Soundcloud, a music platform that combines social media and online music streaming, has become one of the top music streaming services in the world. While the general public loves it for it's free service and easy accessibility (in browser, app, and through social networks), the music industry has had it's back up about it for awhile due to the fact that music streamed by it's over 175 million users has remained without actual licensing deals and no royalties paid out whatsoever.
Soundcloud has encountered one too many issues regarding both of these factors, resulting in having music pulled off of the site on a regular basis by the major labels and their artists such as Hozier, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson.
As of last Thursday, June 4th, Soundcloud announced that they have struck a deal with Merlin, a music organization that represents smaller companies with their digital negotiations. This deal will allow Soundcloud to stream music of over 20,000 independent record labels with some of the most popular and influential artists and labels. Included in this deal were labels such as Beggars Group, Ninja Tune, and Warp Records.
“We built a lot of great tools for those creators to use the web, and a lot of great ways to reach an audience. But we’ve really been longing for this last step: enabling them to make money off of their music.” - Alexander Ljung, Soundcloud Chief Executive (via the Guardian)