A few days ago, we reported on a leaked contract from Soundcloud that outlined their plans for the future. It touched on the amount of money they would be paying major labels, and how this would affect the user. They announced two new paid platforms for users, allowing more access to the site and downloads.
At this point that is all common practice with those just looking to listen to music having free roam, and only those looking to upload more than a few hours of music having to pay. This looked bleak for Soundcloud, and the news didn't sit well with the company that was already facing a rough struggle while battling both fans and record label owners.
You can read more about that initial story from the link above, but now The New York Times has reported on a major royalty deal that is a clear step in the right direction for Soundcloud. While they previously reached a deal with Warner yet continue to struggle with Sony and Universal, the website founded in 2007 and reportedly servicing over 175 million people each month has reached a deal with over 20,000 record labels.
Some of these include some of the biggest independent labels and label families, including names like Beggars Group (FKA Twigs, Vampire Weekend), Secretly Group (Bon Iver), and legendary electronic labels like Warp Records (Aphex Twin, Hudson Mohawke, Squarepusher). The deal was made through Merlin, and organization that represents small companies in digital negotiations.
This deal follows another recent step in the right direction, announcing a partnership with the National Publishers' Association. While there are still major deals to be made for Soundcloud to become fully legal and cover all formal licensing deals, it's a positive look in a rocky time for the site.
“Independent creators have always been at the core of SoundCloud, and with this partnership we’re thrilled to extend new revenue-generating opportunities to thousands of independent labels,” Alexander Ljung, one of the founders of SoundCloud, said in a statement."
Soundcloud reportedly has paid over $2 million in royalties since starting their advertising platform last year, up from the previous amount of zero, but that wasn't enough to impress Sony who continues to pull more music off the platform. Madeon spoke of his music getting removed a few weeks ago, but we still haven't seen that happen.
You can read the full story on The New York Times, and get a feel for the steps Soundcloud is taking to remain legal, generate money, and keep as many people happy as possible.