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In what may be the first move of its kind in the music-streaming world, SoundCloud has introduced what it describes as “fan-powered royalties, a more equitable and transparent way for emerging and independent artists to earn money on SoundCloud.” In other words, each listener’s subscription or advertising revenue is distributed among the artists that they listen to, rather than their plays being piled into a collective pool.

“Many in the industry have wanted this for years. We are excited to be the ones to bring this to market to better support independent artists. SoundCloud is uniquely positioned to offer this transformative new model due to the powerful connection between artists and fans that takes place on our platform,” said SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman. “The launch of fan-powered royalties represents a significant move in SoundCloud’s strategic direction to elevate, grow and create new opportunities directly with independent artists.”

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The announcement continues, “Fan-powered royalties level the playing field for independent artists by tying payouts to fandom. Artists are now better equipped to grow their careers by forging deeper connections with their most dedicated fans; and, in turn, fans can directly influence how their favorite artists are paid.”

According to the announcement, the nearly 100,000 independent artists monetizing directly on SoundCloud through SoundCloud Premier, Repost by SoundCloud or Repost Select will benefit from fan-powered royalties beginning on April 1, 2021. The roll-out of fan-powered royalties is backed by an extensive artist education campaign and direct, ongoing outreach with the independent artist community and industry partners.

To learn more about fan-powered royalties and monetization on SoundCloud visit the company’s website.