[Editor Charlie sez: The “virtual gift” is kind of old news and we’ve been covering it since 2018–but–it’s another market confirmation that streaming royalties are inadequate (nobody talked about virtual gifts with Tower Records or iTunes Music Store). It would be better if Spotify spent less time gorging themselves with their snouts in the public markets trough and more time figuring out how to pay performers a sustainable royalty.]
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.
Read Chris’s 2018 post about virtual gifts: Ethical Props–How Streamers Can Empower Fans on the Path to Sustainability