Mixcloud, the audio streaming platform that is popular for long-form content, such as radio shows and DJ sets, has launched a “fan-to-creator” subscription service in a bid to find new ways of monetizing and ensuring both artists and curators get paid.
Dubbed “Mixcloud Select,” the new feature lets listeners subscribe to a Select creator’s channel so they can directly support them and contribute to the licensing cost of the music played in the shows. Subscribers get an enhanced listening experience that includes the ability to download shows to listen offline and view upfront track lists, making it feel a lot more like on-demand and less tied to the legacy of over-the-air radio.
Nico Perez, co-founder of Mixcloud, frames Mixcloud Select as a pioneering move toward building a “fair and sustainable ecosystem” that works for audio creators, artists and listeners. “We want to enable fans to get closer to the culture and communities they care about, while ensuring that everyone involved in the creative process is recognized and rewarded accordingly,” he says in a statement.
That’s very much in line with the conversation Perez and I had back in April when TechCrunch reported on Mixcloud’s first-ever funding round (despite being founded 10 years ago). At the time the Mixcloud founder hinted at a consumer-facing subscription service, as well as discussing the licensing groundwork the company had laid. It comes as no surprise therefore to see Select launch.
Mixcloud has previously announced direct licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Merlin, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, ICE (a joint initiative between PRS, GEMA and STIM) and many others. Related to this, the company has a proprietary content ID system that claims to identify individual tracks and underlying rights holders.
Mixcloud Select initially goes live with 47 creators who have already used the Mixcloud platform to build listener communities, and covers a wide range of genres and scenes. Creators range from international DJs, including Afrojack, Nicole Moudaber, Lefto and John Digweed, to homegrown Mixcloud stars such as DJ Blighty and Low Light Mixes; independent radio stations Brooklyn Radio, Soho Radio and Red Light Radio; record labels Defected Records and Axtone Records; and curators Clash Magazine and Stamp the Wax.
Channel subscriptions start at ($/£/€) 2.99 per month, with the ability for creators to set a higher price. Subscriptions renew monthly and can be cancelled anytime.
Mixcloud also says it will collaborate with creators to roll out additional new features, such as offering exclusive content and direct messaging with subscribers. All creators can now register their interest in joining Select in the near future.