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By Sydney Gore

SoundCloud is known for being an accessible and affordable digital music platform for rising artists. It has always been an ad-free space, but that’s about to change.

As of today, SoundCloud will be incorporating audio advertisements and paid subscriptions to its streaming services. The Berlin company announced that it is in the process of introducing a new advertising initiative that is part of a larger three-tiered monetization strategy that will be available starting this week. The Premier tier is called On SoundCloud, an invite-only partner program that grants subscribers the ability to monetize musical content through select advertising. Essentially, when you hear an ad, the artist you’re about to listen to is getting paid.

According to a report from Billboard, “80% of SoundCloud’s current uploads are from user-generated content, while 20% is derived from labels.” Supposedly, independent artists will not be disadvantaged with the new plan in motion, as some independent labels are already working out negotiations with SoundCloud for equity stakes in the company.

This move will most likely ease the pressure that SoundCloud gets over licensing content and reduce the amount of copyright infringement lawsuits. Still, everyone should be aware that SoundCloud has been active in communicating with Sony, Universal, and Warner Music though.SoundCloud has raised over $100 million in funding since founders Alex Ljung (CEO) and Eric Wahlforss (CTO) launched the outlet in 2007. The Swedish engineers aim to generate more revenue and to further evolve SoundCloud as a global platform in the music industry with this new business model.

Now, we’ll be forced to listen to 15 seconds worth of advertisements from the select brand partners (Red Bull, Jaguar, Sonos, Squarespace and Comedy Central) before we stream Drake’s latest remix. But hey, at least we get to choose the ads, right?


More details on SoundCloud’s new development are available here and here.