After seven years, SoundCloud realizes they might like the smell of cash. The cloud-music streaming service has announced plans to launch a new advertising platform. Musicians and rights holders will share the revenue from the ads.

SoundCloud co-founder Alex Ljung announced the creator partner program, called On Soundcloud, in a blog post.

“On SoundCloud lays the foundation for creators to make money from their work on the platform,” Ljung writes.

The timing of the announcement definitely looks like SoundCloud is trying to improve its business model in the face of YouTube’s upcoming streaming platform.

So, how will On SoundCloud work? Right now, it’s only launching with 20 partners. Expect that number to balloon higher though, as On SoundCloud grows.

On SoundCloud is broken into three different tiers. I’ve included the details on all three from the blog post below.

The Partner tier is for you if you’re just getting started: it’s free and easy to join the community, share your first track, receive feedback and get basic stats.

The Pro Partner level is a paid offering if you’re ready to take the next step On SoundCloud. Pros get more upload time, advanced tools, features like Spotlight and detailed stats. As an added benefit, at the Partner and Pro levels, we’ve increased upload time by 50% — you’ll get it automatically if you already have a Pro or free account.

At the Premier partner level, creators will have the opportunity to make money from their tracks through advertising. It also includes Pro features and more benefits. At launch, entry to the Premier tier is by invitation. Monetization occurs only on content when it’s played in the US. We’ll open up the program to more creators and more countries as fast as we can.

SoundCloud calls the introduction of advertising an “important step for creators.”

Content creators will have final say on which tracks audio and display ads will appear on. Plus, only content played in the U.S. will be counted at this time.

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