SoundCloud has formed a new partnership to scan uploaded music for instances of copyright infringement, but the deal isn't necessarily about filing more takedown requests. Instead, the partnership with Zefr — the same company YouTube works with — will likely allow music labels to start making money off of their songs even when others have illegally uploaded them. Labels could, of course, just use the partnership to make more takedown requests, but the more interesting alternative is using Zefr the same way it's often used on YouTube: to let copyright owners claim content as their own and start running ads on it.
It's not stated exactly how this will play out on SoundCloud, but the partnership suggests that we'll see similar results. Like YouTube, SoundCloud already has its own system for identifying copyrighted content, so it's likely that the Zefr partnership is focused more on monetization. Zefr also provides analytics and can dig into specific content type — like whether it's detecting full songs or remixes — and help labels determine what type of content they should be uploading to SoundCloud. That's all good news for SoundCloud, too, as it'll mean that SoundCloud is making money at the same time. The music-hosting site began serving ads last summer, and it's possible that those will be used to monetize content for copyright owners the same way that preroll is used on YouTube.