When Mixcloud first launched its streaming service for DJ sets and radio-style shows back in the day, it also used radio-style licensing: blanket agreements that enabled it to operate, but which also imposed restrictions on the content on its service. Mixcloud’s ambitions have led it to strike direct licensing deals with rightsholders more recently: Warner Music in October 2017 and then Universal Music in October 2018. The latest is with indie licensing agency Merlin, and like the others it’s a multi-year, direct licensing agreement.
Besides covering royalties for music played within the shows and mixes that are already on Mixcloud, it will also support the company’s “upcoming subscription service”.
Co-founder Nico Perez told us more about those plans in October last year: Mixcloud was working on a service-wide premium tier with offline cacheing, the ability to remove advertising and “maybe” higher-quality audio.
It was also planning to give its creators the ability to launch individual subscriptions for their shows: “A little bit like Patreon and a little bit like YouTube. This idea that people have their favourite creators and those are the people they want to support and subscribe to and be fans of, and so we want to be the platform that helps power that,” as Perez put it at the time.