SoundCloud Expands Direct Messaging to the iPhone — Artists Can Now Send ‘DMs From Anywhere’

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Photo Credit: Viralyft

SoundCloud has announced support for “DMs from anywhere” — including iOS devices, with which artists can now direct-message fans and fellow creators.

The music-sharing platform’s chief product officer, Rohit Agarwal, confirmed the expansion of SoundCloud’s direct-messaging feature in an official update. This announcement arrives about one month after the Berlin-headquartered service unveiled an artist-to-fan messaging tool and signaled that additional updates were forthcoming.

In keeping with the latter commitment, SoundCloud has brought DMs to all devices, with Agarwal’s concise post on the matter pointing interested individuals to the “message” icon on profiles. As it stands, the platform is still stressing direct messaging’s perceived potential “to create authentic relationships that feel meaningful”; artists cannot message all their followers at once.

But creators can communicate with diehard fans and reach out to other acts to inquire about collaboration opportunities, Agarwal emphasized, highlighting that a professional connection between Elohim and Louis the Child began with a SoundCloud DM. The two subsequently released a commercially successful “banger” entitled “Love Is Alive.”

“From sharing songs and playlists to sending heartfelt messages and invites to collaborate, DMs are the best way to connect and build your network,” claimed the former CNN exec Agarwal, whose current employer laid off eight percent of its workforce last month amid a push to achieve profitability by 2023’s end.

More broadly, SoundCloud’s DMs expansion comes about eight months after the rollout of the retooled “SoundCloud for Artists” hub.

Billed as a “centralized home for all things distribution, promotion, monetization, and more,” SoundCloud for Artists encompasses features including the aforementioned fan-messaging tool.

Meanwhile, SoundCloud continues to lean into its “fan-powered” royalty model, under which creators are paid based upon their share of each fan’s actual listening time as opposed to their portion of all on-platform streams. Warner Music Group adopted the framework as part of a new licensing agreement last year, whereas Merlin did so in May of 2023.

“At SoundCloud, we’re committed to being artist-first,” CEO Eliah Seton said at the time. “The FPR model makes streaming royalties more equitable, helps artists benefit directly from their fans, and opens the door for more meaningful fan-to-artist connection.”

As artificial intelligence music releases en masse – diluting per-stream royalty rates and making it increasingly difficult to find proper artists’ efforts on platforms like Spotify – the major labels and certain streaming services are taking steps to distinguish between AI and non-AI works. Yesterday, for instance, Deezer revealed that it had started developing tools designed to detect and tag AI music – with a goal of eventually adjusting compensation based upon the type of audio at hand.