Both cite anonymous sources as confirming the agreement, indicating behind-the-scenes briefings ahead of an official announcement. Neither firm is commenting officially for now.
Sony Music was the toughest nut to crack for SoundCloud in its prolonged licensing negotiations, with the label having removed music from the streaming service in 2015. Pending a similar deal with Sony/ATV on the publishing side, SoundCloud now has the deals in place to launch its long-planned premium subscription tier this year.
A full set of deals is important for another reason: SoundCloud has been negotiating terms for the licensing of remixes and mash-ups into the deals, but those terms depend on a full set of licences – imagine a mash-up of a UMG track with a Sony track for the potential difficulties if not.
With the deals done, attention will turn to the nature of SoundCloud’s premium tier: can it break out of the ‘$9.99-a-month for all the music’ template that characterises its rivals?