SoundCloud introduces a fan engagement tool for artists

Music streaming platform SoundCloud today launched a new tool to help artists better communicate with their fans. The new product, conveniently called Fans, allows artists to message their followers and sort their listeners through various engagement measures.

SoundCloud said the Fans product was available to 10,000 artists and now with this beta it’s open to more than 50,000 artists who subscribe to the platform’s Next Pro product.

The company said some artists who tested the product used it to send links to unreleased songs to fans and set up meet-and-greet events.

In 2021, SoundCloud introduced a fan-driven royalty model, dividing subscription and advertising fees based on who users listened to rather than just using the number of total streams across the service as a factor. The company is now using that product’s data to drive some metrics for the Fans tools.

Artists can sort their fans by parameters such as comments, listening habits, sharing habits, and country. In addition, they can sort their listeners to understand who their potential collaborators might be. These stats give artists an idea about what kind of songs get better engagement.

The company said users can choose to opt out of the artist messaging feature if they wish by toggling off the “Get messages from everyone” switch. However, the artists they follow can message them. In addition, users can report abusive messages and block the sender.

“At SoundCloud, we believe artists should have direct access to their fans. Our company was founded and built to help artists share and connect through music. And let’s face it, building a fanbase (and being able to activate those fans when needed) is the only real way to make music your livelihood,” said Tracy Chan, SVP of Creator in a statement.

In March, Spotify launched new tools for artists to promote songs with paid recommendations, change song priority for discovery algorithms, and market their events. Compared to SoundCloud’s latest features that focus on personal engagement with fans, the Swedish-based company’s features focus more on reaching more listeners.

Last week, SoundCloud announced a deal with Merlin — including its affiliates such as Mad Decent, Domino Recording Company, Beggars Group, and Sub Pop Records — for artists signed to the label to participate in its fan-driven royalty program.

In March, the company announced a new TikTok-style feed that lets users find unheard songs by scrolling vertically through the Discover feed.

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