SoundCloud – Director, Business & Legal Affairs (UK, DE)

London, Berlin

SoundCloud is a next-generation music entertainment company powered by an ecosystem of artists, fans, and thriving communities. As one of the world’s most influential cultural platforms, SoundCloud holds a singular market position as both a music-streaming service with the largest catalogue of music, and an artist services and distribution business to help artists grow long-term, successful careers.

SoundCloud is looking for an experienced music lawyer with an aptitude for technology and a strong familiarity with the current developments in the “creator economy” to lead global negotiations with rights holders across the globe. This is a rare opportunity to work right at the cutting edge of digital media, technology, and music.
You will face unique challenges, work with an amazing and diverse team, and take on a role that will ultimately shape the way that music and audio are created, consumed, and shared around the world.


This role within the Music Licensing & Partnerships team, which is part of the Business & Legal Affairs Team is based in London. You will be a key member of the team leading negotiations with record labels, publishers, collecting societies and other stakeholders across the music industry in Europe and the U.S.

The main focus ranges from drafting the term sheets and licensing agreements, to negotiating, documenting and explaining the content of the agreements to internal stakeholders. The role includes providing legal consultancy on music law questions plus keeping track of legal developments in the licensing area in the music industry.
Your role will be to partner closely with internal business counterparts to negotiate and deliver partnerships with record companies, music publishers, collecting societies and other key stakeholders across the music and entertainment industry.

You will partner with cross-functional teams, including without limitation the Strategy team, the Music team, the Marketing team, the Finance team, the Copyright Operations team, and the Engineering and Product Development team.

Your work will include drafting deal proposals, business modeling, negotiation of commercial terms, and drafting and negotiation of contracts suitable for SoundCloud’s unique business model and value proposition. You will need to be a seasoned dealmaker in the music industry who is capable of leading complex negotiations and driving towards solutions, often in challenging circumstances.

A deep understanding of the digital music rights landscape and substantial experience in negotiating international digital license agreements for or with digital services providers and/ or UGC platforms are prerequisites. Additionally, standard music industry deals (i.e., record deals, distribution deals, producer deals, synch licenses, publishing agreements etc.), a reasonable knowledge of Web 3.0 technologies as it relates to music rights, experience in negotiating domestic and international commercial contracts, and working knowledge of the Music Modernization Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are obligatory.

You will be a subject matter expert within SoundCloud, and you will be expected to share your knowledge and experience within the team and across the wider organization to help educate and inform your colleagues. You will give clear and commercially focused advice to other teams on matters relating to music rights

Key Responsibilities
  • Support SoundCloud’s overall business by structuring and negotiating digital licensing agreements with major labels, independent labels, collecting societies and music publishers.
  • Negotiate and draft various bespoke partnership and joint venture agreements with music industry stakeholders
  • Research and advise the music team, marketing, creator services, royalty operations, finance, and other departments regarding contractual obligations and restrictions
  • Identify and analyze potential risks related to SoundCloud’s distribution of music content on and off of its platform, reputational risks in connection to working with certain artists or partners, and various contractual risks.
  • Lead pre-litigation efforts in investigating, analyzing, and responding to a variety of claims, including copyright, audit, breach of contract, publicity and trademark claims.
  • Regularly direct and supervise the work of outside counsel
  • Coordinate with product and engineering teams in connection with product development related to music distribution and royalty operations
  • Collaborate with other members of the Music Licensing and Business & Legal Affairs team to ensure business needs are met
    Represent SoundCloud towards external stakeholders in the music industry, both as part of your day-to-day work and potentially in public forums

Experience and Background
  • Qualified lawyer* with at least 8 years’ relevant experience and ideally at least least 4 of those years at a prominent record label, law firm, or in-house legal department handling music and intellectual property licensing transactions
  • Good understanding of the digital music rights landscape in the US, the UK and Europe
  • Experience in negotiating complex rights deals in multiple territories
  • Experience of working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Experience of building and leading a team
  • Experience working closely with Music and other creative teams
  • Strategic thinker and creative problem solver
  • Comfortable dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity
  • Pragmatic, risk-based approach to problems
  • Resilient, self-aware and values-driven
  • Good relationships within the music, media, and/or consumer tech industry
  • Excellent drafting and negotiation skills
  • Fluent in English, and ideally one or more other European languages

About us
  • We are a multinational company with offices in the US (New York and Los Angeles), Germany (Berlin), and the UK (London)
  • We provide a flexible work culture that offers the opportunity to collaborate and connect in person at our offices as well as accommodating work from home
  • We are deeply committed to ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of our organization and fostering a community where everyone’s voice, perspective and experience is respected and heard
    We believe a strong team is made by investing in employees through mentorship, workshops and enrichment opportunities

  • Comprehensive health benefits including medical, dental, and vision plans, as well as mental health resources
  • Robust 401k program
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • Generous professional development allowance
  • Interested in a gym membership, photography course or book? We have a Creativity and Wellness benefit!
  • Flexible vacation and public holiday policy where you can take up to 35 days of PTO annually
  • 16 paid weeks for all parents (birthing and non-birthing), regardless of gender, to welcome newborns, adopted and foster children
  • Various snacks, goodies, and 2 free lunches weekly when at the office

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SoundCloud

SoundCloud is for everyone. Diversity and open expression are fundamental to our organization; they help us lead what’s next in music by understanding and empowering our creators and fans, no matter their identity. We acknowledge the challenges in the music industry, and strive to influence an inclusive culture where everyone can contribute respectfully and thrive, especially the historically marginalized communities that many of our creators, fans and SoundClouders identify with.

We are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment at SoundCloud for everyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, migration background, national origin, age, disability status, or care-giver status.

At SoundCloud you can find your community or elevate your allyship by joining a Diversity Resource Group. Diversity Resource Groups are employee-organized groups focused on supporting and promoting the interests of a particular underrepresented community in order to build a more inclusive culture at SoundCloud. Anyone can join, whether you share the identity or strive to be an ally.

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