— Before days of dominance by Spotify, iTunes, and Deezer within the music streaming spectrum, Soundcloud was quickly on its way to becoming a leader in that realm, if it already wasn’t. The beloved platform birthed many of today’s hottest artists thanks to a very loyal listener base, sleek web design and features, plus simplicity of use. The website and the mobile app have both held their weight in gold – at least from the perspective of use and interaction.
SOUNDCLOUD STREAMING DOWNHILL
Despite critically successful levels of engagement, Soundcloud was days away from filing bankruptcy during May 2017. Gracefully, ‘angel’ investors gathered to drop a $170M investment that loosened the financial constraints on its operations. Many thought that Chance The Rapper had made investments into the company since he credits it with much of his early success however, this theory has yet to be confirmed. What we do know is, Raine Group and Temasek (a Singapore based wealth fund) blessed the streaming giant with most, if not all of the required investment to bounce out of debt.
Just had a very fruitful call with Alex Ljung. @SoundCloud is here to stay.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
GO! SOUNDCLOUD GO!
With the previous fault of non-monetized users lingering in its collective memory bank, long gone are the days of ad-free streaming (for free accounts). To beef up the income, various incentivized account options are also available to streamers and creators alike.
Soundcloud Go: $4.99 (allows access to 120M+ songs.)
Soundcloud Go+: $9.99 (includes access to 30M more premier quality songs.)
Uploads for Creatives
Soundcloud Basic: FREE (allows for only 3 hours of upload time plus very basic capabilities.)
Soundcloud Pro: $8.99 (allows for 6 hours of upload time plus advanced stats and features.)
Soundcloud Pro Unlimited: $16.99 (allows for unlimited upload time, full stats and features, including scheduled releases).
The elephant in the room here is that Soundcloud has also upped the ante by now paying artists! Note: A Soundcloud Pro account is mandatory.
SOUNDCLOUD PREMIER MONETIZATION
I’ve known that such a move would be made but just never knew when. [Playing devil’s advocate] Likely they’ve planned this all along but simply needed to get in a better financial state first. I personally haven’t uploaded any real content to the platform in quite some time and have chosen Spotify, Apple Music and others above Soundcloud because no compensation was offered. Surely, many other artists may have chosen to take this stance as well. Well now, the floodgates of your catalog can now be opened and the criterion for eligibility can be seen below. I snatched this directly from Soundcloud.
- You must be an independent creator of original music (at this time we cannot accept mixes or podcast content)
- You must have zero copyright strikes at the time you enroll (You would have received an email from us if you have a copyright strike. Learn more about our copyright policies.)
- You must be a SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited subscriber
- Monetizable streams come from at least one of these eligible countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand and any other territories designated by SoundCloud as eligible
- Humans are listening to your tracks (bot streams will not be counted)
Soundcloud and Instagram Connect
As an encore to newly announced artist payouts, Soundcloud has also enabled direct song sharing via Instagram. Fashioned in the same manner as Spotify’s sharing to Instagram Stories, your Insta-family can now seamlessly indulge in your work from IG. All you have to do is share it!
Are you an independent artist or music fan? If so, how do you feel about this upgrade in service by Soundcloud? Everyone who loves the platform should be excited! Creators have more incentive to share their art and us fans should definitely stick around for it – or come back around for it in my case. – Words by Horus Gump