'Fan-powered royalties' by SoundCloud : my immediate #SavvyIndie take | 🎡 #arts

Forget the splashy landing page with its right-tail examples (average estimates of revenue swings are more in the order of 20% than 200%).

The fact is most of you won’t be affected by this news, as stated by CelebrityAccess:

For artists to collect user-centric royalties you have to be a paid Pro Unlimited or Repost by SoundCloud subscriber which costs $144 a year and $30 per year respectively. β€œIf you choose to revert back to a Free account, your Premier monetization benefits will be terminated.” Third-party distribution via CDBaby, TuneCore, DistroKid, and other services is not an option to receive fan-powered royalties.


But user-centric royalties may be globally adopted soon, so worth understanding.

My basic understanding is this:

  1. it’s less easily manipulable by bots. If a bot goes and streams a million times on an artist, it won’t be stealing share from everyone’s subscription, only diluting it’s (minute $10) subscription
  2. artists listened to by people who listen to less tracks will earn more:

I can imagine 3 major listener-types who would listen to less tracks:

i. Long-tracks. Like classical music.
ii. Never stream as background music. So more mindful, dedicated listeners.
iii. Supplement streaming listening with other listening: this could skew with the above towards vinyl heads, live music fans, afficionados with multiple streaming subs etc.

In short, artist’s whose audiences are more likely to be plugging in for full tracks of deeper listening experience will likely do better. Again, the magnitude of changes will be small, around 20% or so.

Genre-wise: the gains are likely to be in niche genres, whereas rap/hip-hop with its <3min songs on buzzy playlists lose out.
Within-genres: deeper, more lyrically complex songs will probably do better.

So I reckon Cerulean would do better, but MC Beastly would probably lose out! It’s a wash-out for me!


What about you? Do you think your music will perform better or worse in user-centric streaming?
And if better, do you believe in SoundCloud enough to pay for their distribution platform?
Link to this article in social and @CeruleanSounds to let me know!


Related news: I’m developing a database of distributors for SavvyIndie.com. It will be interactive, and up-to-date with crowdsourced info.
I will be releasing a subset of the database covering only free distributors for free publicly pre-launch at Distro.SavvyIndie.com. That one won’t contain SoundCloud Repost ($30/yr), but I may add a filter on user-centric royalties if other distributors adopt.

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