Back in March, Tone Deaf detailed how the music industry is conspiring to take free streaming away from you. Not in a sinister, Illuminati sort of way, they’ve just finally caught on to the fact that streaming is their only chance at seeing a profit in the future.

Labels have begun ousting executives who are a little too friendly towards the whole “freemium” thing, which Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says is the cornerstone of his company’s business model. Except, industry pundits say even Spotify will feel differently in five years’ time.

We recently saw the launch of Apple Music, which critics have long been hailing as an industry game-changer. Past its initial three-month free trial period, Apple’s service does not have a free tier. What they do have is the ears of the major labels.

Now, even the service many thought was the last bastion of democracy in the streaming world is changing to keep itself afloat. As Pigeons & Planes reports, beginning 1st July, SoundCloud will introduce a new 24-hour limit on streaming.

From next month, all songs streamed outside the SoundCloud website will have a 24-hour limit of 15,000 plays, a move primarily made to accommodate the introduction of ads to SoundCloud’s platform.

If you play a song from a SoundCloud API player or on Tone Deaf, you won’t be hearing any ads, so SoundCloud have essentially given external links a use-by date which will drive traffic back to the SoundCloud website, where the company can actually make revenue from the listens.

“At SoundCloud, we’re building an ecosystem where creativity thrives,” a company statement reads. “Developers are an important part of that ecosystem. We’re continually inspired by how you use the SoundCloud API to support creators and listeners in innovative ways.”

“But as the ecosystem has grown, we’re dealing with an increasing number of applications that abuse creator content. To help us limit this type of behaviour, we’re introducing a daily rate limit on API play requests.”

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“Beginning July 1, client applications will be limited to 15,000 play requests per 24 hour period. Only a small number of developers will be affected by this change, and we’ll be contacting them via email to ensure a smooth transition.”

SoundCloud have recommended those who expect to be affected by the changes to review their developer documentation on rate limiting. “Limiting API access is common for API providers. If you’re unfamiliar with rate limits or how they work, we’re here to help,” they write.

You should also monitor your play requests and ensure “the email account associated with your app is up-to-date, and keep an eye out for communication from our team. In the coming months we’ll be introducing an application process for developers who’d like additional access”.

“This change is an opportunity for us to refocus our efforts and renew our commitment to developers,” write SoundCloud. “You’re an integral part of the SoundCloud community, and we look forward to seeing what you build next.”

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