Fan-powered royalties have arguably been around for a while with Bandcamp being the most obvious outlet that springs to mind. However, SoundCloud insists that they are the first truly fan-powered royalty program designed to benefit the artist directly. Fees will, from April 1st be dictated via fans’ independent listening data, as opposed to the current ‘one-pot-feeds-all’ model.
Only Pro or Pro Unlimited subscribers will be eligible to join the Premiere Program, in turn these users will be able to monetize their music. This is the basic requirement for eligibility and one we are sure that a majority of artists that who are at the stage of monetizing their music will easily meet. Similarly, artists are also required to have at least 500 eligible streams in the past month. As well as SoundCloud Premier artist’s users that are subscribed to Repost by SoundCloud and Repost Select are also eligible to receive funds from their work.
Now that we have established who can monetize their work SoundCloud have announced how money will be generated. First of all, the fan needs to be a paying subscriber to SoundCloud Go+. The royalties are then calculated based on how much the fan listens to that artist relative to all of their listening time each month.
It is clear that SoundCloud have put in a lot of time and effort into devising a platform that will benefit grass-roots artists. While some may be quick to point out that artists are again required to pay for the pleasure of making money from their own music but it should be made clear that no extra payment is required to become eligible. Due to SoundCloud’s subscription tiers in order for artists to offer their followers the right amount of content most artists would already have the correct level of subscription. It remains to be seen the reach of this program but earning more income from an artist’s original works on an already widely utilized platform will be surely welcomed by many.