The stand-off between artists and music streaming sites has now expanded to include Sony Music. The music group has pulled many of its artists, including Miguel and Adele, from SoundCloud after a breakdown in negotiations between the label and the audio platform. Though Sony Music and Columbia Records, the label on which most of the impacted artists reside, declined to comment, an executive familiar with negotiations says the recent takedowns are due to “a lack of monetization opportunities” on the platform.
"[It’s] been a good place for exposure,” one artist's manager tells Billboard on condition of anonymity. “At the same time, artists and labels need to get paid for music. Until that can be worked out, we’re going to have situations that are incompatible with artist development.”
A SoundCloud spokesperson tells Billboard in a statement, “We are in ongoing conversations with major and independent labels and will continue to add partners to the program,” noting that the company has already paid out more than $2 million in advertising revenue to more than 100 partners since late 2014.
“We’ve always put control in the hands of creators, and anyone who makes music and audio can decide when and how they want to share it with fans, allowing artists to essentially broadcast out to the world the availability of new content.”
Jay Z's new service Tidal hopes to scoop up the business that the audio streaming services like SoundCloud and Spotify are leaving on the table by offering artists an ownership stake in the enterprise. But the company's rocky launch means its competitors aren't feeling threatened just yet.
Still, it would be interesting to see if Tidal can offer a better deal to these artists — hey, who wouldn't want to be in business with Jay Z? — and take over the market.
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