SoundCloud could soon implement a new payment model that would allow you to pay your favorite musicians directly, according to Billboard. The company is reportedly in the process of exploring several alternative business models, one of which is the one mentioned above. Billboard notes SoundCloud hasn’t committed to a direct payment model just yet, but whatever it decides, it plans to share the news before the end of the current quarter.
If SoundCloud were to allow you to pay and tip your favorite artists, it would be the first streaming platform to do so and move it closer to a company like Bandcamp. As things stand, SoundCloud does business in the same way that Spotify (and every other major streaming platform) does. It acts as an intermediary between you and the artist, distributing the majority of the money it collects from subscriptions to musicians and bands who bring in the most streams.
That’s a model that pays out generously to the world’s most famous acts but makes it difficult for smaller independent artists to earn anything from streaming. With touring out of the picture at the moment, the inequity of that model has been further laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic.