SoundCloud to be first music app with 'fan-powered' artist paymentsTuesday, March 02, 2021
PARIS, France (AFP) — SoundCloud announced Tuesday it would become the first streaming service to link subscribers' payments directly to the independent artists they support, a move welcomed by musicians campaigning for fairer pay.
At the moment, streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and Apple put royalty payments into one big pot and dish them out based on which artists have the most global plays.
Many artists and unions argue this system is grossly unfair, giving a huge slice of the pie to mega-stars like Drake and Ariana Grande while leaving almost nothing for lesser-known musicians.
From April 1, SoundCloud will start using a new system in which the royalties taken from each individual subscriber will only go to artists they stream.
However, this will only apply for the roughly 100,000 independent artists who monetise directly through the site. Musicians licenced from major labels will continue to be paid via the traditional pooled method.
SoundCloud said the new payment system — known as "fan-powered royalties" or a "user-centric model" — would empower listeners and encourage greater diversity in musical styles.
"Artists are now better equipped to grow their careers by forging deeper connections with their most dedicated fans," the statement said. "Fans can directly influence how their favourite artists are paid."
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