For the first time in its six-year existence, audio streaming service SoundCloud is running advertisements and letting artists and record labels collect royalties.
The new program, dubbed On SoundCloud, allows certain creators to make money from their tracks through advertising revenue, but only if their songs are played in the U.S.
As of right now, creators must be invited to the program to receive a cut of the profits. Mashable reports only about 30 artists and labels are in that initial group.
The motivation for the move is likely two-fold: to monetize the site and create a shield from lawsuits for copyright infringment.
In June, Kaskade, an American D.J., announced that nearly a dozen of his songs had been removed from the site due to copyright violations and many others reported the same.
But Kaskade did admit in a blog that he was, in fact, in the wrong and he didn't have the legal right to post his own music to SoundCloud because of his recording contract.
The New York Times writes that major labels are negotiating for equity stakes in SoundCloud with the agreement that the streaming service will not be sued for past copyright infringements.
It's easy to understand why labels want a slice of the SoundCloud pie. It boasts 175 million monthly listeners, making it the second biggest music streaming service in the world behind YouTube.
For those of you who hate the idea of having to listen to a few ads, SoundCloud will be rolling out a paid subscription service that allows users to skip the ads sometime in the near future.
This video includes an image from Getty Images.