Soundcloud may begin to pay artists royalties, as the company moves towards monetizing it's sound empire.
Currently Soundcloud closely rivals Youtube in terms of being the biggest music streaming site that operates on a free to use basis. However that looks like it could all change with an updated app for mobile that removes the upload functionality and replaces it with a user-based experience that focuses on the music feed. It marks the company shifting to a business model geared towards monetization, both for Soundcloud and for the artists who use it.
"Right now in the U.S. we're experimenting with different monetization approaches," co-founder Eric Wahlforss told The Guardian. "We're ... throwing a couple of things out there and testing the waters a bit. We're super-excited about where this stuff can go."
"When you have millions of followers and millions of listeners, you've got [a] point [in] expecting there to be some sort of monetization there. We hear that loud and clear," he added.
He also spoke of new products that utilized "native-type advertising", saying: "we're building a couple of other things as well ... I can't talk a lot in detail about it. It hasn't rolled out at any bigger scale yet, but we are looking to create a user experience that's very elegant, frictionless, open and also has an element of monetization."
This marks another contendor in the ring of music streaming services, with Spotify, Deezer, Beats, Youtube and now Soundcloud all going head to head. Soundcloud is currently ranked the No.2 service, just behind Youtube who are currently adjusting their terms to provide a subscription based streaming service, all while alienating independent labels along the way.