Today we welcome a significant addition to our roster of On SoundCloud Premier Partners: Merlin. When we started SoundCloud in 2007, one of our chief priorities then, as it remains today, was championing independent artists. The indie community has always been at the heart of SoundCloud, and our deal with Merlin is another way for us to further support the independent community by opening a new source of revenue for them.
As we announced back in March this year, On SoundCloud now has over 100 partners, ranging from bigger labels to emerging independent artists. We’ve continued to bring more partners on board and, from today, the 20,000 independent record labels and distributors who make up Merlin’s worldwide network will be able to join On SoundCloud and select the tracks they want to make available for inclusion. Some of the labels and distributors who have joined today include Beggars Group, Domino, Secretly Group, Epitaph, PIAS, Warp Records, Armada Music, Ninja Tune, Kontor Records and many more.
In just the last month, more than 10 million creators were heard on SoundCloud – helping us to reach a milestone of 100 million tracks uploaded. And for our 175m monthly SoundCloud users, today’s announcement means you should expect to have more opportunities to connect with Merlin’s vast roster of indie labels and artists. You’ll also be able to discover and listen to more new tracks from the best independent label creators on the planet, safe in the knowledge they’ll now have the opportunity to get paid while you listen.
It’s been six months since we launched the On SoundCloud partner program, and it feels like a good time to look back at how far we’ve come. Through On SoundCloud we’ve been able to better support creators as they take the next steps in their careers, adding the Premier Partner level to begin to give people the opportunity to make money from the tracks that they share on SoundCloud.
Since the launch last August, things have been growing fast. We’ve signed up over 100 Premier Partners and paid over $1 million in advertising revenue to partners including labels, audio partners and emerging artists.
We’ve also seen independent artists like Romiti, Blackbear and Xavier Wulf rise to the top of the Premier Partner pack in terms of people listening to their tracks. Labels are benefiting from On SoundCloud, too, by using it to discover new artists and audiences.
On the audio side, On SoundCloud has opened up many new avenues. For multi-channel networks like Fullscreen, Collective Digital Studio and Maker Studios (the labels of the audio world), SoundCloud offers an entirely new monetization channel for top and emerging talent. For example: using On SoundCloud, comedian Shane Dawson has seen his SoundCloud podcast Shane and Friendsbecome a significant source of revenue. Epic Rap Battles of History is also now using SoundCloud to monetize content.
What’s coming up? We got started with On SoundCloud in the US, but we’re aiming to begin bringing it to new territories later this year — stay tuned. We’ll also continue to add more Premier Partners as we go. We’re looking forward to the next steps of the On SoundCloud journey — and to having you along for the ride.
This is not a late April Fool’s joke (seriously, it’s not). (And that was not a ploy to get you to believe that this is not a late April Fool’s joke even though it actually is.) (Trust us, it’s not.) (For real.)
We’re excited to announce that Funny or Die is presenting Comedy Month on SoundCloud for all of April. Each week, they’ll create a new playlist of some of their favorite comedy tracks available on SoundCloud. Other partners like Comedy Central, Kevin Smith’s SModCo, and Earwolf will also be uploading new stand up and comedy podcasts on a regular basis.