At long last, SoundCloud has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group. This deal allows Universal to collect revenue from instances where its catalog appears on the audio platform. An individual familiar with the arrangement told The Wall Street Journal that Universal came around based on SoundCloud refining its advertising strategy, building an ad-sales team, and renewed promises to launch a paid tier. Although specific terms were not disclosed, Universal’s labels and publishing arm will be granted access to SoundCloud’s promotional tools and behind-the-scenes data to build better connections with listeners.
SoundCloud has been working to get pen to paper on this agreement for many months. We last heard that the deal was close to completion in August, but Universal allegedly backed away shortly after. It’s possible that SoundCloud’s recent licensing deal with PRS for Music, which ended a legal action the group was taking against the streaming service, also helped convince Universal to make the deal. The audio streaming service inked a deal with Warner Music Group in November 2014, but it still has not secured an arrangement with Sony, the third of the majors.