AI-Powered “First Fans” revolutionizes Fan Engagement on SoundCloud

In the evolving landscape of the music industry, technology continues to play a massive role in shaping its future. SoundCloud, one of the pioneers of the digital music revolution, has once again taken a giant leap forward with the launch of its AI tool, First Fans. This innovative feature is set to redefine how artists connect with their audience, leveraging the power of AI to identify and engage with their most dedicated fans like never before.

Soundcloud First Fans AI Tool

The Power of AI in Music

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer across various industries, and the music sector is no exception. SoundCloud’s First Fans is an AI-powered tool designed to address one of the significant challenges faced by emerging artists – gaining exposure and increasing their fan base. Taking advantage of the vast amount of data available on the platform, this tool identifies and targets potential fans who are most likely to appreciate an artist’s music.

The Fan-Powered Payout Model

Before going into the First Fans feature, it’s essential to highlight SoundCloud’s “fan-powered” payout model. Unlike the traditional streaming models used by other platforms, where revenue is distributed based on overall streams, SoundCloud’s model ensures that artists are directly compensated through royalties based on the engagement of their dedicated fan base. This unique model has garnered widespread acclaim and has been well-received by artists and record labels alike building a new path of how fan base compensation and engagement is revolutionizing the streaming industry payouts. 

How First Fans Works

First Fans is a sophisticated AI tool that analyzes user behaviour, music preferences, and interactions on the SoundCloud platform. By understanding which listeners have shown a consistent interest in an artist’s tracks, the tool identifies potential “first fans.” These are users who are likely to become devoted followers and influencers within their social circles.


Soundcloud's First Fans page

Soundcloud’s First Fans page


The AI tool then empowers artists to connect with these “first fans” through personalized messages, exclusive content, and even early releases of new tracks. By creating a sense of exclusivity and appreciation, artists can forge genuine connections with their audience, fostering a community of dedicated supporters.

“We have a huge listener base of people who come to SoundCloud seeking new and unique content that’s not available anywhere else – and they’re always on the lookout for new artists to fall in love with. This helps us understand what’s going on musically within your tracks using technology, and lets us match your music with listeners who we think will like it..” says Eliah Seton, Chief Executive Officer at SoundCloud.

Impacts on the Music Industry and Record Labels

SoundCloud’s First Fans feature is set to reshape the music industry in several ways. For emerging independent artists, it represents a golden opportunity to overcome the initial challenges of gaining visibility. By pinpointing the right audience, artists can focus their promotional efforts on a more receptive fan base, increasing the likelihood of organic growth and word-of-mouth marketing.

Additionally, independent record labels and Merlin members will benefit significantly from this AI-powered tool. Labels can make more informed decisions about signing new talent based on the actual engagement data and the potential for growth on the platform.

Performance of the “Fan-Powered” Payout Model

The “fan-powered” payout model at SoundCloud has been very successful since its implementation. Independent artists, in particular, have experienced a notable increase in their earnings compared to traditional streaming models. By rewarding artists based on fan engagement, rather than the sheer volume of streams, the platform encourages artists to cultivate their fan base actively, fostering a sustainable music career. 

“Any plays from these First Fans recommendations are real streams, so they count and are paid out like any other stream. You deserve to get heard and get paid the full amount for what people hear. That’s the right way to do things and as an artist-first company, we feel strongly about it.”said Eliah Seton, Chief Executive Officer of SoundCloud.

As more independent artists and record labels embrace this innovative tool, we can expect to witness a thriving ecosystem that celebrates musical talent and passionate fan communities on SoundCloud. The tool is currently undergoing Beta testing with a select group of Next Pro subscribers, and it will soon be rolled out to all users on the platform.

Distribute your catalog to Soundcloud and increase your revenues through Fan engagement

Boost your record label or digital distribution business with SonoSuite’s white-label platform, distribute your artists’ catalog to Soundcloud and establish major engagement relations with your artist’s fan base. 

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