Exclusive: SoundCloud set to give fans the opportunity to pay artists directly

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SoundCloud is preparing to introduce a new payment system that would allow fans to pay artists directly, multiple sources close to the situation tell Billboard, setting what could be a game-changing precedent for the streaming world.

The move would make SoundCloud the first major music streaming service to embrace a direct payment model, a strategy that has been popular with Chinese streaming services like Tencent Music’s QQ Music for years, and one that subscription services like Patreon and OnlyFans have built their businesses around, as musicians and fans around the world clamor for bigger digital music distributors to do the same. A source close to the company says SoundCloud is still exploring several alternative streaming payout models and will announce its plans before the end of the first quarter of 2021. SoundCloud declined to comment.

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