The streaming wars have pit the likes of Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud, Pandora and many others against each other, but a new player is about to emerge: Mixcloud. Initially seen as a decent alternative to Soundcloud, Mixcloud—up to now—primarily served users with mixes, podcasts and radio shows, but a new licensing deal with Warner Music may launch its popularity into the streaming stratosphere.
Mixcloud’s licensing deal with Warner Music will allow Mixcloud access to the label’s extensive catalog, which includes music from artists ranging from Ed Sheeran to Coldplay, David Guetta to Clean Bandit and all of Spinnin’ Records. To top it off, reports indicate Mixcloud also has negotiations open with Sony and Universal, two of the other three major record conglomerates. These deals pave the way for Mixcloud to launch a brand-new streaming service.
Interestingly Mixcloud co-founder Nico Perez rejects the notion that Mixcloud’s eventual streaming service will attempt to compete with the likes of Spotify, instead opting for specialized programming that will offer users access to exclusive radio shows and programs. The specific details of the service are to be officially announced, but Perez told Financial Times “what [they’re] building is going to be very customised.” Ole Obermann, Warner Music’s chief digital officer, told FT that “if [they] do this right, you could see people subscribe to more than one service,” a huge win for labels looking to maximize profits from the music streaming economy.
Founded in 2005 as a mission to provide a “YouTube for audio” platform, Mixcloud’s continuing growth hints at a potentially huge competitor in the music streaming space. While Mixcloud faced limitations from lack of music licensing up to this point—which prevented the website from offering direct downloads and having to rely on radio licenses—the licensing deal with Warner opens the floodgates for its services to its users. It remains to be seen how a new, paid service will fare in the very competitive market, but rest assured we are very curious to find out.