SoundCloud Imposes Streaming Limits

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In what may turn out to be a nightmare scenario for music publicists — and not exactly a dream come true for music news sites either — SoundCloud has decided that the free lunch is over. Starting on July 1, 2015, all SoundCloud streaming links shared on other sites or through third-party platforms will expire if the track exceeds 15,000 plays within 24 hours. “What’s the big deal?” you might ask. Well, for more tracks than you might guess, that’s actually a fairly common occurrence.

Where’s this new move coming from? Apparently SoundCloud is reining things in so that they can take care of their own business by maximizing the effectiveness of their new ads. Can’t blame them for that. What will it mean to the rest of us? Well, for the average fan, very little, beyond having to go to the original SoundCloud source in order to stream the song in question. But for artists with a wide audience, or more crucially, for ones who are trying to build a wide audience, it could make spreading the word harder.

And for those whose job it is to help spread the word, like the aforementioned PR flacks, music blogs, et al, it may end up feeling a little like trying to fight in a boxing match with one arm tied behind your back, unless they develop a reliable workaround. Time will undoubtedly tell…

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