Soundcloud Announces Fan Powered Royalties

Soundcloud has announced their newest royalty distribution plan rolling out the first of April. Is it what artists have been asking for?


While acknowledging how influential the platform has been for us, independent artists have held issue with some of the ways SoundCloud conducts business. Quoting their own words, SoundCloud has been a platform that primarily benefits “mega stars.” SoundCloud has never been the biggest bread winner for aspiring artists, but with this announcement, our interest is peaked. Previously, royalties from the entire platform were put into one big pot, and distributed solely based on total plays in that time period. Let’s breakdown what’s changed.

Takeaways for artists

The way royalties are distributed will now be based on much more detailed analyses of each artist and their fans. With an equity-based focus, SoundCloud will take into account how long your fans listen during that pay period compared to the rest of their listen time. It will also take into account how many ads appeared while this artist was listening to your page.

So, if you have 10 solid fans who listen to 50 different artists, but devote 75 percent of their listening time to you, you will get 75 percent of the total revenue incurred by their listening. The other 25 percent would go to the 49 other artists.

In short, SoundCloud will be looking much more carefully at your fans engagement.

Who qualifies?

Here’s the sticky part. There are a few ways to qualify:

All of these ways, in some form or another, require a payment to SoundCloud. Soundcloud Premier requires you to have an active subscription to at least SoundCloud Pro. Repost requires you to pay $30 USD annually, and Repost Select is a top tier promotional tool offered to SoundCloud “subscribers,” by application or invitation. There are no eligibility requirements stated, but it gives the impression you need to be monetarily worth their time.

This is certainly a step in the right direction. It’s a very intriguing and exciting announcement, and you can read more in depth for yourself here.

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