SoundCloud has entered into a partnership with content identification service Zefr. The deal appears focused on monitoring what tracks get played and when. Although neither SoundCloud nor Zefr have disclosed much detail about the nature of their new partnership, it’s likely a step in SoundCloud’s push into monetizing its platform.
Zefr made its name offering Content ID and Brand ID services to YouTube. Content ID scans YouTube for material that belongs to rights-holders, and once they know where their creations are being used, they can proceed by delivering a takedown notice or by adding monetization to the video. The flexibility of Zefr’s programs in giving more control to both content creators and rights holders seems to fall in line with SoundCloud’s latest rhetoric. Having a comparable program on SoundCloud could help the audio service to pitch itself to major labels and secure licensing deals with them. The company’s history in trying to work with labels has been rocky, but its monetization program On SoundCloud has already paid out more than $1 million in ad revenue.