SoundCloud and Universal Music Group (UMG) have just signed a massive licensing deal that should end the bad blood and improve copyright issues.
SoundCloud faced a massive wall in 2015 as major labels began to take action on the unlicensed use of their music on the music and sound sharing website. Fortunately a deal has now gone through with a deal with one of the big four labels, UMG.
Founder and CEO of SoundCloud, Alexander Ljung said: “With the majority of the music industry partnering with us, and adding to the more than 100 million tracks already available to discover on the platform, we are able to offer a service to both creators and listeners that is unrivalled in the music streaming space today.”
This deal marks some very important changes for SoundCloud. Firstly the deal gains SoundCloud licenses to Universal Music Publishing Group’s (UMPG) massive catalog of music. Though this doesn’t include all of UMG’s library as the publishing rights and recording rights are separate and often owned by different companies.
Some exciting news is that the deal requires SoundCloud to push their upcoming subscription service to a closer date. Details are currently scarce on pretty much everything about the service but it will mark a big shift for SoundCloud who, for listeners, have so far operated on a free platform with advertising revenue.
The deal also benefits UMG as they “will gain access to SoundCloud’s promotional tools, analysis and data to provide recording artists and songwriters with new opportunities to generate revenue and to strengthen their connections with fans”. SoundCloud will also be required to speed up development of their internet tracking and royalty-accounting infrastructure which will massively enhance the legality of the platform whilst improving its access for users.
There’s no concrete details on how long the deal will last but it is rumoured that they’ve agreed to a year-long contract. This deal means some great things for SoundCloud and it’s users however there is still a piece missing from the big four of record labels. Sony Music Entertainment are now the sole label of UMG, Warner Music Group and EMI to have not licensed SoundCloud. However without the backup of UMG’s non-complacency it should only be a matter of time.