SoundCloud is talking about a host of new support initiatives, but there’s one you might want to switch on right now – a direct support button for your profile.
It goes without saying that people across the arts, entertainment, and many other industries are hitting hard times, and not everyone has a strong support net. It also goes without saying that music makers often struggle under the best of circumstances. SoundCloud is the latest in our arena to announce various initiatives – everything from working with Twitch to discounting SoundCloud Pro accounts to a set of news today. That includes $5 million in promotional support and a $10 million accelerator program (Repost Select).
But let’s get to that later, because the simplest thing SoundCloud is doing is to make a prominent link available on your profile page.
The direct fan-support-button is just a big blue box with a link of your choosing. There’s some pre-defined text reminding people that artists are impacted by COVID-19 and health interventions.
Here’s how it appears in action (currently live on the Web; awaiting an official word on mobile):
To add yours, go to your Creators profile page while logged in, and choose the”edit” button on the right. Then click “add support link,” and a new text field appears. Here you can add a link to a number of sites. (Custom links don’t work, but they are taking feedback for services you want if one isn’t listed.)
Supported sites you can link to (for now):
Emphasis mine – it isn’t just about begging for money or passing the hat, because you can also direct people to buy your music and merch on Bandcamp, head to a store on Shopify (where you might even sell synthesizer hardware, for instance), subscribe on Patreon, or support a Kickstarter project.
It’s just a link – there’s no commission that goes to SoundCloud. Basically, it works like the existing links on your profile, but white-listing these sites on which you can get paid. (Oh yeah – you can even link Bandcamp twice, which is what I do; I want people’s support to come in the form of downloading my music, and I still want to list my Bandcamp page alongside Twitter and Facebook.)
Find the instructions here:
Direct Support Link [SoundCloud help]
Blog post: Add this new button to your profile so fans can financially support you [SoundCloud blog]
And an update from CEO Kerry Trainor on everything else
(It’s a bit more complicated and less direct, but you can also now link Twitch accounts and payouts if you have SoundCloud Pro.)
My experience is this: a lot of music lovers want to support artists. As we saw with Bandcamp’s music sale last week, as we’ve seen on Patreon and other services, people are looking for opportunities. That makes it even more tragic that big tech providers like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple tend to focus more on building their platform rather than allowing connections to artists. I hope that this step from SoundCloud is a first step toward more of that kind of direct support.
Stay tuned; we’ll soon talk to SoundCloud about their strategy with creators here, and hopefully unravel some of the other offerings.
But meanwhile, if you’re wondering if you should turn that button on, I say yes!
I was going to add more, but really – just yes.