Streaming service Soundcloud have announced what they're calling "fan-powered royalties," where "independent artists can get paid more because of their dedicated fans."

The idea is that on Soundcloud artists will get paid directly by fans listening to their tracks, as opposed to other streaming services (like Spotify) where revenue goes into a pool that is then divvied out based on share of total streams. Soundcloud also says that with their system, "bots and fake plays don’t count."

“Many in the industry have wanted this for years. We are excited to be the ones to bring this to market to better support independent artists. SoundCloud is uniquely positioned to offer this transformative new model due to the powerful connection between artists and fans that takes place on our platform,” said SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman in a statement. “The launch of fan-powered royalties represents a significant move in SoundCloud’s strategic direction to elevate, grow and create new opportunities directly with independent artists.”

“Fan-powered royalties level the playing field for independent artists by tying payouts to fandom," the statement continues. "Artists are now better equipped to grow their careers by forging deeper connections with their most dedicated fans; and, in turn, fans can directly influence how their favorite artists are paid.”

The new system goes into effect on April 1, 2021 and one notable group who are already championing Soundcloud's "fan-powered royalties" system are trip hop greats Portishead, who write, "We were pleased to hear the announcement today from our friends at SoundCloud that from April 1, 2021 they will switch to the user-centric monetization system unlike other streaming services. This is great news for up-and-coming musicians and artists working outside popular music genres. If you are a music fan we would recommend using them to stream music over other platforms as this is a fair system for musicians to make a living. We also look forward to working with SoundCloud in the future."

We look forward to Portishead working in the future too.

Learn more about Soundcloud's new royalties system here.

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