Warner Music Group strikes licensing deal with SoundCloud

Tom Pakinkis Musicweek.com 11/05/14

Warner Music Group is the first major music company to forge a partnership with SoundCloud.

The deal covers SoundCloud’s ad-supported, creator partner program, On SoundCloud, and its subscription streaming service, which is due to launch in the first half of 2015.

The agreement includes licensing terms that will provide WMG and its artists greater ability to manage the availability of content, according to the major, “while providing a path towards delivering additional revenue from user-generated mixes and mash-ups of WMG music”.

It will create new commercial and promotional possibilities for both WMG’s roster of recording artists and songwriters signed to Warner/Chappell Music.

On SoundCloud launched two months ago with 20 partners representing creators from the platform. Today, On SoundCloud has over 40 partners including labels, publishers, emerging artists and audio creators.

Rob Wiesenthal, chief operating officer/Corporate, WMG, said: “This leading-edge partnership reflects WMG’s commitment to establishing new and alternative business models that recognise the value of music for our artists. SoundCloud is a platform built on music innovation and it has a rare ability to drive music discovery while enhancing the connection and collaboration between an artist and their following. Our deal will foster that relationship, while providing a powerful range of income opportunities for WMG’s artists and songwriters.”

Jonathan Dworkin, EVP, digital strategy and business development, WMG, said: “SoundCloud is a distinctly artist-driven service, with a highly engaged global fan community at its heart. This deal will enable SoundCloud to further develop its product as well as its massive user base, and will deliver multi-tiered monetisation while preserving the elements that have made the service so popular. It’s a win for artists, for rights-holders and for consumers.”

Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud’s founder and CEO, said: “We’re thrilled that Warner Music Group will be the first major label to join our new creator partner program. We expect to generate significant revenue for Warner and its artists in the months and years ahead as we roll out an ad-supported offering and subscription service that delivers real value to the industry.”

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