2015 is the year that SoundCloud needs to implement a monetization strategy - both for itself and for the creators that have made the platform so popular. Today the company released the first stats from its Partner platform which launched last August to address the problem.
This morning SoundCloud announced that they've signed up 100 Premier Partners and paid them $1 million in advertising revenue since launching 6 months ago.
SoundCloud has been under pressure from the major labels and other rights holders to monetize more of the content available on the platform. Negotiations have been rumored to be difficult, but ongoing; and in August, SoundCloud added advertising with the promise of sharing that revenue with approved Premier Partners.
Six month later, the list of Premier Partners receiving payments - though including some significant creators like Green Label Sound, Sizzlebird, Maker Studios, Epic Rap Battles and comedian Kim Dawson - totals just 100, all in the U.S.
175 Million Monthly Users = $166,000 Monthly Payments
Payments to these Premier Partners total $1 million since August, according to SoundCloud. That's an average of just $10,000 per partner. Meaning that SoundCloud has $166,000 a month in payments from a service that as of December 2014 attracts more than 175 million unique users a month listening to free content from creators who upload 12 hours of audio every minute.
SoundCloud, which was founded in 2008, has said that they will expand the Premier Partner program outside of the U.S. and to more creators; but have decline to say when.