Through FPR, SoundCloud’s first-to-market, user-centric payout model, a share of each listener’s subscription or advertising revenue is allocated to the tracks they listen to rather than their plays being pooled and distributed through the traditional pro-rata model. This allows rightsholders and artists to earn money from their fans’ listening behaviour as well as better gain insight into who those fans are and connect directly with them on SoundCloud.
Founded in 2007, SoundCloud currently has more than 320 million tracks from 40 million artists, while Merlin, an independent’s digital music licensing partner, boasts a global membership from nearly 70 countries around the world across independent record labels, distributors, label services companies and other rightsholders, representing 15% of the recorded music market.
“At SoundCloud, we’re committed to being artist-first,” SoundCloud CEO Eliah Seton said. “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 is proud to partner with SoundCloud and bring their innovative fFPR payout model to our global membership,” Merlin CEO Jeremy Sirota said. “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.”
Jasper Goggins, who serves as the president of Mad Decent, and a member of Merlin, said he is thrilled about being an early user of the SoundCloud platform, lauding the streamer’s initiative to experiment with a revenue model that has intrigued many independent music labels for years.