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Larry Magid: SoundCloud Will Start Paying Artists, Introduces Ads

BERLIN (KCBS) – SoundCloud has announced it will start paying artists and record companies whose music appears on the popular streaming site.

Alex Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud, said in a blog post the company is launching On SoundCloud, a new creator partner program "that lays the foundation for creators to make money from their work on the platform."

Larry Magid: SoundCloud Will Start Paying Artists, Introduces Ads

On SoundCloud will have three tiers: Partner, Pro and Premier. The Partner tier is for those just starting out and remains free and easy to join the community. The Pro tier is a paid offering where users get more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. At the Premier level, creators will have the opportunity to make money from their tracks through advertising. At its launch, entry to this level is by invitation only and monetization only occurs on content played in the United States, though Ljung said they are working on "opening up the program to more creators and more countries as fast as we can."

SoundCloud said it is bringing ads on gradually, and they will only be served on the content of Premier Partners, with their consent. It's still unclear exactly how much artists will be paid.

Berlin-based SoundCloud has some 175 million unique listeners a month and is often called the "YouTube for Audio."

The company is the latest in a string of streaming services to unveil ways for artists to monetize through their platforms, including Pandora, Spotify and Bandpage.


You can hear Larry Magid's Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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