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SoundCloud inks its first major label deal, eyes streaming service in 2015

Billy Steele
11.04.14
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After rumors swirled for months regarding SoundCloud's pending licensing deals with major labels, Warner Music Group is the first to sign on. As part of the agreement, the German audio-streaming site will shell out funds each time one of the labels' songs are spun. What's more, it seems the crux of the deal was that SoundCloud would guarantee it'd be launching its own subscription service -- which is said to happen during the first half of 2015.

The label will get a kickback when parts of its catalog are used in mashups too, but it doesn't have to open its entire library for access. Warner also nabs a small stake in the site, a stipulation that was reported to be somewhere between 3 and 5 percent back in the summer. Right now, SoundCloud and its apps are free, but pack in ads to bring in revenue from its 175 million monthly users. Artists who upload their work in bulk have to fork over a monthly fee, but that's for sharing only, as musicians don't see any money in return. Lastly, it seems that talks with both Universal Music and Sony are on-going, per the Wall Street Journal report.

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