Soundcloud's headquarters, Berlin. 2013 - Credits : Soundcloud

SoundCloud may increase its restrictions on DJ mixes uploads

Alexandre Trochut
Soundcloud's headquarters, Berlin. 2013 - Credits : Soundcloud

According to a source with close knowledge of the company’s plans, SoundCloud is preparing to impose some serious restrictions on the upload of all DJ mixes. This decision could lead to a mass exodus of electronic music’ artists who use a lot the hosting and streaming service to host their mixes & podcasts for years.

It’s still unclear to exactly say what these restrictions will lead to, only that significant and serious limitations are on the way & could include a complete block on all DJ mixes that are not fully cleared, a decision that would impact an extremely large percentage of uploaded tracks & artists accounts.

SoundCloud has already begun hostilities against several famous DJs like Zedd, Martin Garrix, Morgan Page who have found their accounts ripped down based on copyright concerns with for some cases, questionable teardown with – in most cases – no way to change things.

Problematic indeed, but instead of resolving those concerns, recently-inked deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment seem to be intensifying the level of policing happening on the site.

I don’t think the DJs are going to be happy, probably piss off a lot of subscribers too.” – Soundcloud anonym source

Those “subscribers” belong to Go, a paid-only platform that launched in the US in March, and just recently expanded into the UK.  At present, SoundCloud has yet to disclose its paid subscriber numbers, though industry expectations are low given the long-running, gratis nature of the site.  Either way, early adopters of ‘Go’ are undoubtedly more sensitive to content gaps, given that they are paying.

SoundCloud boasts 185 million active users, with DMCA protections traditionally enabling a free-for-all on content licensing.  That party now appears over, with major labels partnering instead of suing but clearly imposing major restrictions on the site.

Meanwhile, Soundcloud’s competitors like MixCloud have been benefiting enormously from SoundCloud’s tightening restrictions, with high-profile DJs also pushing more content into iTunes Podcasts as well. DJs big and small appear to be migrating towards less-regulated environments, a migration that could become an all-out exodus if upcoming restrictions are put in place.

Please notice that for now, this information comes to Digital Music News from a single source. We has contacted some people inside the company but for now none of them has wanted to confirm or deny this informations. But please notice that because this source is the same that had accurately tipped the website on SoundCloud’s recent Sony Music tie-up as well as its launch of premium subscription service “Go”, both within about 10 days of their respective announcements it’s quite safe to say we’re taking this information pretty seriously at this stage.