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SoundCloud: now with three tiers and advertising

SoundCloud logo opaqueSoundCloud has announced new subscriber plans. The first two, “Partner” and “Pro,” are expanded versions of the status quo. Partner is for beginners. It’s free. You get three hours of upload and some statistics. “Pro” doubles your upload space for $6 or do unlimited uploads for $15. The tier gives you more stats, priority support, and some other goodies.

Then there’s “Premier,” which SoundCloud offers on an “invite” basis, and gives creators a chance to share revenue (aka money) via an advertising program. “The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators,” the SoundCloud blog says. “Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid.” It is launching in the United States. “If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners.”

These changes appear to be rolled up in various negotiations with the big music labels, and thus may be fileable in the “lawsuit avoidance” category. Ads won’t show up on Partner or Pro account content, SoundCloud says, only the Premier accounts. TechCrunch reports that ads from Comedy Central, Red Bull, and Jaguar are in the works, to be streamed on various partner accounts such as SONY/ATV and BMG.

The labels are “concerned that online radio stations and others are using Soundcloud’s API to broadcast licensed music for free,” TechCrunch notes. “It’s a problem Soundcloud needs to address, and soon.” Hopefully this solution won’t remove SoundCloud as a resource for innovative online chat room and playlist services that have used it and YouTube as a content base.


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