Negotiations between SoundCloud and Sony Music have allegedly hit a new low, with the major label pulling music by several of its artists from the streaming service, largely due to what an industry insider calls “a lack of monetization opportunities” from the platform.
Affected artists so far include Hozier, Passion Pit, Adele, and MS MR, with plenty more looking likely to follow. The takedowns, which currently only affect official artist pages, come as SoundCloud is still in a transitional phase regarding the monetization features of its service. Warner was the first major label to sign an agreement with the company, who now offer an ad-supported service called “On SoundCloud,” which has already paid out over $2 million in advertising revenue since its launch in December last year. The other two of the three majors, Universal Music and Sony, have officially declined to comment on the status of their talks with SoundCloud, though the takedowns seems to suggest that the latter isn’t happy with the choice.
Billboard cited a “notable artist manager” in saying that “[SoundCloud] has been a good place for exposure, but at the same time, artists and labels need to get paid for music. Until that can be worked out, we’re going to have situations that are incompatible with artist development.” Though plenty are hypothesizing that Sony’s actions are due to the label taking issue with the income SoundCloud is offering, a lack of official word means the true reason remains a mystery for now.