SoundCloud, the site that offers visitors music from independent artists, is changing. After years of looking into ways of acquiring music license deals, including an ill-fated deal with Sony, the highly-trafficked site finally found a taker. SoundCloud and Merlin will partner up, offering an improved ad-revenue sharing program for independent musicians. The news was reported in an article published on the Verge.
Merlin represents over 20,000 independent artists and groups. The agreement with SoundCloud is a win for up-and-coming musicians looking for some type of compensation for their hard work and burgeoning product.
In the eight years of its existence, SoundCloud has acted as a hub, a liaison if you will, for the underground artists to have their music heard. Unheard music, underappreciated artists, and those looking to unveil new music or build their following have found SoundCloud to be a perfect place. And now, those artists will get paid.
In order to make the changes that SoundCloud wants to implement, including a subscription service similar to Spotify and Pandora, there are a couple of contingency moves that must take place.
First, they will have hammer out a deal with at least two of the major players in the music biz. Having a licensing deal already in place with Warner Music Group helps, but in order to really capitalize on a golden opportunity, they will need their talks with Universal to end favorably. They also need Sony to come back into the fold.
As it stands, SoundCloud can hold its own by just having independent artists and by catering to those who seek out unheard music. Without having the big boys playing with them, SoundCloud will do fine. In the end, it is all about business, and having Sony, Warner Music Group, and others in the fold is great for business.
What is also great for business is having a plan that will sustain SoundCloud’s relevance for years to come. Growth coming from the allowance of podcasts was next on the agenda. As reported by the News Web, SoundCloud will look to strike a balance with its investors.
As some streaming companies, ala Spotify, are looking at video as a means of growth, there are new companies, Tidal for instance, that are looking to gain a following.
What SoundCloud has offered over the years is a good mix of independent music from underground artists and established musicians looking to create a buzz for their mixtapes. As SoundCloud looks into the future, there are hopes that the deals they are putting together will sustain them for the long haul. Having acquired a licensing deal with Merlin goes a long way.