Get Paid For DJ Mixes? Soundcloud Launches Revenue Sharing

Photo - Vinicius Amano via Unsplash

If you’re a DJ (or producer) who is uploading mixes or remixes to Soundcloud, you might soon be able to turn your works into a source of income. As originally reported on Vice’s Thump, Soundcloud announced the expansion of a revenue-sharing program to include “artists who create ‘recorded and live sets, remixes, and other user-generated content.'” Keep reading for more details.

Getting Paid For DJ Mixes On Soundcloud?

[contextly_sidebar id=”acs9KXWbYOLqSdrw9tfB5FvrFUbLz5VM”]Today’s news comes as a bit of a shock for most of us who have followed Soundcloud story. They haven’t been in the most financially stable of places, although their new $4.99 Soundcloud Go subscription service (they already had a $9.99 level) is a good indicator that they’re being pushed to rapidly monetize.

With ads and subscription services in place, Soundcloud has decided to expand a revenue sharing program originally launched in 2014. The program was first started to bring allow original artists to get a cut of advertising and subscription dollars, and today is going beyond that to include DJs and producers. In the Thump article, Souncloud’s Chief Content Officer detailed the news:

This will be the first time we’ve invited DJs and producers who create remixes and sets on SoundCloud to start to be able to monetize and participate in the revenue that we’re generating through ads and subscriptions. – Stephen Bryan, CCO, Soundcloud

The basic metric of how much revenue is shared will depend on how well the individual artist’s content does – with Bryan hinting that payments will be based on “share of engagement” and “listening time”. Effectively, we suspect this means the more time people spend on your mix, the more ads Soundcloud can show; or the higher % of their monthly subscription that should be attributed their their time listening to your mix.

Who Can Be A Soundcloud Premier Partner?


The difficult news for a lot of DJs is that this program is currently invite-only, and they’re clearly targeting high-profile artists in the beginning stages. Thump reports that current artists in revenue share include “Chance the Rapper, Little Simz, Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, StarRo, and Toni Romiti.”

The only official text about revenue sharing on Soundcloud’s site

It’s unclear so far what the specific guidelines and requirements of being a revenue share partner on Soundcloud will be. There is a simple contact form that allows DJs to sign up and learn when the program expands beyond invite-only, but that’s the only action that anyone can take yet.

What About Takedowns of DJ Mixes on Soundcloud?

The truth of the matter is that – despite what Soundcloud’s CEO claimed in an interview a few months ago – copyright takedowns do still happen on the site. However, due to licensing deals with major labels, takedowns have become much more rare – as Thump reports:

The platform currently has around 150 million tracks, including back-catalogs acquired via the deals it struck over the last few years with the three major labels—Sony, Universal, and Warner—as well as the digital rights agency Merlin that represents over 20,000 independent labels.

Since the deals were made, the takedown rate—something that has long plagued the site—has dropped by 40 percent in the last 12 months, a historic low for the company, according to a spokesperson.

We did our own test at the time, where we uploaded 11 different mixes that had previously been taken down from the site for copyright reasons. It’s been nearly three months since we uploaded them – only one out of the 11 got taken down (and our account got a copyright strike for it):

We got a single copyright strike on our Soundcloud account – so far.

There’s still no way on Soundcloud to self-identify tracks that are in a DJ mix – like on Mixcloud – to get proper licensing for those tracks. This means that you’re uploading mixes at your own risk, with no way to really tell if you’ll be one of the rare copyright takedowns on the site.

[h/t to Thump for breaking this news earlier today]

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