So Soundcloud is growing up. They’re officially rolling Premium accounts, which are invite only and that will give the opportunity for those members to monetize their music (with ads and licensing we assume). The new account type has been in beta for more than a year and is officially being rolled out on a limited basis to privileged artists (most likely the major label ones or ones with super huge followings)
SoundCloud’s Premier level is also only available to accounts based in the United States. The issue here is that records on Pro Partner accounts have custom APIs that draw eyes, and are seeing bigger play counts than they normally would. These Pro Partner accounts have been in the works for more than a year, and the average user simply can’t access them. Play counts are shifting towards artists that are already big, their records are showing up in the recommended section, swaying play counts even further.
Artists are booked based on followers and play counts. Lineups are determined by these numbers, and promoters blindly trust them. Not only are these big acts getting booked more and seeing increased revenue because of the Pro Partner accounts, now the SoundCloud community will have to patiently wait as those that have these limited Premier accounts make money, and there’s no telling how long it will take for the average musician to have access to take advantage of this advertising revenue. We will see how all of this turns out, and continue to update you as we hear additional word.
So stay tuned for more details as this may mean that artists with 100% original music and huge followings may have a shot at being accepted into this Premium program.