Soundcloud has announced massive reforms to take place in the coming months, indicating the cogs are in motion at the world’s largest music-sharing platform. While many of the changes are currently unclear, here are five things we know so far about the re-tweaked music service:

  • There will be a new partner program called ‘On Soundcloud’; a three-tiered user model where acts can release music with differing levels of advertising depending on their tier.
  • ‘On Soundcloud’ will have YouTube-style advertising to those who don’t pay to use it. But instead of being able to skip a 30-second video after five seconds, you’ll have to wait fifteen
  • …Fifteen seconds of either Red Bull, Jaguar, Sonos, Squarespace, Comedy Central, indie labels, or any major music label – as these are the advertising partners announced thus far.
  • Mashups on Soundcloud may become a thing of the past. Once advertisers get involved, copyright infringement becomes more of an issue; meaning that ‘copyrighted’ content can be penalized. Apparently Soundcloud’s dodging of copyright infringement over the years under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has already riled tensions between them and label owners.
  • It isn’t happening in Australia… yet.

 

    And whether or not these changes will lead to SoundCloud maintaining its monthly average of 175 million independent users is about as ambiguous as the reforms themselves.