From today an ad-supported On SoundCloud program is live—first in the U.S. and then later around the rest of the world. It will allow content creators to monetize the audio they post to the site by adding "see and hear" commercials.
It will only be Premier members of SoundCloud that can inflict ads—though, presumably, they're also some of the most listened-to—and they'll have to provide explicit consent for it to happen. It's not clear yet at what scale we'll see ads appearing. (Incidentally, there's now a new structuring for Premier users, if you're inclined to give it a go.)
It's a sad day for SoundCloud lovers—but it's also one of the most obvious ways of keeping the service free for its users. All told it's also a fairly cautious first step into the world of monetization, and there's even word that a subscription offer would let users avoid the ads in the future. Let's wait see how irritating it gets. [SoundCloud]