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Mixcloud launches subscriptions option for individual creators


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Just over a year ago, Nico Perez of streaming service Mixcloud told Music Ally about plans to let DJs, labels, podcasters and other creators charge subscriptions for their channels. Today, the feature is launching.

It’s called Mixcloud Select, and will see fans able to pay a monthly fee – set by the channel and starting at $2.99 – to support a channel and the music it plays.

At launch, this doesn’t mean exclusive content – the shows will still be available for free listeners too. But subscribers will be able to download them for offline listening, as well as browsing tracklists upfront.

Mixcloud says that the option to make exclusive shows available to subscribers will follow later, as will direct messaging with those paying fans. For now, there’s a strong message that paying equals support: for the channel and for musicians.

Among the 47 channels taking part at launch: Afrojack, Nicole Moudaber, Lefto and John Digweed on the DJs side; Defected Records and Axtone Records on the label side; radio stations Brooklyn Radio, Soho Radio and Red Light Radio; and curators Clash Magazine and Stamp the Wax.

Other Mixcloud channels are being invited to register their interest in joining the Select tier as it expands.

“There’s a lot of creative energy that goes into crafting a DJ mix, radio show or podcast in order to inspire listeners, and until now, these creators have been left out of the revenue mix,” is how CEO Nikhil Shah explains the pitch for Select.

“We’ve been working hard to design a model alongside the industry that recognises the value these creators bring to the music ecosystem, and today we’re excited to share this with the world.”

Each channel’s subscription will be split three-ways: between Mixcloud; the channel owner; and the artists whose music is played within its shows.

What are the splits? Music Ally asked Shah. “All artists, labels and publishers involved in creating the music that’s played in shows receive their cut from royalty revenue. From there, the Select creator receives the majority share cut of the net profit,” he explained.

So, that means that channels will get more than 50% of the net revenues from their subscriptions after royalties are paid out.

“Our mission is to continue building a fair and more sustainable ecosystem for audio culture. As we expand Select and get more creators involved, this revenue model may be adjusted as we learn more about how people use the service and what works best for everyone,” added Shah.

Mixcloud has traditionally relied on radio-style blanket licensing to handle royalties, but in the last year has signed direct licensing deals with all three major labels plus indie licensing-agency Merlin, as well as with publisher Warner/Chappell and pan-European licensing hub ICE.

Mixcloud also recently raised its first-ever round of external funding, $11.5m from WndrCo, after bootstrapping its way from the company’s founding in 2008.

Stuart Dredge

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