Alex Introducing On SoundCloud, our new creator partner program

Here’s some more detail about On SoundCloud, our new creator partner program. Here’s the full breakdown.

On SoundCloud has three tiers: Partner, Pro and Premier.

The Partner tier is for you if you’re just getting started: it’s free and easy to join the community, share your first track, receive feedback and get basic stats.

The Pro Partner level is a paid offering if you’re ready to take the next step On SoundCloud. Pros get more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. As an added benefit, at the Partner and Pro levels, we’ve increased upload time by 50% — you’ll get it automatically if you already have a Pro or free account.

At the Premier partner level, creators will have the opportunity to make money from their tracks through advertising. It also includes Pro features and more benefits. At launch, entry to the Premier tier is by invitation. Monetization occurs only on content when it’s played in the US. We’ll open up the program to more creators and more countries as fast as we can.

The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators. Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid. If you’re in the US, you’ll start to experience occasional ads from our brand partners. We’re bringing ads on gradually. In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud. Audio ads will only be served on the content of Premier Partners with their explicit consent. If you have a Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited account, you will not have any audio ads placed on your tracks.

Creators have been at the heart of SoundCloud from the beginning. As we continue to develop our creator partner program we will bring you more tools, support, offerings and opportunities. We can’t wait to hear what you create On SoundCloud!

113 thoughts on “Introducing On SoundCloud, our new creator partner program

  1. janeshin

    Hi there, thanks for your interest. The Premier level of On SoundCloud is currently invite-only, but as we expand the program, we’ll announce when it becomes open to more community members. Head here to sign up to stay in touch:

  2. Marcus

    There are 3 tiers already, Free, Pro and Pro Unlimited, adding Premium makes 4.. so which one is being eliminated?

  3. Marcus

    Nevermind I see that there will indeed be 4 tiers. It’s just presented as 3. Juuuust a little confusing..

  4. janeshin

    Hey Marcus, sorry for the confusion. We simplified the tiers. If it helps, think of it this way: Free users are now considered “Partner” with now more upload time. Pro and Pro Unlimited users are “Pro” partners. And finally, “Premier” is our newest tier where creators will have opportunity to make money. Hope this helps!

  5. RecycledRecitals

    So will there be a separate site for this? Will you have to sign up separately, or is the platform only available when you are invited to be a Premier partner…and this subsequently unlocks additional ‘Premier Exclusive’ features..?

  6. janeshin

    Hey RecyledRecitals, thanks for the question. Premier members will still use the SoundCloud website. There won’t be a separate site or platform for Premier members. The main difference is that Premier members will be able to make money from their tracks. Premier tier is currently invite-only, but we’ll be expanding the program in the future and publicly announcing when we do so. If you want to stay in touch to hear updates, sign up:

  7. Marcus

    Thanks Jane. For some reason, in my mind, it seems like the progression should go Pro -> Premier -> Partner. Calling those with free accounts ‘Partners’ just doesn’t sound right..

    Maybe it’s just me?

  8. Praverb

    Interested to see how this pans out. On SoundCloud seems to be creator focused. I like that. I think the ability to monetize is awesome and it keeps more creators on SoundCloud as opposed to using competitors. Great work!

  9. Adam Boatwright

    Will I be refunded the pro rated amount since pro and pro unlimited are now one? If not, I am going to be canceling my service soon.

  10. creator1,000,001

    Really dude? Ads?! Come the hell on, it gets worse every update. Rather than forcing fans to listen to ads to generate revenue, why don’t u just follow the band camp model of buying tracks and splitting profit. I’m a huge supporter of SC and I gotta be honest here, yall are gonna lose a lot of “creators” over this…

  11. Dean

    So let me guess. You going to give celebrity DJ’s like Martin Garrix etc (like you have in past) these new Premier accounts to monetize their content even though the DJ Mixes contain content not approved by content owners just cause his a celebrity. How about you start treading copyrights the same for everyone and stop giving Celebrities ability to distribute copyrights while closing down layman accounts. (I work in the industry and know very well those DJ mixes content is not approved so don’t try spin me some fluff up story). Soundcloud has selective bullying on copyrights.

  12. Nic Burger

    Does getting a Premier Account give you access to something like YouTube’s Content ID or does one still have to goto a 3rd party for audio fingerprinting.

  13. Praverb

    Most of your favorite music discovery outlets have ads. It comes with expansion I believe. I personally think more creators will embrace SC given the potential to monetize. Remember the YouTube boom of creators? The increase of ads did not stop YouTube from growing did it?

    Maybe it is just me Adam. I just understand that companies change over time. Investors play a big role. Be blessed Adam.

  14. janeshin

    Hi Adam, thanks for your feedback. We appreciate that you’ve been a supporter of SoundCloud and are conscious that ads are a new experience, so we are bringing them onto the platform slowly. Ultimately, occasional advertising will help to support artists directly and keep SoundCloud free for listeners. We’ve always been committed to supporting our creators for the long-term whether it’s offering more upload time or building new features like more robust stats. The goal to support creators continues on with Premier. We’re now able to continue supporting creators by allowing them to make money on their music. We will also be introducing the option to opt out of ads in a new subscription service in the coming months so stay tuned for that. I hope this helps. Again, thank you for your feedback and support. If you have any more questions or concerns, reach out to

  15. janeshin

    Hey Marcus, thanks for the reply, can see the progression you’re imagining. For further clarification, we envision that all our creators are our “partners” in general, across the board the moment they sign up. Once they look to expand on our platform and invest more time into uploading and gaining more tools, they become “Pro Partners.” And “Premier Partner” means they’re even more invested in SoundCloud as they look to make money off their music on SoundCloud. Hope this helps. Thanks again.

  16. janeshin

    Hi Adam, sorry for the confusion. Pro and Pro Unlimited plans are not merged. They are still separate plans that fall now under a “Pro Partner” umbrella. Pro plan still gets you 6 hours of upload time. Pro Unlimited plan still gets you unlimited hours of upload time. If you have any questions or concerns about your current plan, please reach More at

  17. Kev Grosvenor

    As a pro member , have to say thanks Soundcloud for the 50% bump in storage space – very welcome !

  18. janeshin

    Hi Kev, glad to hear that the bump in storage will be helpful. Keep the uploads flowing. Thanks for your support!

  19. Antso R. Laza

    Could someone from soundcloud reply to this post i think it’s a goog point.
    I’m little disaponted that you let people upload mixes all this years. And now that you have millions of users, you decide to look at copyright of the uploaded trakcs.

  20. Ben

    So essentially your introducing a model where “creators” pay to have ads placed on their music but wait for it…. Can reduce that cost slightly by “allowing” those ads. So nothing us given to anyone other than a bunch if advertising in a sure that when it started sold itself on values that were quite the opposite. Users are constantly ignored with their feedback, the sure never works 100% and more featured are disappearing for pro users.
    It’s a disgrace that everyone at soundcloud should be ashamed of being a part of.

  21. Ghostal

    Quick question: What will the pricing for Premier be? And is it possible to get an estimate on how much an artist will make off of the revenue sharing? I’m definitely interested by this idea, but I have to see how it works in action first.

  22. janeshin

    Hi Ghostal, Premier is currently invite-only and we are unable to disclose any estimates at this time. Premier will be expanded to more users and publicly announced when that happens, so thanks for your interest. Sign up to stay in touch about it at

  23. Max de Laax

    just because you introduce the advertising (“new expierience”, really??!?) slowly or step by step doesn’t make it any better!

    besides that i don’t think creators of music will profit, it’s the big labels that manage accounts of artists that have that much plays to really earn money from advertising the tracks.

  24. Brad

    Chi, this IS the reason why the takedowns began. As soon as monetisation begins, the copyright holders have a lot more interest..

  25. Chi Duly

    ok let me get more specific. So the ny times reported that Sony/ATV signed on as partners for monetization with soundcloud. Can I now safely upload a michael jackson remix (sony atv)?

  26. Alessio

    I’m surprised about critics to the ads model: recently SoundCloud have been successfully focusing on expanding the listener base (and brought all the big names to the platform) and it’s a no-brainer decision that all this potential should be monetized. As someone pointed out, did we stop using Youtube because of the ads? Not at all. There’s not enough info to have an opinion about the Premier plan – all the statements are pretty generic (and ambitious too: dedicated account manager? so hardly scalable that it might even be affordable only for big names – despite I reckon SoundCloud always had great and engaging community managers).
    Content creators should be just happy if SoundCloud keeps growing – this means more listeners and potential fans with less promotion efforts (basically I haven’t been uploading music almost for the past 2 years and I get new likes and reposts everyday on my old tracks, with 0 promotion!).
    Bottom line – I think SoundCloud is still a fantastic platform and the best on the market for music makers and lovers – I only regret losing all my “creator” features on the app, but with today’s news I feel like an “On SoundCloud” app for creators might be coming soon.

  27. Joe

    “We will also be introducing the option to opt out of ads in a new subscription service in the coming months so stay tuned for that” Will any of the money from this subscription service be going to creators? How do you plan to dish that out? Or does it just go to Soundcloud? Seems a bit unfair to offer the creators the opportunity to earn money from ads to then offer the listener a chance to remove them at no benefit to the creator. Unless you plan to pay per play across the whole of Soundcloud… Spotify?!?

  28. hi

    This is bullshit. Biggest bullshit is that adds by redbull jaguar and comedycentral will pay the income of artists. Shittiest thing though is that the site is still full of bugs after 2 years. Whats going. Feedback my ass i mailed 8438 times about errors and bugs but nothing happens.

  29. Sambalman

    Inevitable & shitty. Hope adblock plus or a new plugin addon will block the ads in my browser. Gives opportunity for a non-bloated, new emerging platform to trigger a migration. I hope bandcamp doesn’t follow the ads model.

  30. brendancodey

    Hi Ben – Creators aren’t paying to have ads placed on their music. When you’re invited to the Premier Tier of our creator partner program, you have the option to have ads play against your content. You would then share in part of the revenue that the ad generates. Ads will only appear on the content of Premier Partners, not either of the Pro tiers or the Free level. Premier level creators also get some other new features, which you can see here:

  31. pmmm

    i’m skeptical…

    on paper it sounds like a great idea – ‘get money from your streams’….

    but in reality, why are you copying Spotify, a company much worse than you, instead of bandcamp, a company better than you?

    instead of annoying us with ads, why don’t you link up with paypal (and/ or bandcamp) so that listeners can buy tracks strait from profiles???

    Surely that was the smarter idea as currently I can’t buy tracks from Spotify….

    (and how come you made this big move before fixing your apparently crap app and your dodgy beta upload system and ugly waveform graphic and biased Explore feature?)

  32. brendancodey

    Hey Crash – If a track has been monetized by a Premier Partner and it’s embedded on another site, you’ll hear a brief audio ad at the beginning of the track when you press play.

  33. pmmm

    sigh i sympathise… i know soundcloud didn’t have much of a choice – it’s no secret that they’ve lost so many pro account members recently because of their below average service, so they had to find a new income stream ASAP… i honestly want soundcloud to be good again, so i don’t get why they didn’t improve the service FIRST, then maybe copy the bandcamp model so there wouldn’t be any desperate forced income creation :(

  34. gina1104

    Hi Alessio, thank you for your thoughtful support. All of us here at SoundCloud couldn’t be more excited to be rolling out this new program for creators. As always, we’re keeping a close eye on feedback and taking it all into consideration as we move forward!

  35. jamesfixt

    Amen to this – and about time. Soundcloud needs this to compete with YouTube/Spotify/etc… for artists/labels who are coming to expect monetization on any streaming of their music. The next question will be if Soundcloud will be smart enough to adopt the Content-ID model that YouTube has – where content owners who wish to allow others to upload their content, can allow it, but also monetize it. The label I manage is making more money from 3rd party uploads that we monetize on YouTube than sales from sites like Beatport or Amazon. If Soundcloud gets this right, it could become more than just a promo platform, which is all it’s been so far in my opinion, and could take a much bigger step into the world of seriously supporting artists/labels with a revenue model. – James (FiXT, General-Manager & Co-Founder)

  36. Jeremy Greenwell

    Steve Winwood said it best, roll with it.

    With over 1000 plays (quite a jump in the average) last week in Interlude Jones land and some heavy hitters starting to catch my vibe….I anticipate one of those “invitation only” invitations.

    Know what I mean?

  37. v

    bring back the old iphone app! you guys are killin’ it, and not in a good way. super disappointed.

  38. An Artist

    It is sad that they use the whole we are supporting “artist” when really it is just for the labels. There are hardly any (maybe none) premiere partners that are not signed or a company like red bull. (You know red bull does sooooo much for music and artist??). They are using small artist/blogs/sites to build traffic for the site then ripping them off by letting only labels and companies to actual be a partner. Sad day for soundcloud 8/21/2014 The END?

  39. brendancodey

    Although it’s invitation only for now, we intend to open up the Premier Tier to the community. We’ve also included independent creators in our launch. We’re starting small, but we’ll be growing the program as quickly as we can to include as many people as we can.

  40. designspillover

    I’m curious if the new setup changes the download limitations for free accounts. Previously they were limited to 100, but I see no mention of this in the “On Soundcloud” lineup page, FAQ or elsewhere. Anybody know for sure?

  41. Dude

    So, there will be “geographic control” for Premier users.
    If that means what I think it means, you are promoting piracy (are record labels masochists?).
    Also, does this mean that I will have to pay in order to avoid obnoxious advertising while listening to “Premier” tracks? I don’t like that.

  42. hunkE

    It’s big labels that SoundCloud is trying to appease with this move. This is just another part of the copyright issue. Underground creators will be counting their pennies..

  43. hunkE

    On the flip side, thank you for making my pro unlimited account (that I just renewed last month) a little less worth it :P

  44. hunkE

    Solid argument. As much as I don’t like ads you’re right. If this allows SoundCloud to continue growing, all creators should benefit.

  45. ernie

    Honestly I can’t see anything good about this. There are a lot of decently underground music scenes which are gonna just be annoyed and turned off by ads for mainstream garbage. Artists are perfectly capable of promoting themselves by producing music that’s actually worth listening to. This will seriously throw off the equation and I can think of a lot of people that might leave soundcloud with something like this.

  46. DJ Soru

    As a free user, planning on going pro in the future, I am always afraid that the next upload I make will piss off one of the bigger labels because I love making remixes of tracks I love into rave genres such as UK Hardcore. If Universal, Sony or even Warner want, they can impose ads on my remixes and collect the ad revenue from them just like they do on youtube. As long as I can keep the remixes available and downloadable for free to my fans, then this won’t feel like a sacrifice, more like a blessing.

  47. John

    Tell me a good reason why dropbox is gone when all labels and artists had a massive response in this function , why not sell you own tracks through soundcloud ? soundcloud has become a facebook like , reposts etc its better to focus again in the music and how an artist will have the best ways to promote his work , also is there any way to delete all the fake accounts with millions followers and not even one track to show , many things have to work proper before try to expand the way to earn more money from the users . Thank you

  48. hunkE

    Brendan, do you deny that this is program is meant to appease major labels and allow SoundCloud to continue hosting copyrighted content? If that were the case, it would explain EVERYTHING.

  49. brendancodey

    The goal is definitely for it to benefit all creators. We’re starting small, but will then be opening things up as soon as we can.

  50. brendancodey

    Just want to note that ads will only be on the content of Premier Partners and only with their consent. There will be no audio ads on Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited content.

  51. togawe

    I’m all for this, it’s a great idea to get artists the money they deserve for just seeing or listening to a short advertisement. If you go watch TV or see a movie you have much more ads, it’s only fair to the artists. I’m especially glad it only goes on Premier members with explicit consent – much better than how YouTube slaps ads on everything and sometimes doesn’t even pay the uploader. Good job! :D

  52. ALORD04

    My only concern : what will be the ads ?

    I really hope it’ll be samples of music for other artists I could like. This way “ads” will just be more great music.

  53. Jenny

    Its all about the money. I’ll find somewhere else to put my music thanks. All these sites end up going the same way. The inventors/creators claim to be just like you but they all end up seeing the $ signs. Soundcloud has got noticeably and steadily worse over the years. If you addressed that issue you would have a better service and not a worse one you now need to prop up with ads and, that hateful word, monetizing. Add all this to the fact that your takedown and copyright practices regularly catch songs that are in no way infringing and I think that you guys have managed to take a great idea for a site and slowly but surely ruin it. Thanks, but no thanks.

  54. hunkE

    Of course. SoundCloud cannot dominate without content copyrighted by major labels. I get why it’s important to do what they want.

  55. hunkE

    What if the ads on YouTube slowed it’s growth and contributed to the rise of ad-free SoundCloud?

  56. Praverb

    @disqus_dV8vYRaee1:disqus, you present a valid question. Did ads on YouTube push artists to SoundCloud? I personally would say yes given the ability to post audio quicker than video. Video requires a little more work even if it is a video with a static cover.

    Soundcloud grew because of word of mouth, the collaborative spirit, the artists involved, etc. Drake, Pusha-T, J-Cole, Soulection, Ta-ku, EDM artists, etc will not stop using Soundcloud to premiere music.

  57. Bit Wise

    If we pay for soundcloud, say like a Pro plan are we opted out of the ads? I don’t mind the “Promoted songs” in my feed but ads before/after songs is going to get annoying real fast.

  58. Unlimited user

    Fuck you Soundcloud, I just gave you a hundred fifty bucks of my hard earned money and you do this?

  59. Peter Barnes

    Typical… the first contest I made online was videos though YouTube (videogame reviews) but I drifted away from YouTube due too the many reasons people do… videos taken down for ‘copyright’/trying to force users to change there you tube accounts for Google Crome/my videos where not being watched. You Tube did not ‘seem too want me’ so I stopped posting. Then I got into making electronic music tracks (‘n sometimes dj mixes) in a big way and loved how things where on sound cloud , I felt I had a wonderful platform for my music and was getting followers… Now I bet I will pushed too the background just like with you tube (I currently pay for the middle cost amount of sound I can post).

  60. janeshin

    Hey Bit Wise, thanks for your question and thanks for being a Pro partner. Opting out of ads is not possible with a Pro plan. But in the coming months, we’ll be rolling out a subscription plan if you’d like to have an ad-free listening experience. To hopefully clear up any confusion though overall, ads will only be on the content of Premier Partners and only with their consent. No audio ads will be placed on Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited content.

  61. janeshin

    Hi Sean, thanks for your comment. We will be rolling out a subscription service in the coming months to provide an ad-free listening experience. In the meantime, we’re conscious of the fact that ads are a new experience on the platform, so we’ll be rolling out ads at a very gradual pace. Thanks, Sean.

  62. cartoon monster

    so, if someone with a premier account reposts one of my songs, would or could there be an ad attached to it? id like to have control over whether or not i subject my fans/possible fans to yet another barrage of ads…

  63. janeshin

    Hey cartoon monster, that’s correct and will be available later in the coming months. As mentioned, we’re focusing on a slow roll-out of ads which are only on the content of Premier partners with their consent. Hope this helps.

  64. janeshin

    Hi cartoon monster, if a Premier partner reposted one of your tracks, an ad would NOT be attached to your track. Ads will only appear on content that a Premier partner has given full consent to. Does this help? Let me know, thanks.

  65. olivegarden

    how come you’re using audio ads? why not LESS INTRUSIVE visual ads? surely that would interest more music creators?

  66. olivegarden

    but if a non premier user reposted a premier track, that prem track would have ads on the non prem user profile?

  67. GreyHooves

    My question is, where exactly will these ads be placed? Will they be played before every single track, or would creators have a choice when they are played? I personally would use ads only if I could choose to place them at the end of my tracks, that way the listeners could skip them if they wanted to. Though making ad revenue would be helpful for me, I’m more interested in just getting my music more well known

  68. cartoon monster

    i would definitely hesitate to repost a song that had an ad attached to it, just like if i try to watch a youtube video with an ad that you cant skip after 5 seconds, i just dont watch that video. i assume everyone is like me and isnt excited about watching a car commercial before watching the thing you actually want to see… but who knows, maybe the redbull drinkers of the world love advertising….

  69. Harrison jpg

    Hey Guys,

    When is this coming to Canada? I’m very on the fence about this idea but I’ve built most of my following from SC and I do believe you guys are trying to help artists without a big lawsuit from the Major Labels.

  70. gambolputty

    There’s a misunderstanding here. SoundCloud itself doesn’t manually comb through content to detect copyright violations – it just provides a means for copyright owners themselves to do so. Whom the content owners choose to flag is up to them, so any inequity in how different DJs are treated is due to the content owners themselves and not SoundCloud the platform.

    SoundCloud itself is not granting special permissions to anyone. Some content owners might decide to give a free pass to certain DJs if they think they have high promotional value. In any case, SoundCloud itself has nothing to do with that determination.

  71. Merlin

    shame on soundcloud!!!

    only people who join the (not-free) premium partner level will get paid!

    and “get paid” is something like $0.0001 :-)

  72. Merlin

    soundcloud doest care about their users!


    now they make more money than ever:

    – ripping “creators” with a monthly fee
    – keeping XX% of what the advertisers really paid
    – asking for a monthly fee to NOT show the ads

  73. brendancodey

    Audio Ads are attached only to tracks, not profiles. So if anyone reposts a track with an ad, when that tracks is played the listener will hear the audio ad – regardless of whether that’s reposted on SoundCloud or embedded out elsewhere on the internet.

  74. brendancodey

    We’re starting with a small group of Premier Partners, but will be opening up the program to the rest of the community as soon as possible. Scaling things takes time. This is the beginning of that process.

  75. brendancodey

    Hey – Audio ads will be at the beginning of tracks for people in the Premier Partner tier that have chosen to place ads against their content. Creators will have the choice to put them on just a few of their tracks or all of their tracks. So you could, for example, decide to not put ads on new tracks if you wanted. We won’t put audio ads on anyone’s content without their explicit consent and there won’t be audio ads on any Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited content. Cheers.

  76. brendancodey

    Hey Peter – Our intention is to build a sustainable ecosystem on SoundCloud that supports creators for the long term. We’re going to roll out ad products very gradually, with a lot of attention to people’s experience.