sick saw their entire page suspended. At the time the site was on the verge of breaking the 500 million plays benchmark and were getting up to 2 million plays per day. The page is back up and running so things must have been resolved. It reminds one though, of the imperious line one treads setting up an entire business reliant on a 3rd party platform.
Whilst a Pro account has been available for some time for users wanting to host a substantial amount of content and also be able to access their metrics, SoundCloud have two other revenue streams, one which was launched recently and a second planned for early 2015. Last month they launched their ad-serving service. This means that all visitors will be hit with adverts while listening and browsing music on the music platform. The premium service will be ad free. Now it stands to reason that for the premium service to be viable, free users are going to be hit with a lot of advertising in the future. But that’s if SoundCloud can find enough advertisers and if so, do those looking to stream for free really care about some banners floating about? Unless they intend to create breaks in the music with audio adverts (imagine that?) – this business model sounds flawed. Is the prospect of listeners being exposed to adverts enough to drive them to a premium account? It hasn’t deterred YouTube listeners, still the world’s biggest source of music streaming.
The saddest part of this SoundCloud Warner deal and indeed the deals with any of the majors is if it stops the uploading of bootleg remixes entirely. Historically some producers have launched their careers on the back of doing an awesome bootleg remix which then got picked up and officially released.