SoundCloud signs licensing deal with Universal Music Group

Artists signed to Universal Music Group will receive payments from advertising when their songs are played on SoundCloud, the free streaming service used by an estimated 175 million people, which claims to be the "world's largest community of music and audio creators".

SoundCloud already has deals with Warner Music Group and Merlin, which represents several independent labels, as well as the National Music Publishers Association. Last May, the company claimed it had paid $2m in royalties to artists within a year of introducing adverts.

“We’ve got the majority of the music industry partnered with us now,” said Alexander Ljung, one of the founders of SoundCloud.

SoundCloud has hinted that it will introduce a paid subscription service later this year, but further details remain thin on the ground. The New York Times reports that Michael Nash, Universal’s executive vice president, has indicated that the deal would allow Universal to experiment with SoundCloud, including making some material available only to paying subscribers.

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Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.