Soundcloud just announced today that they are beginning to roll out the “On Soundcloud” program, which will allow them to run ads within the platform. It’s unknown how the full ad rollout will work, and if banner ads will be included, but we can assume they will start with pre-roll ads before audio plays (similar to what you see on Youtube). Soundcloud’s position on the matter is that you will be giving back to the artist on every soundcloud ad you run.
Soundcloud has undergone quite a bit of change as a company recently, from raising $500 million in funding and platform redesign, to a potential buyout from twitter, to cutting in record labels on shares of the company to avoid copyright disputes, and increased copyright restraints on music uploads (we had to remove half of the tracks on our soundcloud account to avoid multiple copyright strikes). The thing is, that $500 million round of funding didn’t appear out of thin air, and the investors at hand want to see some revenue from their investment, plain and simple. Not to mention the fact that society has shifted to streaming v.s.buying music, which has hurt big time labels immensely; they need to make money of these streams as well.
As a dedicated soundcloud user from its early development, it definitely feels like the platform is losing the no-bullshit all about the music mentality that it once had. For now we’ll have to see how they implement the new ad platform rollout (which is only starting on an invite only basis), but I can already see a lot of industry people unhappy with the update. Who knows, maybe the new format will be beneficial for artists on the come up and help them make some extra revenue from their releases? Youtube does is right now, and people have adjusted to the pre-roll ads and artists are making (some) money (while labels rake it in). Or maybe everyone will just get so annoyed that a new platform will emerge in its place. In the meantime, you can check out the official statement from soundcloud below. Holler in the comments and let us know what you think about the new changes they have have in store.
On SoundCloud has three tiers: Partner, Pro and Premier.
The Partner tier is for you if you’re just getting started: it’s free and easy to join the community, share your first track, receive feedback and get basic stats.
The Pro Partner level is a paid offering if you’re ready to take the next step On SoundCloud. Pros get more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. As an added benefit, at the Partner and Pro levels, we’ve increased upload time by 50% — you’ll get it automatically if you already have a Pro or free account.
At the Premier partner level, creators will have the opportunity to make money from their tracks through advertising. It also includes Pro features and more benefits. At launch, entry to the Premier tier is by invitation. Monetization occurs only on content when it’s played in the US. We’ll open up the program to more creators and more countries as fast as we can.
The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators. Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid. If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners. We’re bringing ads on gradually. In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud.
Creators have been at the heart of SoundCloud from the beginning. As we continue to develop our creator partner program we will bring you more tools, support, offerings and opportunities. We can’t wait to hear what you create On SoundCloud!