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SoundCloud Changes Monetization System To Help Indie Artists Better

There are different types of social media sites. There is jack-of-all-trades like Facebook and, to some extent, Twitter. Then, there are others that focus on content creation. These platforms help aspiring talents achieve success in their chosen field. Prime examples are video streaming sites YouTube and TikTok. TikTok specifically helps short-form video creators to get famous. Meanwhile, YouTube'sYouTube's focus is on long-form content creators, though it is starting to support short-form creators as well. 

Aside from providing a space where they can upload their works, these platforms help creators make a living. Through different business or monetization models, they convert the views to money. Perhaps, it is why they are popular among artists.

SoundCloud Changes Monetization System To Help Indie Artists Better

For music artists, one of the best choices is actually buying real plays on SoundCloud. Sure they can upload their works on YouTube. But that means they have to compete against a bunch of other content. Considering the size of YouTube, that will not be easy. Besides, music artists and YouTube cannot seem to come to terms. 

On SoundCloud, there are no vlogs, make-up tutorials, and video gameplays. There is only music. Thus, it is a platform where musicians and artists can thrive. 

SoundCloud'sSoundCloud's Various Efforts At Helping Artists

The platform has been helping aspiring music artists since its inception. Since then, it has been the place where new talents take the first step in their careers. 

Again, SoundCloud does not only offer a free space where users can upload their works. It has various programs that help artists establish their identity or brand. 

For instance, artists who are ready to take their careers to the next level can subscribe to Repost by SoundCloud. Repost by SoundCloud is a distribution service that will increase the reach of the artists, bringing them closer to fame. 

Aside from Repost, there are also third-party companies like the Supreme Team that can help in advertising an artist's works. They will boost engagements and popularize the artists. Services like these will not exist if there is no SoundCloud.

Aside from those, SoundCloud has accelerator programs. First on SoundCloud is a program made to support artists breaking on SoundCloud. One of the recent efforts in the program is the weekly talk series on Clubhouse. Each week, a First on SoundCloud program is featured. It allows the artists to connect to fans and make them understand their music and their journey. It is a great move that establishes their relationship with the public.

On another yet similar note, SoundCloud has recently announced new A&R partnerships. It will help artists and record labels achieve success.

SoundCloud Changes Monetization System To Help Indie Artists Better

Aside from that, since last year, SoundCloud started Rewind. SoundCloud Rewind is a monthly blog series that lists and features ten tracks that caught their attention. With Rewind, SoundCloud is able to increase the visibility of some artists by directing listeners to their profiles. Aside from the featured artists, SoundCloud also lists similar ones for recommendations.

Clearly, SoundCloud wants what is best for its artists. That is why it is changing its way of monetization. The shift was inspired by the desire to help indie artists better.  

Fan-Powered Royalties

SoundCloud is doing something that could revolutionize music streaming services. It is paying indie artists a share of their actual listeners' subscription fees. It calls its new monetization system “fan-powered royalties.” 

In the old system, SoundCloud subscribers' subscription fees or advertising revenue goes into a big pot. Then, it is split up among the platform's most popular artists. It chooses them based on their share of total streams. Thus, the megastars are the ones who benefit the most from this.

 In the revised system, SoundCloud will divide it up among the artists the subscribers actually listen to. It means that the more fans listening to an artist's music, the more he earns. The past system does not translate to that. So, this is something that indie artists have wished for and pushed for. Finally, they can feel that their hard work is paying off.

SoundCloud started implementing fan-powered royalties on April 01, 2021.

To paint a clearer picture of the difference, SoundCloud cited two artists. Under the old industry payout model, the first one makes $120 per month. Under the fan-powered royalties, however, he makes $600 per month. Likewise, the second artist's monthly payout increases by a whopping 217% under the new model. 

The fan-powered royalties help indie artists compete with other personalities that are already successful in the industry. With SoundCloud leveling the playing field, they are given their chance to shine. This is the empowerment that SoundCloud wants to give its artists and fans. It also encourages the growth of local scenes and new genres.

The platform understands that fans play a significant, more direct role in the artists' success. So it does its best to connect them. Artists can see who are the fans that are contributing to their royalties through their insight dashboard. With this information in their hands, they can forge a deeper connection with them. 

SoundCloud Changes Monetization System To Help Indie Artists Better


Every artist SoundCloud monetizes through its SoundCloud Premier, Repost by SoundCloud, and Repost Select are automatically qualified. 

However, SoundCloud has not yet worked out a deal with the three major record labels Warner, Sony, and Universal.


Since this is something new, we still don't know if it will stay as effective as it is today after a long time. The model is still experimental. But, it will be a game-changer in the music streaming and music industry in general if it is successful. Other platforms can follow SoundCloud's example, which will open many opportunities for independent artists. For up-and-coming singers and musicians, it will provide a huge boost in their careers. 

On the other hand, even if it fails, it will not be considered a wasted effort. It will allow SoundCloud to see the issues that could hinder the growth of indie artists. Using that knowledge, SoundCloud can find new solutions that could hopefully give indie artists the support they deserve. But, based on the figures we saw, this scenario is less likely to happen.  

Date: August 10, 2021 / Categories: New Stuff, Tips, / Author: Joy P


Joy P

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