Almost as if we were living by a script, Soundcloud proves once again why artists should be actively demanding an alternative to how they share and sell their music. On Tuesday word spread quickly that the once scrappy service would cut down on upload time given to those using the “free” plan. Under that plan every artist is given up to three hours of upload time, which is more than enough given the fact that records nowadays rarely extend farther than two and a half minutes.
Yet Soundcloud officially announced it had moved away from this option, and would instead let artists upload 15 tracks before they were required to switch to one of its paid subscriptions. Fifteen. That’s about how many songs an artist releases in a single month, especially indie artists.
Since then Soundcloud has backtracked on its decision, reverting back to its original free option after waves of criticism swept the internet. That’s all good news, but what do moments like this really spell out for artists? For one, it shows that streaming services do not make decisions for those that are keeping them alive and running. But artists surely realized that after news of how much each service paid per stream.
We heard you. Upload limits are not changing on December 9. Read more from us here: https://t.co/1Rl5AsCZ3E
— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) December 5, 2019
Soundcloud, on the other hand, has been championed as the one true service by and for the artist. Sure, they sacrifice things like audio quality and annoying back to back ads, but it still offers what Spotify and Apple don’t. Forcing its users to switch to a paid subscription is a slap in the face to all artists, because its shows that Soundcloud is making on the spot decisions for its shareholders and for revenue purposes only.
Now, if you’ve been releasing music under its subscription options then this may mean nothing to you, but for new artists wanting to release under Soundcloud, it should cause concern. Make sure to learn about and compare every service you are using. It’s smart to release through every service equally, but as you see not every service has you, the artist, in mind when its makes decisions.