SoundCloud Introduces Program to Share Revenue with Artists

on soundcloud partner program

SoundCloud has introduced a new program, the On SoundCloud partner program, that aims to pay creators that upload their audio content to the service.

If you’re unfamiliar with SoundCloud, here’s a quick rundown of how it works. Quite simply, musicians, podcasters, and others who create original audio can upload their files and share their content with a broader community.

SoundCloud is the site where Grammy winner Lorde first uploaded her hit song, Royals. And Small Business Trends uses the service in our weekly One-on-One interview series, with host Brent Leary.

The SoundCloud service comes in a variety of tiers:

  • The free “Partner” tier allows you to upload a track and get basic stats on how many people are listening to your files. These users can not participate in the revenue sharing program.
  • The Pro Partner tier gives users more upload abilities. Pro Partners can upload 6 hours of content. A Pro Unlimited tier allows users to upload as much content as they want.
  • Pro Partners also get more extensive stats analytics on their content. This tier starts at $6 per month. The Pro Unlimited tier costs $15 per month and those users can upload as much content as they wish.

To date, there had been no ads on any SoundCloud audio files. But now, with the introduction of the new On SoundCloud program, that will change. And those ads could mean revenue for the people who upload content there. According to a letter posted to the official SoundCloud blog, a limited number of creators will get initial access to the On SoundCloud partner program.

Ads will either appear on a SoundCloud player or within a streaming audio file. Any time that a listener hears or sees an ad, the creator of the content where the ad appeared will share in the ad revenue. No specific terms of the revenue sharing program were announced at the time the program was introduced.

On the official SoundCloud blog, founder and CEO Alex Ljung writes:

“Everybody at SoundCloud is really excited about bringing this creator program to you. We often hear people say, ‘I’m on SoundCloud.’ Now we’re happy to be able to offer even more for the millions of creators who have made it the best place in the world to share and discover music and audio.”

A select number of advertisers and creators have been invited to take part in the On SoundCloud Premier program initially. Ljung indicates in his letter that this program will eventually be expanded to include all creators and more advertisers.

Music artists and record labels are the first to be enrolled in it, according to The New York Times.

SoundCloud is allowing would-be revenue sharers to sign up to receive an invite to join the Premier plan. This plan will allow users access to more promotional tools for their content too. And Premier users will also be able to upload an unlimited amount of content.

To sign up for an invite, users will need to have a SoundCloud account already.

The platform is also likely to unveil a premium subscription service in the near future. It will allow listeners to pay a subscription fee to skip the new ads altogether. There is no indication yet whether creators will share in that revenue, too.

Image: SoundCloud


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

7 Reactions
  1. good idea.lets everyone profit too.

  2. I think that this is exactly what artists need – a way to earn money with their music.

  3. please tell us what we supposed to do,becouse am already there

  4. Joshua,

    Do you think this is a response to Spotify and other music services?

    I wonder if SoundCloud will try to reach out to the podcasters too?

  5. I quit spotify premium because i use SC more, so i wouldn’t mind paying no more than $10/mo

  6. On the one hand, it’s revenue for SoundCloud and its users, which is cool. On the other hand, some people might view the ads as an intrusion, and might also not like the idea that they have to pay to not see them.