Music Week Award SoundCloud Winners Talk Royalties, New Music & Community | Digital

SoundCloud’s head of major label services, Ian Greaves, told Music Week that the platform’s fan-powered royalty initiative has added an “extra dimension to everything we do”.

Greaves was speaking backstage at the 2022 Music Week Awards, after winning the Music Consumer Innovation Trophy alongside Director of Engineering, Royalties, George Roldugin and their team.

SoundCloud triumphed amid stiff competition, including from TikTok, which has won the category for the past two years.

But Greaves shrugged off the idea of ​​a one-on-one battle.

“It’s not about competition, it’s about what we do,” he said. “And that’s to empower artists, create the artist-fan connection and make sure it’s as strong as possible.”

SoundCloud launched fan-powered royalties in March 2021, billing it as a user-centric payment system within its ecosystem of independent and emerging artists.

The company has moved from a market-share royalty model to a user-centric system for its community of 100,000 independent and emerging artists, those who monetize directly on SoundCloud due to seeing the total amount paid to them. collectively increase by 25%.

The communities that exist on our platform make a cultural difference within the industry

Ian Greaves

Reflecting on the rollout, Roldugin said, “This idea has been around in the music industry [for a while]but SoundCloud was the one who was able to make it a reality.

“We have so many artists who are monetized directly through SoundCloud, they don’t go through labels or distributors,” he added. “Users’ monthly fees go towards the songs they listen to” and that’s powerful.”

George Roldugin (left) and Ian Greaves (right) on stage at the Music Week Awards

Greaves described SoundCloud as the “most artist-driven platform” in the industry and said its Music Week Awards win “underscores everything we’re trying to do for the business, for industry”.

“In terms of music discovery, we want everyone to find their niche and find their communities, and that’s what you can do on SoundCloud,” he added.

Like the rest of the industry, SoundCloud’s business has changed since its inception in 2007, and Greaves pointed out that it shares more commonalities with social media platforms than other DSPs. Even so, he noted his unique place in the market.

“SoundCloud is such a different platform, we’re so much more of a social platform with how you can repost and like, it really connects artists and fans,” he said. “It’s so different on SoundCloud and right now the communities that exist on the platform are making a cultural difference within the industry. The way music discovery happens on SoundCloud is really different than what is happening somewhere else. It’s so authentic and, for new artists coming in, it gives them a voice that they just can’t get anywhere else.

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