Soundcloud has hit a sharp decline recently due to the company’s revised policies on the removal of copyrighted content, frequently found on the site in DJ mixes. This policy change resulted in the termination of many prominent user’s accounts due to copyright infringement. Since 2010, Soundcloud has allowed such mixes, flagging them for including copyrighted content, but not removing the tracks or terminated the user accounts.
An example of a user who had their account terminated.
On December 12th, Soundcloud yet again revised the policy after coming to terms with the German licensing organization GEMA, allowing users to keep their content on the site legally. Three days later, Soundcloud CEO Eric Wahlforss clarified the matter saying that the company will still remove any copyrighted content among the request of the owner, a policy similar to that of YouTube, although Wahlforss also states that the company will not be allowing any advertisements on these mixes.
In a statement posted online Wahlfross said, “It’s important to note takedowns are at the request of creators,” the post reads. “While the agreements we have in place across the industry have greatly lessened the likelihood of takedowns, as a creator driven platform, we respect all creators, and therefore we respect the rights of all creators who request to have their content removed.”
For Soundcloud that does not seem to be the right move. When the company first started terminated users they took a lot of heat. After that, Spotify backed out of purchasing the rival service and instead allowed users to upload these mixes — as did Apple. Soundcloud is now behind in the game and does not seem to be catching up any time soon. Soundcloud remains one of the few services allowing users to upload music easily without the need of an ISPCC code. For advertisers, this means that ads will still be reserved for in-between tracks when browsing the website, sponsored tracks, and banner ads. While this keeps the users happy with less ads on their work, Soundcloud desperately needs to start making money.