We’ve been talking about it since July, but Warner finally pulled the trigger. Last month, it didn’t even seem like Universal was part of the equation anymore. However, according to the Wall Street Journal today, Souncloud and Warner Music Group have signed a licensing agreement, with royalties going to Warner, even just for mashups. We should have seen it coming too — in late-July, SoundCloud acquired Warner’s Stephen Bryan, who began “playing the role of biz dev and strategy executive.”
As part of the agreement, SoundCloud will begin offering a premium subscription to users sometime in the first half of 2015. Along with their “On SoundCloud” service, the Berlin-based company has begun rolling out massive updates that serve to create cash flow within the site and now with the labels, as well. Though, if you think back to just two months ago, SoundCloud’s chief business officer Jeff Toig revealed that “its journey to monetisation for creators was always part of its business plan.” According to The Verge, “The free, ad-supported service that millions of consumers use every month will remain available, though we don’t yet know much about what’s planned for paying listeners.”
This comes as just the latest in a string of updates (1) (2) (3) from SoundCloud that continues to baffle users. While their servers randomly crash and loading times vary, while errors are rampant and genuine creators get their works taken down, SoundCloud continues to focus more on monetisation than the functionality of its own site or the trust of its users.
Check out these other articles if you’re looking to jump ship now, before it’s too late.
H/T: The Verge