SoundCloud is hoping to make itself more appealing to creators with the announcement that it is opening up applications for its invite-only Premier program and launching new track editing capabilities within SoundCloud Pulse.
Launched more than two years ago, On SoundCloud is the company’s premier program for content creators interested in monetizing their work through advertising. Participants have been able to tap into any of five ad products: native, audio, channel sponsorship, display, and contests. What’s more, five brands had signed up to provide the marketing messages — Jaguar, Red Bull, Sonos, Squarespace, and Comedy Central.
When implemented, audio ads run for a minimum of 15 seconds, with 30-second ads providing a way to opt out after the first 15 seconds. The selling point is a revenue-sharing plan for those in the U.S., along with additional statistics and promotional tools.
Though On SoundCloud has only been accessible by invitation, the company is no longer manually curating participants and has started to roll out a new application process for independent creators wishing to join the program.
It’s said that more than 12 hours of new content is published to SoundCloud every minute and more than 12 million creators have their work heard monthly. With more than 135 million tracks now on the service, there’s certainly plenty of interest from those seeking to monetize their work — they’re not all creating stuff for free, after all.
“We believe we’re only as vibrant as the people on our platform who create and drive the uniqueness of the SoundCloud community,” the company said in a blog post. “We’re always working to provide the best platform for people to share their creativity, the most useful tools to build their audiences and get their music or audio discovered, and for a growing number of people, the opportunity to make money from the work they share on the platform.”
Other announcements include an update to SoundCloud’s Pulse, its creator-focused app that launched last year. Creators can manage their work through Pulse, and, starting today, the company has added the ability to edit track titles, genres, tags, and descriptions, and to specify whether content should be public, private, or downloadable. SoundCloud claims that this is one of its “highly requested new features.”
Within SoundCloud Pulse, tap the “[…]” icon to edit any track information.
As with most social-based services, appealing to influencers and creators is important for survival and traction, and SoundCloud is following a path similar to Twitter and Facebook around live video. It is also perhaps looking at what YouTube did with video creators. And in light of reports that Spotify is showing interest in purchasing the company, this update could be a way for SoundCloud to show that it still has some fight left in it. SoundCloud declined to comment on that report.
To lead this fight, SoundCloud enlisted the help of Joe Armenia as its director for artist relations to ensure that creators and managers maintain a positive working relationship with the company. Prior to joining SoundCloud, Armenia was Rdio’s global head of artist, label, and influencer relations and networked with major and independent record labels, distributors, and other content providers. Armenia wound up at SoundCloud after Rdio’s bankruptcy and purchase by Pandora.
Today’s announcements come as the company holds its 2016 artist forum, which is being livestreamed.