A longtime pillar of digital music distribution among everyone from major label stars to independent artists, SoundCloud finally appears to be making steps to use its position to increase its bottom line.
The audio streaming service launched its creator partner program, On SoundCloud, last August, to give its uploaders the opportunity to be paid for their work through advertising placed against their tracks. Now the company is partnering with rights management firm ZEFR to help it and its music partners to better understand the sharing of content on the platform.
As pointed out by The Verge, ZEFR previously helped YouTube to identify copyrighted content and allow its uploaders to run ads on the infringing material, even if it was illegally uploaded. It's been speculated that this new partnership will help SoundCloud develop a similar system or, as ZEFR put it, "a new creative ecosystem".
“ZEFR has been a leader in rights management for half a decade. SoundCloud is a vibrant platform where the fans are sharing content, and ZEFR can find the right ways to use that fan activity for the benefit of SoundCloud, its music label partners and publishers,” said Zach James, co-founder of ZEFR, in a statement.
“We are excited to use our technology and expertise to help make SoundCloud a go-to platform for content creators and advertisers.”
It was reported last December that SoundCloud was seeking US$150m in funding to bring its valuation to US$1.2bn. According to Wall Street Journal sources, the company is seeking new licensing agreements with major record labels in an attempt to compete with Spotify and Beats Music.