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Soundcloud Confirms Deal With Sony Music, Now Has All Three Major Labels in Tow

The day has finally arrived, Soundcloud fans. After a long, sometimes bitter holdout, Sony Music (along with independent distributors The Orchard and RED) has signed a deal with Soundcloud. This is pretty much the final step in Soundcloud’s process of legitimizing their platform, and a paid tier of services will most certainly not be far behind. We’ve mentioned before why label deals and paid tiers on Soundcloud are important for the future of the service, but it’s worth recapping here again.

Label deals mean tracks stop being taken down

For producers and DJs this is the most important factor in these deals. Currently if Soundcloud identifies that your remix or club set contains copyrighted material, it notifies the label, who in turn issues a DMCA takedown notice. Soundcloud then removes the track, and gives you a strike. That’s the way the law is written, with the “3 Strikes” solution their armistice deal with major labels until now.

From here forward, whenever a copyrighted work is identified, Soundcloud will still inform the label. Importantly, this will not longer trigger a takedown request (in most cases), but instead trigger a royalty tally for that label. These deals mean labels have an opportunity to make money from your bootlegs now, so there’s no need to strip them from Soundcloud. But where is that money coming from?

Paid tiers enable the royalty process

You had to know this was coming. The money to pay labels and publishers for the use of their intellectual property wasn’t just going to fall out of the sky. Sony Music, UMG, and Warner’s catalogs will require a lot more than ads to satisfy their royalty requirements. Not to mention the thousands of indie labels represented by The Orchard and RED Distribution.

Soundcloud is unique. It is the only major streaming platform that allows users to upload their own music. Every other platform out there (not counting Soundcloud clones like Yungcloud) forces you to choose from whatever music is in their library. With these deals now solidified, paying to use Soundcloud isn’t just the drudgery of having to pay for yet another online subscription.

[accordion-group title=”Read the full Press Release text”]SoundCloud, the world’s largest community of music and audio creators with 175 million monthly listeners, today announced a landmark agreement with Sony Music Entertainment that creates a range of new revenue opportunities on SoundCloud for artists signed to SME plus its affiliated and distributed labels, including those distributed by The Orchard and RED Distribution.

This major new partnership provides SoundCloud listeners with access to music from SME’s exceptional roster of emerging artists and global superstars, and supports SoundCloud’s continued investment in monetization, which includes an advertising platform launched in August 2014, and the introduction of subscription services in the US and other markets later this year. SME’s labels and artists will also gain access to SoundCloud’s promotional tools, analysis and data, providing them with new opportunities to generate revenue and to build deeper direct relationships with their fans.

“We are pleased to be making content from Sony Music Entertainment available to SoundCloud’s large user base of highly-engaged, passionate music fans,” said Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business & US Sales, Sony Music Entertainment. “This agreement creates a business framework for the use of Sony Music songs on the SoundCloud platform that meets the needs of our artists and labels, and supports the growth of SoundCloud through its new premium on-demand music tier.”

The deal further strengthens SoundCloud’s unique ecosystem; a place where all forms of music and audio creation can live. With the number of tracks on the platform now totaling over 110 million, the addition of SME’s artist’s repertoire further cements SoundCloud as the largest music and audio platform, allowing anyone to discover and enjoy music from the world’s most diverse creator community.

“Today is of particular significance to us as a company, as the addition of SME means we now have deals in place with all of the major music labels,” said Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud Founder & CEO. “With SME now on board, we continue on our journey building a unique platform, empowering our community of more than 18 million artists at every stage of their careers to share their work and connect with their fans, and enabling listeners to discover and be inspired by new music and audio. We are very excited to be working with SME and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together as we continue to transform the future of music online.”


About Sony Music Entertainment

Sony-Music-logo-wordmarkSony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Bazmark Records, Beach Street Records, Black Butter Records, BPG Music, Bystorm Entertainment, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Descendant Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Essential Worship, Flying Buddha, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, Freesolo Entertainment, Kemosabe Records, Latium Entertainment, Legacy Recordings, Louder Than Life, Masterworks, Masterworks Broadway, OKeh, Polo Ground Music, Portrait, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Relentless Records, Reunion Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Vested in Culture and Volcano. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. With a holistic approach to sales and marketing combined with industry-leading technology and operations, The Orchard amplifies reach and revenue across hundreds of digital, physical and mobile outlets around the world. The Orchard streamlines content owners’ business complexity with an intuitive client dashboard, comprehensive rights management and tailored client support. Founded in 1997, The Orchard empowers businesses and creators in the entertainment industry. For further information, please visit

About RED Distribution

RED, an award-winning division of Sony Music Entertainment, headquartered in New York City, is widely recognized as the industry leader in music distribution and artist development. RED specializes in digital and physical sales, digital and retail marketing, DTC, radio promotion and product development for more than 60 independent record labels, as well as artists from Sony owned labels and Sony joint ventures with Descendant Records, Ultra Records, Red Bow Records and RED Associated Labels (RAL). RED’s marketing outreach is unsurpassed in generating consumer awareness for artists, labels and brand partners. In 2009, RED launched ‘stache media, a full service marketing agency specializing in music to support RED releases and artists. ‘stache media’s expert staff provides marketing services in digital marketing, influencer marketing, advertising, consumer insights, art direction + design, the green room, brand/strategic marketing, publicity, retail marketing, licensing and radio. Sony Music Entertainment’s joint venture with The Orchard has expanded RED’s reach into international as well as domestic markets.

About SoundCloud

SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, lets people discover and enjoy the largest selection of music from the world’s most diverse creator community. This is made possible by an open platform that directly connects creators and their fans across the globe. Music and audio creators can use the platform to instantly share their content with a global audience, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community. For more information, go to: ([/accordion-group]

Paying for Soundcloud is investing in your listening experience, your career if you produce or DJ, and in the potential careers of every other producer and DJ on planet Earth. Isn’t that worth $9.99/month?


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Audio engineer, music business expert, Wordpress developer, writer, musician, friend. Published in Forbes, Hypebot, and Inc. I'm the Owner and Co-Founder of Dance Music Northwest!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!