SoundCloud’s current model has two distinct sides:
- (i) A user-facing streaming service, which offers both ad-supported and subscription (SoundCloud Go+) income streams; and
- (ii) An artist services business, under which indie artists can not only upload their music direct to SoundCloud, but also distribute their tracks to rival services like Spotify. SoundCloud also offers additional tools and resources to indie artists under the Repost By SoundCloud brand.
Recently, SoundCloud launched a new top-tier of artist service offerings, known as its “roster”.
Under these “roster” deals, particularly successful independent artists – including Lil Pump and Tekno – ‘sign’ direct to SoundCloud, with the company paying advances, investing in artist marketing etc. just as a traditional record label might.
Today (February 22), SoundCloud has levelled up this artist services business, via an intriguing joint venture with Solid Foundation, the management and creative services arm of QC Media Holdings.
QC Media Holdings is both owned and operated by respected music industry veterans Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas.
Lee, Thomas and their Atlanta-based Solid Foundation artist management team say they will work collaboratively with SoundCloud to identify, invest in, and foster the careers of artists bubbling up on the platform.
A press release from SoundCloud suggests the JV will ultimately create “custom A&R programs for selected artists inclusive of development, distribution and marketing and artist services”.
As part of the joint venture agreement, QC Media has invested an undisclosed amount into SoundCloud.
Eliah Seton, President of SoundCloud said: “Coach K and P are two of the most influential voices in music, having identified, developed and grown some of the most successful hip-hop acts of our time.
“With this deal, we’re bringing together SoundCloud, the largest A&R source on the planet, with the creative genius of Coach and P.
“With this deal, we’re bringing together SoundCloud, the largest A&R source on the planet, with the creative genius of Coach and P.”
“We are excited to partner with them in this innovative way as together we amplify the voices of who’s next in music.”
Pierre “P” Thomas added: “With our years of ear-to-the-street skills coupled with SoundCloud’s endless stream of talent and powerful data pointing to what is authentically bubbling up in the scene
“I can’t think of a better merging of passion, intel and skill sets to create countless new paths for emerging artists. We are beyond excited for this partnership.”
“SoundCloud’s data merging with our time-tested way of cultivating and building artists will be a blend to be reckoned with.”
Kevin “Coach K” Lee
Kevin “Coach K” Lee, said: “There is nothing more important to our process than discovering new artists, so partnering with SoundCloud, one of the most important hotbeds of talent, is incredibly exciting to us.
“Their data merging with our time-tested way of cultivating and building artists will be a blend to be reckoned with.”
SoundCloud further suggests in its press release announcement that the new JV “demonstrates [our] commitment to curating artist partnerships that offer flexibility, for both artists and industry partners, with customized and collaborative relationships aimed to empower artists to own and control their rights and creative process”.
Solid Foundation Management, LLC a division of QC Media Holdings, Inc, was founded by CEO Pierre “P” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee in 2013.
Chart-topping artists developed on the Quality Control / Solid Foundation roster have included Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, City Girls, and more.
MBW revealed last week that SoundCloud’s annual revenues in FY 2020 stood at EUR €193.5 million (USD $218.7m), up 31% year-on-year.
The company’s gross profit in that same year increased by 53% to €61.1 million ($69m), while its operating losses substantially narrowed by 41% YoY to €15.4m ($17.4m).Music Business Worldwide