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Update: 21/08/2014, 2.13pm: Some more details are emerging about Soundcloud’s new Premier partner program which was announced earlier today. Apparently the three major labels have yet to come to an agreement with Soundcloud due the very nature of Soundcloud’s varying content, i.e. mash-ups of several tracks where royalties would need to be split between several artists.

Below you can see what a “promoted” track will apparently look like in your feed. The screen grab comes from SoundisStyle, who is presumably based in the US, where the trial is currently taking place. It also appears that advertisers will look to promote their own audio content above the fold in your feed in a similar fashion to Twitter, rather than relying on traditional banner advertising.  

Soundcloud has finally launched their Creator Partner Program, Soundcloud On, which will allow select premium users to monetise their content via targeted ads.

“As artists ourselves, Eric and I started SoundCloud with a simple vision. We wanted to develop tools for creators, help them reach fans all over the world, and shape a way we could pay the creators who fuel the growth of SoundCloud,” explains Alex Ljung, founder and CEO of Soundcloud.

“We’re laying this foundation by initially inviting a small group of creators to become Premier partners in the On SoundCloud program, enabling them to make money on the platform. Over time we will roll this out across the creator community.

“To make this possible, we’re introducing advertising from select brand partners to SoundCloud. When someone sees or hears an ad, they’re supporting an artist. We will include ads gradually and bring on more advertisers as we grow On SoundCloud.

“Everybody at SoundCloud is really excited about bringing this creator program to you. We often hear people say, ‘I’m on SoundCloud’. Now we’re happy to be able to offer even more for the millions of creators who have made it the best place in the world to share and discover music & audio.”

There’s no detail on what sort of CPMs creators will receive but if it’s anything like Google Ads it’s going to pence rather than pounds for thousands of plays.

Currently only premier invite-only users will be offered the new revenue share and the ads will only been shown to US users.

Interestingly the service will still cost a monthly fee for most power users which is quite a bit different to Youtube’s model. It would have been nice to see the service go fully free in liue of having to see ads on the service.

More worringly, there are whispers of a subscription model to avoid ads altogether in the near future, which on the face of it sounds like a really bad idea.

Rest in peace old Soundcloud, it was great knowing you.


Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.