Last week, SoundCloud quietly added a feature that could change the impact the popular music streaming platform makes on the music industry forever. Well, at least for the moment anyway. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, many musicians have lost much of their annual income. Circumnavigating the globe, concerts, tours and festivals have come to a grinding halt. As part of a larger COVID-19 relief effort, SoundCloud presented the option for music talent to add a button to raise funds on their profile page. The feature becomes available at a time when many music makers far and wide find themselves at home, "social distancing", tirelessly working on new strategies to connect with fans. They're also making mountains of music. In fact, as of the end of March SoundCloud had already observed 30,000 track releases and counting. Fans find themselves drowning in a sea of streams with a wave of sonic creativity that history will probably be remembered in history books as an omnichannel renaissance that hit the world like a tsunami. With SoundCloud's new feature, it's easier than ever for fans to support their favorite artist too, because now they can offer direct fan-to-DJ donations.
The announcement arrives in tandem with the unveiling of a donation button feature from Spotify. For recording artists and music producers, these options present an advantageous opportunity to generate some much-needed income. It's also important to note the optional feature is actually temporary, so this opportunity is a window and it'll close-up as soon as COVID-19 is square in the rearview mirror.
The SoundCloud blog explains:
"We’ve built this feature to help creators impacted by the COVID-19 virus and will keep it active as long as we’re all in this so you can fund your projects, offset bills, or get whatever you need to stay on your feet."
In these unprecedented times few musicians were prepared to survive in the emerging COVID-19 economy, but with evolutions like this there may yet be hope for the artists who still hold a vibrant and authentic connection to their fans.
To learn more, read about the new feature and other COVID-19 relief initiatives from SoundCloud here.