SoundCloud introduces ads, heads towards paid subscription service
After a year of highs and lows for digital music streaming service, SoundCloud has announced plans to introduce advertising to its services alongside a creator partner program. The word came from founder and CEO Alex Ljung, who took to the platform’s blog to announce that the service would be taking on a select amount of high end brands as advertising partners, claiming that its ‘On SoundCloud’ initiative will ‘lay the foundations for creators to make money from their work on the platform.’
Pointing towards a speculated future in which SoundCloud is to become a paid subscription service, the platform will start by giving artists and label’s a shot at collecting royalties from their uploaded music for the first time. By invitation only, select users will be gradually invited to become premiere partners, giving them US facing advertisement scope from such partners as Red Bull, Jaguar and other high-end brands. No immediate timelines for its roll-out have been set, but the tone of Ljung’s post makes the move sound imminent, though ultimately affecting the North American market first.
2014 was the year SoundCloud finally had to answer to its unprecedented success. With major labels seeking equity in return for the use of copyrighted material on the platform, their move to advertisements will garner two significant considerations for users new and old alike: user experience and ease of monetization. Many have argued that this is a ‘better late than never’ move from the company, but users already hit by their rolling glitches and heavy handed takedowns are sure to approach sceptically. In the wake of Twitter dropping their interest in purchasing the platform, this could be a make or break move for SoundCloud in the final stretch of 2014.