Well that escalated quickly.

Sony Music took the gloves off today by pulling music from Adele, Kelly Clarkson and others from SoundCloud. The recording company’s move escalates a conflict between established rights holders who are demanding licensing deals with acceptable royalty rates from the streaming company.

Billboard quotes an anonymous executive “familiar with negotiations” between Sony Music and SoundCloud as explaining that the takedowns are due to SoundCloud’s “a lack of monetization opportunities.”

SoundCloud is attempting to pivot into a pure streaming service which monetizes tracks via its “On SoundCloud” program, in which rights holders would receive a share of advertising revenue from pre-rolled ads on streams. Previously the company’s model involved charging artists a fee to upload unlicensed streams. Thus far, Warner is the only one of the three major labels to sign a licensing deal with SoundCloud.

At the moment, both Adele and Kelly Clarkson’s official SoundCloud pages remain empty:


Unlicensed remixes and reboots of Kelly Clarkson and Adele (both of whom are favorite subjects for edits) are still online and there are no reports of those being taken down at a greater rate than before.


  1. […] It’s been rough going for SoundCloud. Since beginning the pivot of their business from a “freemium” model to a pure play streaming company, the embattled company (I think we can apply that word) has felt the sting after antagonizing a large part of their userbase. A partnership with content scanner Zefr resulted in a massive number of uploads being taken down – including some kid’s college homework – and the troubling suggestion that creators might find themselves subject to the most restrictive copyright laws in the world. Would-be corporate partners have not only remained cool to SoundCloud’s licensing advances, but yesterday Sony Music has even pulled their tracks from the service. […]

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