First came the ads, now SoundCloud has a deal with the bonafide record company that is Warner Music Group. That's right, SoundCloud has made it official with a real record label and everything – it's really growing up.
Every time a track from a Warner artist is played on SoundCloud from now on, SoundCloud will pay Warner a little bit of money. SoundCloud is a great service, but nothing gold can stay and we knew it would have to figure out a way to keep the lights on – aside from venture funding – at some point.
The deal with Warner was contingent on another coming-of-age type development: the impending launch of a premium service, which offers different paid tiers for different amounts of listening and uploading. The licensing agreement, of course, also applies to the premium plans.
So SoundCloud, as it exists in its current form, is changing. It still remains a place where you can discover great and weird underground artists. Let's just hope that these big kid business deals don't mean it gets too far afield from the SoundCloud we love.