SoundCloud has signed a landmark licensing agreement with Sony Music that ensures the label's significant roster will be on the music streaming service. The deal also includes Sony's affiliated labels, including those distributed by The Orchard and RED Distribution. "This agreement creates a business framework for the use of Sony Music songs on the SoundCloud platform that meets the needs of our artists and labels, and supports the growth of SoundCloud through its new premium on-demand music tier," Sony's President of Global Digital Business and US Sales, Dennis Kooker, said in a statement.
The deal is a huge victory for SoundCloud as the company has now secured deals with all the major labels and can pursue its planned subscription service. Previously, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a licensing company that represents around 20,000 independent labels, all signed deals with the music streaming service. Sony Music was the last major label the company needed to get on board. If you remember, Sony actually removed its artists from the streaming service back in 2015.
“With SME now on board, we continue on our journey building a unique platform, empowering our community of more than 18 million artists at every stage of their careers to share their work and connect with their fans, and enabling listeners to discover and be inspired by new music and audio," said Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud Founder & CEO, in a statement. SoundCloud's new service is reportedly launching later this year, according to The Verge. Time will tell exactly how SoundCloud plans to roll out the new subscription service without losing its 175 million monthly users who are used to using the service free of charge.