SoundCloud Signs Deal with Indie Label Network Merlin

SoundCloud Signs Deal with Indie Label Network Merlin
There are big changes afoot for SoundCloud. The music-hosting site has long been a favourite among musicians and companies looking to share their sounds with the world, and now the website has signed a deal with leading indie label organization Merlin to join its On SoundCloud program.

Merlin represents many thousands of indie labels including Beggars Group (including Matador, 4AD, XL), Domino, Secretly Group (Numero, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans), Sub Pop, Warp, Epitaph (Anti-, Fat Possum) and more. This deal will now allow these labels to monetize the material they upload to SoundCloud. Additionally, by joining On SoundCloud, Merlin's members will be be able to remove infringing content from the site and will have a more detailed data analytics.

SoundCloud announced its On SoundCloud tier last year with the aim of allowing content creators to earn money. The plan includes both audio commercials and display ads. It's currently open on an invite-only basis, but the plan is to open it up to more content creators in the long run.

Learn more about the program here.

All in all, this deal is good news for SoundCloud, since labels have previously taken exception to the fact that it was hard to earn money off music uploaded to the service.

SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung told Billboard, "We've gone through three chapters, originally building out tools for artists, then [sic] second phase was creating more tools to reach more listeners, and the third chapter is to offer creators options to monetize their work."

Meanwhile, SoundCloud has also been planning a paid subscription service for listeners, but there's still no indication regarding when this will emerge.