Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers
By Andy Malt | Published on Friday 5 May 2023
Indie label digital rights agency Merlin has signed a new licensing deal with SoundCloud to enable its members to take part in the streaming platform’s Fan-Powered Royalties initiative.
The user-centric payout model was launched in 2021. Under the scheme, a share of each listener’s subscription payment is allocated to the specific tracks they listen to, rather than that payment being pooled with everyone else’s and money then being allocated to each track based on consumption share across the platform, as is the case with most streaming services.
“At SoundCloud, we’re committed to being artist-first”, says the streaming firms’s CEO Eliah Seton. “The FPR model makes streaming royalties more equitable, helps artists benefit directly from their fans, and opens the door for more meaningful fan-to-artist connection. I’m THRILLED that Merlin’s extraordinary community of independent labels and distributors, and by extension their artists, will now benefit”.
Merlin CEO Jeremy Sirota adds: “Merlin is proud to partner with SoundCloud and bring their innovative Fan-Powered Royalties payout model to our global membership. This partnership provides our members and their artists with new revenue opportunities, as well as empowering fans to directly support their favourite artists from across Merlin’s global membership. This collaboration will strengthen Merlin’s community of independent rightsholders and provide them, and their artists, the tools to build closer relationships with fans”.
SoundCloud’s user-centric scheme initially only applied to tracks directly uploaded into the platform by music-makers with Pro accounts, not to music delivered by labels or distributors. But some labels are now participating, with Warner Music signing up last year.