Fan-powered Royalties FAQs

What are fan-powered royalties?

Fan-powered royalties are a more equitable and transparent way for independent artists who monetize directly with SoundCloud to get paid. The more fans listen on SoundCloud, and listen to your music, the more you get paid.

Under the old model, money from your dedicated fans goes into a giant pool that's paid out to artists based on their share of total streams. That model mostly benefits mega stars.

Under fan-powered royalties, you get paid based on your fans' actual listening habits. The more of their time your dedicated fans listen to your music, the more you get paid. This model benefits independent artists.


Who is eligible for fan-powered royalties?

Independent artists who monetize directly with SoundCloud are eligible for fan-powered royalties. These artists are monetizing via our Premier Program and/or SoundCloud for Artists.


When does fan-powered royalties roll out?

Fan-powered royalties will replace the old model beginning April 1, 2021.

Premier artists will receive their first statement in May 2021, as Premier runs on a 45-day payment cycle. Next Plus and Next Pro subscribers who monetize via SoundCloud for Artists, will receive their first statement in June 2021.


Why is the fan-powered royalties model a fairer system than the industry norm?

Fan-powered royalties are a more equitable and transparent way for independent artists to get paid. With fan-powered royalties, each listener's subscription or advertising revenue is distributed among the artists they actually listen to, rather than being pooled. This new model benefits independent artists and empowers fans to play a larger role in the success of their favorite artists. It also encourages the growth of local scenes and the rise of new genres.


How do fan-powered royalties work?

We pay royalties based on what portion of a fan's time they listen to each artist. The total amount of money generated by a fan for the artists they listen to is based on a few factors:


1. How much the fan listens to that artist relative to all of their listening time in a given month

2. How many advertisements the fan has consumed

3. Whether the fan has a paying subscription to SoundCloud Go+


Fan-powered royalties benefit independent artists whose fanbases are dedicated to listening to their music frequently. So if a fan only listens to an early-stage rapper from Detroit or an emerging singer from France, most or all of their subscription or advertising revenue will go to those exact artists. 


How do fan-powered royalties address fraud? 

In a pooled royalties model, it’s easy to game the system with vanity accounts that exist to blindly play certain tracks over and over, commonly supported by bots. In contrast, fan-powered royalties tie royalties directly to the contributions made by real listeners. Fan-powered royalties are attributable only to listeners’ subscription revenue and ads consumed, then distributed among only the artists listeners streamed that month. No pooled royalties means bots have little influence, which leads to more money being paid out on legitimate fan activity.


How can I qualify for fan-powered royalties? 

You can monetize under the Fan-powered royalties model by joining SoundCloud for Artists.

Next Plus and Next Pro subscriptions give you access to the SoundCloud for Artists dashboard: these plans are for artists who want to reach fans everywhere by distributing their music to every major music service. There are no eligibility requirements to monetize and distribute with SoundCloud for Artists.

You can subscribe to Next Plus and Next Pro over here.


SoundCloud Premier users can also monetize under the Fan-powered royalties model. However, please note we are no longer offering new Premier contracts. Existing Premier users will remain in the program unless opted out. We suggest subscribing to Next Plus or Next Pro, in order to monetize and distribute your content via the SoundCloud for Artists dashboard.



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