It’s been a long time coming, but SoundCloud has finally announced its new SoundCloud Premier program that allows artists on the platform to monetize the streams they’re getting. There are still some questions about the program and exactly how much will be paid out, but just launching it is a big step in the right direction, as any SoundCloud artist will tell you.
The new SoundCloud Premier program is open to artists 18 and older who currently pay the service $8 to $16 per month for hosting their songs. There are more requirements though, as the program is only available to those that get over 5,000 streams per month from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, and New Zealand, only publish original music, and have no copyright strikes listed against them. If you meet this criteria, you’re eligible to receive a revenue share that the company says, “meets or beats any other streaming service.” The problem is that the company hasn’t divulged how much that might be yet.
SoundCloud Premier offers more than just royalties though. Members can post an unlimited number of songs that become discoverable or monetizable right away, and get real-time fan feedback (it’s social!). The program is also immediately available to all members of the service’s Pro tier.
SoundCloud has 20 million artists already on the platform, but it hasn’t been able to turn them into a profitable business. It’s an invaluable service for most indie artists as it’s a repository for all their songs, but many artists get some big play numbers and until now haven’t been able to make a dime from it.
While it’s probably true that the majority artists in SoundCloud Premier will have a hard time earning enough money to pay for the service, it’s certainly an enticement for many that have avoided the platform until now.
Whether this program succeeds or not doesn’t matter. The music world needs SoundCloud, so anything that helps it stay afloat is a good thing.