Why it matters: Artists who use SoundCloud to upload and sell their music will be happy to learn that the platform is introducing a tool to help them distribute their uploads to other services. It is currently in open beta and is available to eligible Pro and Pro Unlimited customers.
On Tuesday, SoundCloud announced a new service it calls Premier distribution. The tool is capable of distributing content to external services including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Instagram, Pandora, and Napster. SoundCloud will not be asking for a cut either. Artists keep all the rights to their work and receive 100 percent of the money earned from cross-platform plays.
The company is also looking to streamline payments from these other services. Creators will receive payments from other platforms right from their SoundCloud account. It appears that SoundCloud is trying to transition itself from a hosting service to a distribution hub.
To avoid legal complications, the tool will have verification checks to ensure the content being distributed is original works and not material falling under someone else’s copyright. There are also a few limitations on what content can go out.
Classical works, podcasts, audiobooks, and white noise are not allowed as are remixes, mashups, DJ sets and other content that lies in that sketchy gray area of copyright law. Users trying to distribute contraband content will have it removed from SoundCloud and will be kicked out of the Premier monetization program.
SoundCloud has already started notifying those users eligible for the beta. Eligibility requirements include having a Pro or Pro Unlimited subscription in good standing. Accounts must have no copyright strikes and own the rights to all posted content. Users must also be at least 18 years of age and have 1,000 or more plays over the last month.
Once in the beta, users will find a “Distribute” button on their track manager dashboard. They will then need to add some metadata and select which services to use. Artist will even have control over when the content goes live by sending it out immediately or scheduling a release date. Content validation times may vary from service to service.