A lot of you guys know what SoundCloud is, and some of you probably actually use it, I would imagine. If, for some reason, you do not know what SoundCloud is, it's basically a place for people to share and discover music. I'm a music producer and I've used the site to share music of my own.
Now that we got that out of the way, on to the main point.
What has happened with SoundCloud within the past two weeks that has prompted me to create this thread? Why can it be considered a "blow to the music industry"?
To answer the first question, On March 29 (exactly two weeks ago) SoundCloud launched their new subscription service that they call SoundCloud Go (let me point out that their free service is still available).
Well, what exactly does this subscription service entail?
Well, if you're not an artist and only use the service to listen to music, the service gives you access to a larger catalog of music to listen to. This larger catalog of artists really only includes the big, mainstream artists, which I imagine a lot of you don't really care about anyway, so perhaps that isn't too bad (those of you who have used SoundCloud know that most of the music there comes from underground acts, which I find to be the reason the service is so popular to begin with). The service also allows to listen to tracks offline, and you get no ads. Those of you who use Spotify and/or similar services should be familiar with this model. In short, they basically adopted Spotify's model.
What does this new subscription service do for actual musicians?
Well, I find that their outline for SoundCloud Go for Creators is a bit vague, so I'll try to summarize as best as I can.
As far as new features go (from what I understand it also incorporates the features you got if you subscribed to their Pro plan that they've had in place for several years now, though I could be wrong), it gives you the option to decide whether or not the track you upload to the music-streaming service are available for offline play, which I mentioned above. It also gives you an opportunity to become an "On SoundCloud Premier artist," which is another new thing they're doing. It also "promotes" you, similar to the way Twitter and Instagram promote people.
Now, why is this so bad?
I'll admit, this whole thing doesn't seem to be terrible on paper. However, remember how I mentioned that they basically adopted Spotify's model? Well, those of you who use Spotify know they also have both a free and paid subscription service. I myself have used both, and in my opinion, they cut so many features from the free service that the service itself is really only good if you subscribe to their subscription service. Not to mention that when it comes to royalty payouts for artists, Spotify is one of the worst, as they don't pay out as much as other services. Based on this, I think that over time SoundCloud will begin to adopt more of the same policies Spotify has. Let me also point out that since last year SoundCloud has been receiving a lot of flak for letting the big record labels come in and take down tracks from artists that may have copyrighted material, even if technically no infringement has actually taken place (for example, a lot of big EDM acts will hosts remix contests, and some of them will release the stems (vocals, drums, synths, etc.) for people o use, then someone uses the one or more of the stems in a remix, the labels gets wind of it and takes the track down without any kind of notice, or anything); basically, the Content ID nonsense YouTube is plagued with.
Well, there's the rundown of what's going on with that. I actually axed my SoundCloud account today because of this. Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let me know down below.