Former Warner/Chappell exec Jane Dyball, who is now CEO of MCPS in the UK, has criticised SoundCloud over its approach to paying royalties for streams on its service.

“It is just not right to me that you have any kind of digital service that is primarily focused on delivering music and [doesn’t] worry about getting money over to the creators,” she told Music Ally, for the lead feature in our Music Ally Report this week.

“SoundCloud present themselves as the musicians’ friend, for example. I am friends with musicians and I buy them a drink every now and then. SoundCloud haven’t even bought anyone a cup of tea as far as I can tell.”

Dyball’s comments are part of a wider rising tide of criticism and questions for SoundCloud about its business, as the company gets its advertising initiative off the ground.

While the company has historically not paid royalties for streams on its service, in August 2014 it launched its On SoundCloud initiative, where artists and labels can opt in to have ads placed around their content and get a share of the revenues. In March this year, SoundCloud said it had paid out $1m to partners under the scheme.

Dyball also mentioned SoundCloud in her comparison of the US and European licensing structures. “In Europe, there is the willing buyer/willing seller [model]. Well, you don’t always have a willing buyer; SoundCloud don’t seem to be terribly willing buyers!”

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  1. I’m always taken aback when I read comments similar to Ms. Dyball’s. SoundCloud is a service I use to find music from around the world. I like a song and then I go buy the album legally. Ms. Dyball should instead work on that stupid restriction “not available for purchase in your country.” Here I am trying to buy music legally and I’m told I can’t but it because I live in America. So, honestly what are my remaining options; 1. Forget I ever heard that song that made me feel good. 2. Download the song/album illegally.

    The recording industry is its own worst enemy.

  2. This is so stupid and a waste of journalism. Soundcloud is a website where you upload tracks on your own to share them. Soundcloud does not harvest these tracks and upload them on their own. The artist chooses to share them. If you choose to share your tracks then Soundcloud does not have to pay you a cent. Anyone who uploads a track should know how the site operates and if they have an issue with it then don’t upload anything.

  3. Thanks for your comments, although the point about artists choosing to upload songs or not upload them is fair, you’re missing one thing: this particular complaint comes from the publishing side of the industry, not the recording/labels side. Publishers often don’t have that choice, and they’re increasingly restless about it.

    Which is not to say you should agree or disagree with their viewpoint, but it definitely is something worth reporting on journalistically, just as we’ve reported fairly on SoundCloud’s point of view on licensing regularly.

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