SoundCloud is adding advertising to fund payments to artists and labels who agree to participate in a new Premier Partner program. The terms of the invite only program were not disclosed. A deal with major labels is expected to be announced soon, but today's announcement was about reassuring the hundreds of thousands of indie artists who use the platform, that they may be able to make money there.
Invite Only, For Now
SoundCloud membership now dubbed On SoundCloud, is divided into three tiers. The Partner tier is free and allows new users to join the community, share their first track, and get feedback and basic stats. The Pro level offers more upload time and features like more detailed stats. Premier Partners add exclusive features, promotional opportunities, and can start making money on the platform. For now, access to Premier is by invitation, but SoundCloud says that will change soon.
Ads To Be Phased In Slowly
"The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators. Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid. If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners. We’re bringing ads on gradually," the company said in a statement. "In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud. Audio ads will only be served on the content of Premier Partners with their explicit consent. If you have a Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited account, you will not have any audio ads placed on your tracks."
Webiste platform Squarespace is one of Soundcloud's initial ad partners.