Soundcloud Squeezed by the Suits?
With the news that SoundCloud is about to sell shares in the company to some of the world’s biggest record labels, the question now remains as to whether people will continue to support the platform. Up to 5% of the streaming site is now up for grabs, with the likes of Warner, Sony and Universal all interested in a slice of the action.
This follows on from the news that Universal can now wipe content at will from the SoundCloud website if they think that copyright is being infringed. I have personally had two sets taken down from the Soundcloud site due to ‘copyright infringement’, so I now host my DJ stuff on Mixcloud with my own personal music productions on SoundCloud. I posted a mix that started with a remix of M.I.A. ‘Paper Planes’ and it was actually a note from XL Recordings that removed the set from Soundcloud due to copyright infringement.
Many producers and DJs are getting past the copywriting issue on SoundCloud by adding a 20 second intro, or even just leaving the first 20 seconds of each track blank. A few artists and record labels are even having their OWN MUSIC pulled under copyright and their accounts closed down which is completely insane!
Head of D&B label Scientia Music, Jonathan Swann, said –
Soundcloud was once the independent musician/labels friend, offering the perfect platform for aspiring musicians to showcase and promote their activities, which in turn allowed Soundcloud its own rapid organic growth and user base. Now the size of SoundCloud has become too big for the industry ‘men in suits’ to ignore and increasingly by the day it appears the team at SoundCloud are much more keen to court the moneymen than those who made the site what it is. What was once a great artistic playground and canvas for artistic freedom is quickly becoming another controlled media outlet for the majors to dominate and dictate with increasing copyright policy and stricter censorship. On the whole it’s a shame – SoundCloud was one of the only corners of the internet where artistic freedom remained intact without advertising and major label control. It appears those days are over as the web (and more importantly the majors) push towards subscription paid streaming service.
Mixcloud take a different view of people adding DJ sets to their website. Having joined forces with music download giants Juno, every mix uploaded is scanned, not for copyright, but to offer the listener the opportunity to purchase the music being played. This means a listener can find out the name of a tune and purchase it in a matter of seconds, totally supporting the artist who otherwise may have remained unknown.
SoundCloud may have going longer and with bigger numbers, but for me Mixcloud supports the makers of good quality music and offers them a platform to sell their tracks through other people’s mixes. I for one would be delighted if one of my DJ sets hosted on Mixcloud led to the artists I’m showcasing to earn more money. The amount of work that goes into intricate dance music is quite astounding, with very little pay back in this day and age. Here’s hoping that Soundcloud remember it was the ‘little people’ who helped put them on the map, a long time before the suits from the big labels started sniffing around looking for their pound of flesh.
Check out my ‘Devious Soul’ Mixcloud and if you hear a track you like, don’t sue me. Buy it!