UK-based streaming service Mixcloud has signed a direct licensing deal with Warner Music Group, its first such partnership with a label.
The company says it’s working on a premium subscription tier for which such deals will be required, although Mixcloud told the Financial Times that it will be avoiding the template set by services like Spotify.
“We don’t want to do the $9.99 a month. That’s done. That market is served,” said co-founder Nico Perez. “What we’re building is going to be very customised.”
Mixcloud hasn’t required direct deals before, as it operates under statutory radio licences for its catalogue of DJ mixes and radio-style shows. The company claims 17 million monthly listeners to its catalogue of 12m shows and mixes.
It has been bootstrapped ever since being founded in 2005: Music Ally first wrote about the company in April 2009, as it quietly began to build a following. Mixcloud has earned plenty of respect within the industry, although it remains small as a company: it averaged 13 staff in 2016, and its turnover was small enough to gain exemption from declaring it in the company’s last set of financial results.
Mixcloud ended 2016 with £653k of cash in the bank according to those financials, but with £1.8m due to creditors within the next year. While the company said it “has adequate cash balances to meet its obligations if and when they become due” and is thus a going concern, building a subscription service – with the further licensing deals that will entail – will surely require an injection of external funding at some point.