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In 2007 when Alex Ljung founded the web based music sharing platform, SoundCloud, it was impossible to foresee the multitude of artists and listeners worldwide who would utilize what would soon become a massive digital music library. With a global audience more than 4 times larger than Spotify, the Berlin based company reaches nearly 200 million listens monthly.

Up until now, SoundCloud has been free of charge with the exception of a limited number of more active users who choose to pay a subscription fee. Multiple companies, including Twitter, have entertained the idea of acquiring SoundCloud (which was valued at $700M earlier this year) but all have fallen through due to concerns about copyright issues and potential lack of profitability. To negate these concerns, starting today SoundCloud will be adding advertisements and eventually the option to pay a monthly fee and skip all the ads. Advertisers for now include Red Bull, Jaguar and Comedy Central.

SoundCloud has become a sort of grass roots outlet in the music industry, providing obscure artists with an avenue that wasn’t previously available. In fact, Lorde’s hit song “Royals” was actually discovered on SoundCloud. The addition of ads may seem like a nuisance for those of you that frequent the app or website but, in reality it will pay royalties to artists and record labels thus making even more music available as well as help ensure the company is able to maintain the free service it has been providing.