SoundCloud CEO Wants to Put More Money Into Musicians' Pockets

October 9, 2018

By Conor White

SoundCloud wants artists to get paid for their music, and the platform is expanding its "Premier" feature to reward "hundreds of thousands" of creators, according to the company's CEO.

"We're going from having invited thousands of artists to participate in direct monetization on SoundCloud to enabling hundreds of thousands of artists to directly monetize on the platform," CEO Kerry Trainor said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar.

SoundCloud, known for its focus on independent musicians, launched Premier in 2017 as a way for select artists to share revenue with the platform, but the feature has since expanded to include advertising and promotional resources. Artists are given a share of revenue based on the number of plays one of their tracks receives, and creators are paid directly on a monthly basis. Premier also allows creators to make some extra cash while they're searching for a traditional record label ー provided that they're interested in one.

Trainor said creators won't find a better deal, largely because "the majority of the revenue goes to the creator."

"And it meets or beats any other offer that they can get from any of the other streaming platforms," he added.

With at least 175 million registered users as of May 2018, SoundCloud is among the largest streaming platforms in the business. Trainor attributes his platform's popularity to the connection between creators and listeners. On SoundCloud, users can communicate directly with musicians or fellow browsers and send them messages of support or admiration.

"It's a much more interactive process on SoundCloud," Trainor said. "You can upload your material, it is available to the world instantly, there's no waiting hours or days."

While artists like Chance The Rapper have opted for SoundCloud over a traditional record label, Trainor doesn't think artists are obligated to make an either-or choice.

"We view our role as being an alternative, but also being an enhancement to the existing industry," he said.

"Our role is to be the first place the creator comes, so they can put their work in the world on their own terms."

For full interview click here.