Soundcloud, a platform with a moderately rocky financial past, is now on a firmer footing and making acquisitions. The latest: Repost Network, a rights management and distribution company. The aim, their announcement says, is to “provide high-performing, emerging creators [with] a seamless upstream to Repost Network’s invite-only tools and services like streaming distribution, analytics dashboards, content protection and more”. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Although more geared towards amateur and semi-professional music creators, Soundcloud is still a popular podcast hosting platform, especially among newcomers to the medium, mostly because of its ease of use and its generous free terms. They claim to have 20 million “audio creators” using it, and 175 million people listening a month. The route to monetisation hasn’t been completely straightforward, though, and I have always been interested in how they’ve ended up with a mashup of subscription offerings (charging users for features like scheduling or replacing tracks) and sponsorship revenue share.
Again, all of this has really been tailored for musicians using the platform — podcasters with enough of an audience to monetise through advertising or sponsorships tend to graduate out to another host pretty quickly (although I do occasionally come across a sizeable British or European show that is still on there, such as UK comedy podcast The Receipts). The new acquisition looks like yet another attempt to attract and then keep musicians on the platform, especially now that Spotify allows independent artists to upload and monetise their songs.