A new report claims that SoundCloud is getting ready to block or severely limit all DJ mixes uploaded to the streaming service. The move could anger DJs and their fans and accelerate a move to Mixcloud that has already begun on the part of some performers.
Music streaming service SoundCloud once again appears to be the victim of its own success. The streaming service hit it big last year, with the number of songs and streams on the service more than doubling from those of the year before. SoundCloud built its reputation largely as a streaming service for underground music, specifically EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and has been the go-to streamer for the majority of DJs to upload not only their new tracks, but also their exclusive mixes, which, by nature, contain multiple tracks and samples from different artists.
As it grew in size and popularity, the company came under huge pressure from the three major record labels, Warner Music, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Group, for hosting unlicensed music whose copyrights belonged to the big three. Under threat of legal action, SoundCloud began purging the accounts of many of its most popular uploaders, specifically targeting many DJs who posted mixes on the streamer.
Recently, SoundCloud finally inked licensing deals with the big three, which included a percentage stake in the streamer for each label, and it was clear that big changes were in the works. A subscription service was just launched to supplement the company's 185 million active free users, but it appears the label pressure to remove unlicensed content is only getting stronger. In March, SoundCloud completely deleted Grammy-nominated producer and DJ Morgan Page's account due to inclusion of a mix he claimed was perfectly legal.
Now, if a new report is to be believed, the company is getting ready to delete or block all DJ mixes that are not fully cleared, which, as it stands, is pretty much all of them. The move could be a huge blow to SoundCloud's status as the go-to spot for underground DJ mixes, and force a move elsewhere en masse.
Some DJs have been posting instead to rival Mixcloud, and others have been using it as a supplementary platform on which they post the same mixes they post on SoundCloud in anticipation of this type of purge. Many of the more famous high-profile DJs have also been repackaging their mixes as Apple podcasts. As news of the reported upcoming purge continues to spread, it's likely that the exodus from SoundCloud will continue.