SoundCloud’s updated artist contract is seriously troubling for music creators
It’s been a rocky couple of years for SoundCloud to say the least. The platform is an undisputed facet of dance music’s rise and directly helped bring exposure and breaks to artists too numerous to name. Despite this, there were whispers the streaming giant was on the ropes last year, before they thankfully put them to rest. With Spotify quickly rising to the forefront of the streaming economy, the onus has been on SoundCloud to reinvigorate its status as a service built for music creators. Despite a flurry of shiny new updates like Instagram stories integration, the fine print in the platform’s recent artist contract reveals some deeply troubling pitfalls for unsuspecting musicians.
The two largest black marks in the usual mountain of legalese can be boiled down to two wince-worthy truths. First, although SoundCloud touts its revenue split as the strongest in streaming, they can change pretty much anything they want in terms of when, how, and how much artists get paid at their discretion – which leads worryingly into the second bombshell. Regardless of the non-exclusive nature of the artist agreement, artists taking part effectively sign away any ability to ever take legal action against the Soundcloud. The combination essentially grants SoundCloud the freedom to change anything and everything they want about the contract in the future on the fly, even if it’s an exceedingly raw deal for artists, and guarantee zero repercussions. The situation is a troubling one for the wide array of creators who continue to find their footing in the SoundCloud ecosystem.
H/T: The Verge