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Sony to take down more music from SoundCloud, while Ultra boss says it’s years away from making money

By | Published on Thursday 21 May 2015


Sony Music’s previously reported campaign of removing its music from SoundCloud – as licensing negotiations with the audio-sharing platform continue to stall – is seemingly expanding. And yesterday, producer Madeon warned fans on Twitter that his SoundCloud account will be taken down “in the next few days”.

“Sony will take down all of my music from my SoundCloud account in the next few days, let’s have a farewell listen”, tweeted the Sony/Columbia-signed artist. “Thank you SoundCloud for being such a great discovery platform over the past five years. Well done Sony for holding your own artists hostage”.

He added that his gripe wasn’t with the people working on his music at Columbia, but rather “Sony Corporate’s disconnected-from-reality strategy”.

Of course, the fact that SoundCloud has morphed itself from being primarily a service for content creators into more of a consumer-facing streaming platform, with its aim to become “the YouTube of audio”, but without licences from labels and publishers, has become an increasingly contentious issue in the last few years.

Warner Music did reach an agreement with the company last year, but other label negotiations are ongoing. SoundCloud, meanwhile, has begun monetising content through advertising and sharing that revenue with content creators, even going so far as to employ the same company that manages YouTube’s Content ID system to boost its monetisation credentials.

However, concerns remain over the potential profitability of the service for rights owners. To that end, Patrick Moxey, the boss of Sony Music-allied EDM label Ultra Music – which has had its own issues with SoundCloud in the past, and with it’s own artists as a result – yesterday told at the International Music Summit in Ibiza that the streaming service is still years away from generating any real income for artists and songwriters.

This created a challenge, he conceded, according to Music Week, because “I think that SoundCloud is fantastic because there are 100,000 creators uploading new music to [the platform] every night. But what do they pay artists and writers right now? Little to nothing. Will they pay anybody anything in the near future? Not really”.

He continued: “What electronic artists are going to get out of SoundCloud financially in the next few years is close to nothing. Once you realise that then you’ll realise that you do have to protect the guys that are trying to pay the artists and the labels”.

“You don’t want to mess with the spontaneity and creativity [of SoundCloud]”, he added. “You want to keep that artist potential there, but at the same time, there [has] to be a way to do it and build up the premium side and the subscription side. That’s what [CEO Alexander Ljung has] got to envision for the future”.

Moxey’s comments come ahead of Ljung’s on-stage interview at IMS tomorrow.