PRS For Music and SoundCloud reach agreement over artist royalties

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The two sides have signed a settlement. After more than five years of negotiations, with SoundCloud set to introduce subscription and advertising services next year.


UK performance rights organisation PRS For Music and SoundCloud have come to an agreement on artist royalties.




The agreement comes after more than five years of talks between the two parties, which culminated in PRS For Music taking legal action in August this year. Royalty payments for PRS For Music members with tracks available to stream on SoundCloud were at the centre of discussion—as a free streaming platform, SoundCloud was unable to provide royalties to such artists. This is set to change, according to a press release sent out by PRS. In it, the performance rights organisation explains that SoundCloud will "introduce subscription and advertising across Europe in 2016" and that subsequently, "creators can start to make money from their tracks."


But the work for PRS For Music is not over yet. "The safe harbours in current legislation still present ambiguity, and obstruct the efficient licensing of online services," says PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft. "But our agreement with SoundCloud is a step in the right direction towards a more level playing field for the online marketplace."


SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung had this to say: "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. 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."