SoundCloud Expands Its Monetization Program

SoundCloud is expanding its ad monetization plan, SoundCloud Premier, to all eligible artists. This seems to be in direct response to Spotify’s new “Spotify for Artists” that they released last month. But is SoundCloud offering enough to compete with Spotify?

The requirements for Premier are a bit steep. Premiere is only available to Pro and Pro Unlimited users. In addition to that, an artist has to have had at least 5000 plays in the last month to qualify. Pro and Pro Unlimited memberships cost $72 and $144 annually.

According to SoundCloud’s website, the benefits of being part of their program is better revenue share and faster payouts compared to their competitors. However, if the artist is only just meeting the threshold of 5000 plays a month, that will barely be enough to pay for SoundCloud Pro, and won’t even come close to covering the cost of Pro Unlimited.

This is based on a report made in 2016 that detailed how many streams were needed to earn $1. SoundCloud took 776. An SC paid service separate from Pro and Pro Unlimited called Go+ only required 96 plays. While the report is two years old, things probably haven’t changed too drastically.

If you’re already a Pro or Pro Unlimited user, then it is absolutely worth it to enroll in Premier. It comes with the plan, so there’s no reason not to. But if you’re still starting out and haven’t worked an extra $72-144 into your budget, perhaps look into other services.

It’s a good start for SoundCloud to stay competitive with what Spotify is offering, but they’re likely going to have to offer more.