SoundCloud Will Now Pay Royalties After Signing Licensing Deal With PRS
SoundCloud announced on Monday that it has finally reached a legal agreement with U.K. licensing company Performing Rights Society for Music (PRS), which had previously accused the company of failing to compensate its artists for using their music and refused to get rid of music that infringed on copyright.
Bringing the legal proceedings to an end, the agreement means SoundCloud will now pay royalties to its members, and both organizations will now work together to make the platform better for creators and users, as well as improve "metadata and the identification of repertoire for royalty distribution."
As part of the deal, PRS's artists will also come to the music streaming service. PRS manages the music rights for more than 111,000 artists in the U.K., including Adele, Ray Davis and Gary Kemp.
The two will also work together to bring new services and functionality across Europe in 2016, as SoundCloud is expected to release a premium music-streaming service that requires a monthly subscription.
"SoundCloud is a platform by creators, for creators; we're working hard to create a platform where all creators can be paid for their work, and already have deals in place with thousands of copyright owners," Soundcloud CEO and founder Alexander Ljung said in a statement. "PRS for Music is also fully committed to creators, and we're pleased to have reached an agreement that will expand revenue opportunities, improve the accuracy of royalty distributions, and launch new services for our 175 million monthly active listeners on SoundCloud in 2016."
PRS previously filed a lawsuit against SoundCloud back in August that accused the platform of not getting the proper licenses to stream its members' music in the U.K. and failing to pay royalties for songs featured on its platform that were written by members of PRS. SoundCloud had no choice but to come to some arrangement since it must secure rights with license holders in order to launch a premium subscription service.
"On behalf of our members, I am pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement with SoundCloud without extended legal proceedings," Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, said in a statement. "This ends over five years of discussions on the licensing requirements for the platform, resulting in a licence under which our members are fairly rewarded for the use of their music."
No details are known regarding how much the platform agreed to pay for previously using PRS music.