SoundCloud has cleared up speculation surrounding the cut they will take from the new UCPS fan-powered royalties model. Find out more here!

Last week, music streaming site SoundCloud announced it would be moving to a User-Centric Payment System (UCPS). This was heralded as an exciting and positive move in the way independent artists are remunerated for the steaming of their music. The old pro rata model sees all earnings put into a pool and divvied up between the most listened to artists. This fan-powered royalties system means that money will go directly to the artists that paying users are listening to, giving them a fairer piece of the pie.

Shortly after this announcement, it was revealed by Head of Rights Administration and Strategy in an interview with Vice that the company would be taking a 45% share of all revenue generated. This is a higher than average cut, with Spotify and Apple Music taking roughly 30% on the pro rata model. However, citing the claim made in the Vice article, SoundCloud has clarified that part of the 45% share will go towards paying mechanical royalties, and performing publishing royalties. They have stated that there are many other costs as well, and that the share SoundCloud will retain will be more in line with, if not lower than, the industry standard.

The new UCPS does not apply to all artists on the platform, it transpires. It will only apply to artists who monetise with SoundCloud directly. This could be by having a Pro Unlimited subscription, being a Repost subscriber, and members of Repost Select.

Although the sheen of this new royalties system may have been dulled slightly by statistical speculation, it still marks a step in the right direction. The paying out of royalties to artists people actually listen to gives independent labels and artists far more support. The potential to earn a larger income from streaming services, which appear to be propping up the industry in the absence of live performances, could allow artists to produce the work they may otherwise have been unable to. It may be a long time before we see the likes of Spotify and other major streaming services adopt this system, if ever. But, this move from SoundCloud is helping to spark the long overdue conversation.