Soundcloud has announced today that they have inked a deal with Merlin – which represents 20,000 independent labels – to start paying rights holders for their music hosted on the service.
Soundcloud has been going through a torrid time of late trying to persuade labels to sign up to their monetisation plans, and it seems like today’s announcement is good news for the music streaming service.
“Today we welcome a significant addition to our roster of On SoundCloud Premier Partners: Merlin. When we started SoundCloud in 2007, one of our chief priorities then, as it remains today, was championing independent artists. The indie community has always been at the heart of SoundCloud, and our deal with Merlin is another way for us to further support the independent community by opening a new source of revenue for them,” explained the service via their blog.
“As we announced back in March this year, On SoundCloud now has over 100 partners, ranging from bigger labels to emerging independent artists. We’ve continued to bring more partners on board and, from today, the 20,000 independent record labels and distributors who make up Merlin’s worldwide network will be able to join On SoundCloud and select the tracks they want to make available for inclusion. Some of the labels and distributors who have joined today include Beggars Group, Domino, Secretly Group, Epitaph, PIAS, Warp Records, Armada Music, Ninja Tune, Kontor Records and many more.
“In just the last month, more than 10 million creators were heard on SoundCloud – helping us to reach a milestone of 100 million tracks uploaded. And for our 175m monthly SoundCloud users, today’s announcement means you should expect to have more opportunities to connect with Merlin’s vast roster of indie labels and artists. You’ll also be able to discover and listen to more new tracks from the best independent label creators on the planet, safe in the knowledge they’ll now have the opportunity to get paid while you listen.”
The news comes at a time when Soundcloud is trying to persuade the major labels to help them monetise their content on the service, and judging by the news stories doing the rounds at the moment it’s not been an easy ride. Today’s news that Merlin is joining their On Soundcloud program is obviously quite a boon for the service as it positions itself to take on the likes of Spotify, Google Play and TIDAL in a paid-for streaming future.