In a bid to increase revenue and offer content creators the ability to monetize, SoundCloud has announced that it will be bringing ads to the service. The move follows rumors from earlier this year which suggested that the music service was close to signing licensing deals with major record labels.
Dubbed "On SoundCloud", the music service is now offering three tiers — Partner, Pro and Premier. Partner tier is free and available for all to easily register and upload their tracks, while the Pro category allows content creators additional features that include more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. The Premier tier, which is invitation only for now, allows labels and artists to monetise their content.
SoundCloud mentions that the service is available only in the US for the time being, although it is working on rolling the feature out to more countries and global artists in the near future. Most of the revenue generated from ads will be directed back to artists and record labels. For now, SoundCloud has only mentioned that users may occasionally hear an ad, without clarifying whether advertisements will be limited to free users or whether pro users will also be served ads.
While SoundCloud's relationship with record labels has been contentious, it is believed that the music service is offering labels an equity stake provided they do not sue SoundCloud over past copyright infringements.
Do you guys normally use SoundCloud to upload your work? What do you think of the changes to the service?