Music Streaming Platform SoundCloud today launches a new tool to help artists better engage with their fans. The new product, conveniently named Fans, allows artists to send a direct message to their followers and sort their listeners by various engagement measures.
SoundCloud said the fan product was available to 10,000 artists, and now this beta version will be open to more than 50,000 artists who subscribe to the platform’s Next Pro product.
The company said some artists who tested the product used it to send links to unreleased tracks to fans and set up meet-and-greet events.
In 2021, SoundCloud introduced a fan-run royalty model that distributed subscription and advertising money based on who users were listening to, rather than just using the number of total streams through the service as a factor. The company is now using the data from this product to power some of the metrics for the fans tools.
Artists can sort their fans by parameters such as comments, listening habits, sharing habits, and country. Additionally, they can sort their listeners to understand who their potential collaborators might be. These metrics give artists an idea of what type of tracks are getting better engagement.
The company said users can turn off the artist messages feature if they wish by toggling the “Receive messages from anyone” switch. However, the artists they follow can send them a message. In addition, users can report abusive messages and block the sender.
“At SoundCloud, we believe artists should have direct access to their fans. Our company was founded and built to help artists connect and connect through music. And let’s face it, building a following (and being able to activate those fans when you need them) is the only real way to make music for a living,” Creator SVP Tracy Chan said in a statement.
In March, Spotify introduced new tools for artists to promote songs with paid recommendations, prioritize songs for discovery algorithms, and market their events. Compared to SoundCloud’s latest features, which focus on face-to-face interaction with fans, the Sweden-based company’s features are more focused on reaching more listeners.
Last week, SoundCloud announced a deal with Merlin — including its member companies like Mad Decent, Domino Recording Company, Beggars Group and Sub Pop Records — for artists who have signed with the label to participate in the fan-run royalty program.
In March, the company announced a new TikTok-like feed that allows users to find unheard tracks by scrolling vertically through the Discover feed.