Photo by Marcela Laskoski

SoundCloud Joins the Monetization Fray, But Is It a Better Option?

Content monetization is continuing to expand across the most popular platforms we use to consume media, but it’s not yet something to celebrate if you’re a creator looking to make money while retaining control of your work and the creative process.

We’ve detailed the shortcomings of YouTube’s monetization program, and the ways in which an idea that is nominally aimed at helping and rewarding creators is ultimately designed to improve YouTube’s fortunes while cutting out smaller channels and driving its creators to burnout. And, while YouTube remains the most prominent case of monetization gone wrong, other attempts to introduce revenue sharing could follow in its steps of leaving small creators in the cold.

SoundCloud has announced the expansion of its SoundCloud Premier program, which offers artists the chance to monetize their work and make revenue based on the number of plays they garner. But as with other monetization programs, there’s a catch: to take part in the program, artists must be subscribers to the SoundCloud Pro or SoundCloud Pro Unlimited program and need to be in a country where both these services and advertising are available options for SoundCloud users. Also necessary is 5,000 plays in the past month, similar to the thresholds set for YouTube’s revenue sharing programs

While monetization of content is the way of the future, the way in which platforms enact these programs are not what consumers will ultimately want or accept, because they aren’t designed with them in mind. Creators are being failed by platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud because their aim with these programs is to further enrich themselves, not those creating the work. And while no one expects any business or platform to operate for free, artists and consumers alike are growingly discontented with services that keep the vast majority of the money created by users for themselves.

For those looking at a better solution for content monetization, RightsLedger offers a creator-oriented platform that gives artists the ability to earn what they determine is fair compensation for their work, rather than having terms dictated by the platform. In addition, uploading works to the blockchain for digital fingerprinting also allows creators to combat piracy, another factor that can undercut the earning potential of artists that can’t afford the digital rights management (DRM) solutions used by major studios and labels. And RightsLedger requires no subscriptions or monthly views or listens to get started, so creators aren’t forced to work under the existing system to build an audience before they can hope to earn money from their work.

Visit our website to learn more about what RightsLedger is doing to create a marketplace for independent artists.