SoundCloud will soon introduce a new streaming model that will let fans pay artists directly. Billboard initially reported the news, which is yet to be confirmed by SoundCloud, but is expected to offer fans the chance to pay artists directly similar to Patreon and OnlyFans. It’s a system that’s already in place with Chinese streaming platforms Tencent Music’s QQ Music. Tencent owns a large slice of Spotify, who also introduced ‘tipping’ in April last year, with mixed results. As it stands, subscriber revenue is pooled and distributed to the artists who brought in the most streams. It’s not yet clear if SoundCloud will pivot to payments based on individual fan streaming, rather than a pro-rata payment system that currently exists.
Direct payment models have seen an increased demand as artists struggle to make up the revenue lost from cancelled tours and live shows via streaming. Late last year SoundCloud announced they were profitable for the first time, up 37% year on year in 2019.
You can read the full Billboard report on SoundCloud’s potential new payment system here.