SoundCloud has reached a deal with Warner Music Group
After months of negotiations that ebbed and flowed for and against SoundCloud, the YouTube of Audio has just finalized its first licensing deal with Warner Music Group. One of the three major record labels, Warner’s roster includes dance icon David Guetta and countless other top tier EDM artists. The deal will see Warner and SoundCloud partnering around its ad-supported program “On SoundCloud” as well as a future paid subscription service due to launch in the first half of 2015.
“We’re thrilled that Warner Music Group will be the first major label to join our new creator partner program,” said Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud’s founder & CEO, in a statement. “We expect to generate significant revenue for Warner and its artists in the months and years ahead as we roll out an ad-supported offering and subscription service that delivers real value to the industry.”
Prior to this agreement being reached it was reported that negotiations had halted, noting that Sony, WMG and Universal were unhappy with the startup’s licensing terms. As of writing there are currently no further details on the specifics of the agreement or if the other two majors are working on their own terms as well.
“This leading-edge partnership reflects WMG’s commitment to establishing new and alternative business models that recognize the value of music for our artists,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Operating Officer/Corporate, WMG in a statement. “SoundCloud is a platform built on music innovation and it has a rare ability to drive music discovery while enhancing the connection and collaboration between an artist and their following. Our deal will foster that relationship, while providing a powerful range of income opportunities for WMG’s artists and songwriters.”
The ramifications for independent music creators who use copyrighted material owned by Warner for their unofficial remixes and DJ mixes is yet to be determined, but hopefully this will play out in everyone’s favor. The labels get paid, SoundCloud thrives, and the artistic freedom that it fosters lives to see another day.