SoundCloud wants to make cash off copyright-infringing remixes


So you’ve managed to build a music-centric service that’s incredibly popular among professionals, from DJs to musicians, but where do you go from there? How do you monetize? This is the problem that SoundCloud is having, but it may have a solution. By partnering with ZEFR, the company wants to turn all of the copyright-infringing remixes on the service into sources of revenue. 

SoundCloud is a big name among musicians, DJs, podcasters, and more, but the Berlin-based company has seemed uncertain about how to go about generating revenue from its user base. Last year SoundCloud inked its first deal with a major record label, and now the company seems to be looking at monetizing copyright-infringing tracks. A partnership between SoundCloud and rights management company ZEFR was announced yesterday, and while the wording was a bit vague, plenty of clues can be gleaned from ZEFR’s existing partnership with YouTube. Two ZEFR products, Content ID and Brand ID, are the brains behind many of the ads and links you see that are related to the video you’re watching. By working with record labels, ZEFR ensures that, even though companies may not get any revenue from the ads on the song you’re watching a copyright-infringing video of, you’ll at least be presented with an easy way to buy the song on iTunes.

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