SoundCloud Updates Premier Direct-Monetization Contract Terms, Following Criticism

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The streaming service dropped its controversial "don't sue" clause for artists, while tweaking other points.

Following SoundCloud's announcement earlier this month it was expanding its Premier direct-monetization program to a broader swath of users, the streaming service has now updated contract terms that outraged some creators.

"As we've grown, we've also received feedback that some language in the original program agreement was too broad, and we want to avoid any doubt around your rights and how we run the program," said a blog post on Monday (Oct. 29).

SoundCloud came under heat after widely launching its Premier program when The Verge published a story last Friday slamming the company's creator-first claims, while detailing restrictive policies in its contracts. Specifically, the contract was ambiguous about payment dates and payout percentages, while asking artists to sign away their rights to sue to company with a mandatory arbitration clause.

Now the company has removed the covenant not to sue language, claiming it was left over from the previous invite-only Premier agreement. It has also clarified or removed other elements of the contract that it says "may be unclear or not relevant to the open service we have now."

SoundCloud clarified that under the updated agreement, Premier's operation does not change in any way and detailed these key points to the deal: creators retain all the rights to their content; they receive a pro rata share of 55 percent of net revenue; they are paid for each calendar month within 45 days of the end of that month, no matter how much money they earned; they can exit the program whenever they wish and can always user another platform alongside SoundCloud; and they will be updated two weeks in advance to any changes made to the SoundCloud Terms of Use agreement.

As The Verge points out, the new contract also extends the statement challenge window from six months to two years and makes some further additions and alterations, such as an expanded territories section.

"SoundCloud is and will always be a creator-first platform," the blog post concludes. "We're committed to building industry-leading products and services for you to share, connect and grow your career. As part of that commitment, we'll always take feedback and respond as quickly as we can to keep improving the platform for you."