SoundCloud looks to be taking a page out of Patreon and OnlyFans‘ book with an upcoming feature. The music streaming service will reportedly soon enable fans to make payments directly to artists.
That is, according to Billboard, who cited multiple sources familiar with company operations. SoundCloud, who declined comment, is said to be currently working out the best way to incorporate the feature with plans to formally announce it before the end of Q1 2021.
The payment feature will mark one of the platform’s first major developments since Michael Weissman replaced Kerry Trainor as CEO in December. During Trainor’s tenure, which began in 2017 after co-founder Alex Ljung stepped down, the company introduced DJ gear integrations and other creator-focused tools that brought them to their first profitable quarter in 13 years.
Billboard notes that SoundCloud does not need major record label approval in order to roll out the direct payment feature. It is seen as a potential solution to dilemmas posed by the company’s pro-rata model. At present, a portion of total ad and subscription fees goes to artists based on number of plays without factoring in how much any single user streamed music from any single uploader.
SoundCloud also recently forged a partnership with multiplayer online game Fortnite to host an in-game live stream tournament called SoundCloud Player One on February 18th.