SoundCloud CEO Announces New Service That Lets Artists Distribute Music Directly

February 19, 2019
Updated 28d ago

By Carlo Versano

SoundCloud, the German streaming service that was on the brink of collapse before a financial rescue in 2017, is doubling down as a platform for creators with a new service that will allow artists to upload and push their content to all of the major streaming providers, including Apple, Spotify, and Amazon.

SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor told Cheddar it's an "exciting and natural addition" to SoundCloud's value proposition as a place where artists go to distribute their music.

The move comes about a year and a half after investors rescued the embattled company with a $170 million lifeline and instated Trainor as the CEO.

Trainor has since re-oriented the company as a "creator first" platform, and expanded its direct monetization arm to allow the majority of independent artists to earn money by uploading content to the site. The new feature is part of that "toolset" for creators, Trainor said.

And the move comes as Spotify ($SPOT), the largest streaming platform in terms of users, announced it was testing a way for artists to upload content themselves. But Trainor said the feature shouldn't be viewed as a form of competition against record labels: "This is not about a threat at all to the established recording industry," he said, noting that SoundCloud does not own any of the content or intellectual property hosted on its servers. Rather, it's a way for creators to generate their own revenues, burnish their fan bases, and collect data on listening habits which, right now, is owned by the streaming services. "Data benefits both sides of the industry," he said.

SoundCloud will not take a cut or distribution fee from the revenues artists generate from pushing their work out on other services, either, Trainor said. Rather, the service will be rolled into its SoundCloud Premier paid tier for creators.

"Ultimately, we're saving them time and money."

While SoundCloud boasts one of the largest music catalogs in the world ー about 200 million tracks ー it doesn't intend to compete directly with Spotify or Apple ($AAPL) Music for listeners. Trainor said he would rather focus as an end-to-end service for content creators. "We want to be the first place creators come to share their work with the world."

For full interview click here.