A day after Spotify quits artist distribution, SoundCloud explains how it helps indie acts ‘build careers on their own terms’

SoundCloud and Repost Network’s Jeff Ponchick has published a blog post today (July 2) discussing the digital distribution market.

The blog post was followed by an Instagram Q&A to “answer creator’s questions about distribution”.

Ponchick (pictured) is Vice President of rights management and distribution company Repost Network, which was acquired by SoundCloud in May.

In the post, Ponchick addresses two major developments that have taken place in the independent distribution space over the past month:

Firstly, Los Angeles-based Stem’s decision to quit DIY distribution to focus on picking a select number of VIP artists from an online membership application system.

Secondly, yesterday’s (July 1) revelation that Spotify is ending its Upload Beta Program for independent artists. This signals a U-turn on its decision to become a music distributor, announced back in September via the Beta launch of the Spotify for Artists dashboard, followed by it’s acquisition of a stake in Distrokid.

“The past five years have been some of the most disruptive in the history of the music industry.”

Jeff Ponchic, SoundCloud / Repost Network

“The past five years have been some of the most disruptive in the history of the music industry”, writes Ponchick.

“As digital downloads were phased out in the mid-aughts, streaming revenues exploded – highlighted by high-profile celebrity endorsements, massive VC investments and cross-platform distribution.

“Tech leaders have responded with moves of their own. Apple Music launched. Spotify expanded. Facebook/Instagram brokered a deal with the music industry to get creators paid.

“And SoundCloud launched SoundCloud Premier, allowing creators to earn a share of revenue by monetizing and distributing original content.”

You can read Ponchick’s full blog post below:


A few weeks ago music distribution platform Stem announced it would be dropping the majority of the tens of thousands of artists who distributed through its system due to a change of services and yesterday, Spotify shared it will be discontinuing its direct upload beta at the end of this month.

The past five years have been some of the most disruptive in the history of the music industry. As digital downloads were phased out in the mid-aughts, streaming revenues exploded – highlighted by high-profile celebrity endorsements, massive VC investments and cross-platform distribution. 

Tech leaders have responded with moves of their own. Apple Music launched. Spotify expanded. Facebook/Instagram brokered a deal with the music industry to get creators paid. And SoundCloud launched SoundCloud Premier, allowing creators to earn a share of revenue by monetizing and distributing original content.

All of this has led to unprecedented growth. Goldman Sachs predicts that the music industry will reach $130B by 2030, and streaming services are driving this, while revolutionizing an industry overdue for change by providing a platform for the next generation of creators. 

Where does that leave independent creators and labels? They now generally have two business models to choose from to access royalties: 

  1. Pay a fee, access distribution, and receive 100% of payouts. No marketing support, just distribution.
  2. Give up a % of what your royalties generated and in return get white glove services, marketing, and even investment in some cases.

Enter SoundCloud: the only service to offer both pricing paths. With the acquisition of Repost, an invite-only distribution service offering distribution, content protection and marketing to its thousands of clients, creators have the opportunity to build their careers on their own terms with maximum flexibility based on where they are in their career. 

It all boils down to putting the power in the hands of the creator. At SoundCloud, our commitment is to not only be the place where creators start, but a platform and toolset for creators to drive sustainable income and get discovered.

SoundCloud is committed to giving creators of all levels the tools to share their work instantly, monetize directly and distribute to all the major streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon, Apple and more to reach as many fans as possible. We look forward to the future of distribution for all tiers of music – and other investments to come – to allow all creators to grow their career.Music Business Worldwide

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