SoundCloud signs licensing deal with Sony Music as it readies the launch of its subscription service

Popular online audio distribution platform SoundCloud has signed a licensing deal with Sony Music, giving artists signed by Sony’s three major labels an opportunity to make money on the streaming site, and laying the foundations for the subscription service it's set to launch later this year.

Sony Music is the latest to strike a deal with SoundCloud, which already holds deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Merlin.

The agreement gives SoundCloud access to Sony Music artists including Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Future, Calvin Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Miguel, Foo Fighters, and Justin Timberlake.

It also provides artists signed to Sony Music Entertainment or its affiliated and distributed labels, including those distributed by The Orchard and RED Distribution, with a way of making money from their tracks on SoundCloud. Creators will get access to SoundCloud’s promotional tools, analysis and data in order to build deeper direct relationships with their fans.

In a release announcing the partnership yesterday (18 March), SoundCloud were keen to emphasis that the deal benefits those artists outside of Sony too, saying: “This deal further strengthens SoundCloud’s unique ecosystem as a place where all forms of music and audio creation can live.”

Sony Music will also get equity from SoundCloud in the deal.

The music streaming site is set to introduce a paid subscription service later this year. Along with the addition of a paid offering, the site is planning the development of an on-demand service similar to those offerings by Spotify or Apple Music, it has been reported.

Since many artists release songs exclusively on the SoundCloud platform, this puts it at a competitive advantage if its on-demand service comes to fruition over more mainstream offerings like Spotify or Apple Music, which present very similar music catalogs.

SoundCloud’s proposed paid offering is rumoured to be priced at $10 a month, and is set to launch later this year.

Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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