SoundCloud extends direct messaging to iPhone – artists can now send “DMs from anywhere”.

Photo credit: Viralyft

SoundCloud has announced support for DMs from anywhere – including iOS devices, which artists can now use to send direct messages to fans and co-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 comes about a month after the Berlin-based service unveiled a messaging tool for artists and fans and announced more updates are on the way.

In keeping with the latter commitment, SoundCloud has brought DMs to all devices, with Agarwal’s succinct post on the subject directing interested parties to the “messages” icon on profiles. For now, the platform still emphasizes direct messaging’s perceived potential to “build authentic relationships that feel meaningful”; Artists cannot notify all of their followers at once.

But creators can communicate with die-hard fans and reach out to other acts to inquire about collaboration opportunities, Agarwal pointed out, noting that a professional connection between Elohim and Louis the Child began with a SoundCloud DM. The two then released a commercially successful “banger” titled “Love lives.”

“From sharing songs and playlists to sending warm messages and invitations to collaborate, direct messaging is the best way to connect and network,” claimed former CNN executive Agarwal, whose current employer was raided last month laid off eight percent of its workforce to be profitable by the end of 2023.

More broadly, SoundCloud’s DM expansion comes about eight months after the launch of the revamped SoundCloud for Artists hub.

SoundCloud for Artists is billed as the “central home for everything related to distribution, promotion, monetization and more” and includes features like the aforementioned fan messaging tool.

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

“At SoundCloud, we strive to put the artist first,” CEO Eliah Seton said at the time. “The FPR model makes streaming royalties fairer, helps artists directly benefit from their fans, and opens the door to a more meaningful fan-artist connection.”

As music powered by artificial intelligence is released en masse, diluting per-stream royalties and making it increasingly difficult to find suitable artists on platforms like Spotify, major labels and certain streaming services are taking steps to differentiate between AI and non-AI distinguish works. Yesterday, for example, Deezer announced that it has started developing tools to detect and label AI music – with the goal of eventually adjusting compensation based on the type of audio at hand.