Sound­Cloud scores in deal with indie la­bels

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Sound­Cloud, the mu­sic stream­ing site whose free con­tent has caused fric­tion with ma­jor record com­pa­nies, sealed a deal Thurs­day with lead­ing in­de­pen­dent la­bels.

The agree­ment comes as Sound­Cloud works on cre­at­ing a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice to be launched later this year, amid grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the boom- ing stream­ing mar­ket.

Sound­Cloud said in a state­ment it had reached an agree­ment with Mer­lin — which rep­re­sents 20,000 in­de­pen­dent record la­bels and dis­trib­u­tors — to of­fer un­spec­i­fied pay­ments when mu­sic is up­loaded on the site.

Sound­Cloud, launched in 2008 in Ber­lin by Swedish de­sign­ers, was de­signed to al­low mu­si­cians to post their record­ings in what quickly be­came a fa­vorite pro­mo­tion tech­nique.

One of the most fa­mous suc­cess sto­ries was the New Zealand teenager Lorde, who self-re­leased her work in 2012 on Sound­Cloud and quickly be­came an in­ter­na­tional su­per­star with a ma­jor record deal as her song “Roy­als” went vi­ral.

But the growth of Sound­Cloud — it re­ports 175 mil­lion unique vis­its a month — has cre­ated un- ease among record la­bels, who are con­cerned that high-sell­ing artists or their fans are re­leas­ing work for free in the guise of pro­mo­tion.

Charles Cal­das, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Mer­lin, said that the in­de­pen­dent la­bels were ea­ger to work with Sound­Cloud in the long term.

“The in­de­pen­dent la­bel com­mu­nity has long em­braced Sound- Cloud as an in­no­va­tive mar­ket­ing and dis­cov­ery plat­form, and Mer­lin is pleased to part­ner with the ser­vice at the next stage of its evo­lu­tion,” he said in a state­ment.

Sound­Cloud i n Novem­ber reached a deal with the Warner Mu­sic Group, its only agree­ment with one of the three big la­bel con­glom­er­ates.

Con­versely, talks have proved dif­fi­cult with Sony Mu­sic which has sought to take down tracks by some of its top-sell­ing artists in­clud­ing Adele.

Mer­lin cov­ers more than 10 per­cent of the dig­i­tal mu­sic mar­ket, more than any player other than the three ma­jors.

Mer­lin in­cludes indie la­bels with cult fol­low­ings in­clud­ing Mata­dor, Merge, Domino and Warp Records, cov­er­ing a va­ri­ety of artists such as Jack White, Interpol, Ar­cade Fire, Tom Waits and Brian Eno.

Sound­Cloud has also started to in­tro­duce ad­ver­tis­ing as a way to gen­er­ate rev­enue.

It has not yet re­vealed de­tails of its forth­com­ing sub­scrip­tion ser­vice, which comes as on-de­mand stream­ing leader Spo­tify faces grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion from ri­vals in­clud­ing Deezer, Rhap­sody, Rdio and Ti­dal.

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