Soundcloud, a music streaming site used mostly by smaller undiscovered artists, has signed a deal with Universal Music Group. The deal will give Soundcloud access to UMG’s catalog. As of now, Soundcloud has secured deals with two of the top three major record labels (Sony being the one left out).
There have been mixed feelings from Soundcloud users since the announcement on January 16th. It’s good news for artists that upload mash-ups and remixes. Before the deal, UMC was able to scan Soundcloud and take down a song if they detected a copyright infringement. It will also allow creators to be compensated, similar to how Youtube works. Possibly the most positive outcome is that Soundcloud will not be sued by UMG for copyright infringement. It will also bring more money to Soundcloud (a free to use service) to expand their platform.
However, on the other hand, now that they are involved with 2/3 of major record labels, they’re slowly losing sight of what they set out to do: shine light on undiscovered artists. With UMC now ‘policing’ Soundcloud, it’s possible they may only have “approved” UMC content.
It’s currently unclear how this new deal will play out since it only happened a week ago. Very few people want Soundcloud to disappear all together, but more often than not, when small companies are scooped up by bigger ones, things tend to change drastically.