Skip to main content

After years of platform reformation and corporate restructuring, audio distribution platform SoundCloud has announced a new fan-powered royalty model, which the company touts as a "game-changing" innovation to empower independent artists.

The ambitious model is predicated on fanbases, whose streaming activity will drive and dictate payout rates to the artists they listen to. SoundCloud will distribute a portion of its users' subscription payments and accrued advertising revenue to the musicians they listen to on the platform, with the objective of supporting independent artists with loyal fans.

The model could serve as a harbinger for the future of music streaming.

"SoundCloud is uniquely positioned to offer this transformative new model due to the powerful connection between artists and fans that takes place on our platform," said Michael Weissman, SoundCloud's CEO, in a press release. "As the only direct-to-consumer music streaming platform and next generation artist services company, the launch of fan-powered royalties represents a significant move in SoundCloud’s strategic direction to elevate, grow and create new opportunities directly with independent artists."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles


All the Best Gadgets to Give a DJ for the Holidays

Why not show your love this holiday season by splurging on a rad gadget?

RayRay 2022 Press Photo - Uli Zhung

RayRay’s Artistic Vision Shines In Versatile Debut Album, "Unearthly World"

The Taiwanese trailblazer has returned to Barong Family with her biggest release to-date.

EDC LV 2021-ZHU-Brian Rapaport Photo_04

Ring In the New Year With ZHU’s Techno Alias, Blacklizt

Insomniac announced that ZHU will hit the stage as Blacklizt at a secret SoCal location.

The news arrives at a pivotal time for independent artists, the majority of whom are treading water after succumbing to the financial pitfalls precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a constant and unwavering deluge of new music released by those artists on streaming platforms, however, the vast majority feel underpaid and undervalued

It seems that independent artists' influence in the streaming landscape is as prevalent as ever due to the accessibility of distribution on major DSPs, like Spotify. In fact, a report by Music Business Worldwide notes that major record companies' stranglehold on Spotify is dwindling by the day. Across the total volume of 2020 global music streams on the platform, music controlled by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Merlin represented 78%. That number may seem high, but it actually demonstrates a steep decline compared to previous years.

You can read more about SoundCloud's new fan-powered royalty model here.



SoundCloud to Allow DJs to Stream Songs Straight to their Decks

SoundCloud has announced partnerships with Native Instruments, Serato and others.


SoundCloud Rebrands Creator Services Platform to "SoundCloud for Artists"

Tracy Chan, a former Twitch Music and Spotify executive, is leading the effort.


Apple Music Jabs Spotify With Controversial Newsletter: Read the Full Statement

"We believe in the value of music and paying creators fairly for their work."


SoundCloud Adds Direct Donation Button

Supporting your favorite artists has never been easier.


SoundCloud Launches Artist Marketing Tool "Promote on SoundCloud"

SoundCloud expands its marketing tools with a new self-serve promotional program.


SoundCloud Launches Its Own Twitch Channel for Original Live Programming

Another major player has entered the virtual music streaming space.


Audius Strikes Landmark Deal With TikTok As Platform's First Music Streaming Partner

Artists on the blockchain-based streaming platform can now integrate songs directly to TikTok sounds.