SoundCloud is the latest company to get in on the paid subscription streaming music craze. The company recently announced that a new service will be coming sometime this year, and they’ve just inked a deal with independent licensing agency, Merlin.
The idea behind this deal is to help indie labels earn plays through the site.
The Big Deal About Merlin
Merlin currently has deals with more than 20,000 labels, and now those labels will be able to make money through SoundCloud. This is good news for the various artist and labels that Merlin represents. Most independent labels and musicians are unknown by more popular crowds, but SoundCloud currently has more than 175 million monthly users. Labels and musicians can log into various media tools through the site that will make it a lot simpler to customize different tracks and cover art.
Other Labels Not Happy
Interestingly, as the independent labels that Merlin represents move happily to Spotify, some bigger labels are moving away from the streaming company. Sony was one of the first to move away from SoundCloud claiming that there were not enough monetization opportunities through the company. SoundCloud doesn’t pay royalties like Spotify and other companies do, and this is an automatic turnoff for bigger labels and even some smaller ones.
SoundCloud argues that playtime is selling time, and the more that people hear songs and connect those songs to labels, the more those labels will be able to sell. If you look at it from SoundCloud’s perspective, it makes sense. But, bigger labels tend to want ways to monetize right away, so SoundCloud might be an excellent resource for those smaller labels, but not so much for the bigger ones.
For the time being, SoundCloud functions as a way for independent labels and artists to hear good music, play music, and socialize. But, SoundCloud wants to move into the streaming sphere, and that might be more difficult than where the company exists right now. So far, the streaming world is jam-packed with companies trying to edge each other out. Whether or not SoundCloud will be able to compete where that’s concerned remains to be seen.
Some suspect that Merlin has claimed equity in the company as part of the new deal. Neither company is commenting on that speculation right now. However, SoundCloud has stated that the company is definitely getting into the streaming scene, so that should be coming within the near future. It has also been mentioned that SoundCloud is in negotiations with Universal, but neither company has commented on that situation either.
More Streaming Options
All of this means that there are going to be a number of streaming options for people that are looking for a streaming service other than Spotify. Where Spotify once cornered the market, there are a number of other players entering the scene including SoundCloud. If you do like indie music, check out the site right now to see what Merlin has to offer - it should be up and running as you read this.