SoundCloud’s new licensing deal with Merlin Network now guarantees that 20,000 independent labels will get paid for all of their music that is streamed from the platform.
Merlin Network, one of the largest digital rights agencies, is home to such labels as Armada Music, Warp, and Kontor Records, plus multiple other indie-centric imprints. The deal offers royalties through the platform’s ad-based revenue program and gives the labels access to the platform’s full repertoire of content management tools. It will also cover the labels’ involvement in SoundCloud’s new subscription service, which will be unveiled later this year.
“The independent label community has long embraced SoundCloud as an innovative marketing and discovery platform,” Merlin’s CEO Charles Caldas shared. “Merlin is pleased to partner with the service at the next stage of its evolution. Our deal significantly extends this existing relationship, and ensures Merlin members can participate fully in the long term value of SoundCloud’s future.”
This is good news for SoundCloud following an onslaught of negative publicity over the service’s free streaming capabilities, including Sony’s removal of many of its artists from the platform. It is unclear if SoundCloud will continue to offer their streaming services for free in the future, but the impending subscription service will definitely change the platform’s usage terms for labels and users alike.