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A New Pay To Play? SoundCloud Expands Artists Payments To Paid Members Only

A New Pay To Play? SoundCloud Expands Artists Payments To Paid Members Only

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(Hypebot) — SoundCloud announced today that it’s dropping its invite-only monetization policy and opening SoundCloud Premier artist payments to all SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited subscribers. While many more creators will now get paid, the change effectively means that artists must pay to be members before they can monetize their music on Soundcloud.


The new policy will feel to some like a digital twist on the old pay to play system.

Reaction To Spotify?

The overdue expansion of payments to artists comes just weeks after Spotify added no-cost monetized uploads to the platform for all artists. While Spotify currently lacks many  Soundcloud features designed to help creators share their music,  it was seen as across the bow.

SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited memberships cost $8 and $16 per month respectively and do include additional features.

“SoundCloud is the world’s largest open audio platform, with content from more than 20 million creators,” said Kerry Trainor, Chief Executive Officer, SoundCloud. “Expanding SoundCloud Premier’s direct monetization offering from thousands, to hundreds of thousands of eligible creators is an exciting step in our commitment to empowering as many creators as possible to grow their careers first on SoundCloud.”

SoundCloud Premier

VASSY, SoundCloud Premier creator touts the service: 

“I love being part of the SoundCloud Premier programme; there are so many benefits to working with SoundCloud. The unique platform offers a strong community where creators can share, collaborate and acknowledge one another, as well as giving creators flexibility and control over their careers, so they can share their music with their fans directly while making money.”


Creators who meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited subscriber
  • Only original music can be monetised, creator must own or control all applicable rights
  • No copyright strikes at time of enrollment
  • 18 years old or age of majority in their country

“Creators will be contacted via email and in-product notifications when they receive access to the programme. The programme roll out will begin with eligible creators with at least 5,000 plays in the past month from countries where SoundCloud listener subscriptions and advertising are available (US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand), and will scale over time. For more information, creators can visit”

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