Blue checks welcome: SoundCloud debuts verification badges at long last

The butt of many jokes about struggling musicians, now SoundCloud is attempting to create a more serious image.

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Profile verification has arrived for official accounts on SoundCloud. According to the company's blog post, popular musicians and artists can have their profiles verified with the indication of a blue checkmark that will take up to 30 days to process. Yep, just like Twitter only years later.

You've probably already noticed the likes of Wiz Khalifa and Billie Eilish carrying these blue checks. "We’re doing this to help well-known artists stand out and maintain their authenticity, and to help listeners identify these artists more easily," SoundCloud explains.

This change, late though welcome, is bound to cut out the misleading and fraudulent use of the notorious Pro Star badge through SoundCloud's subscription plan. Of course, it won't do away with the problem of struggling singers trying to foist their SoundCloud links on you while you're trying to enjoy a drink at a bar but hey, now we know if that's actually Sufjan Stevens behind that Sufjan Stevens account. Or some super dedicated fan.


The problem with Pro Star — Verification is supposed to bring official musicians, frequently searched artists, and famous podcasts to the front. Prior to this, SoundCloud had its Pro Star badge program, costing $12 a month. Naturally, there was a mushroom effect of people impersonating popular musicians and just plain old confusion. The company says that it's not doing away with Pro Star badges entirely (keeping its subscription options well and alive); it's just bringing blue checks for clear delineation between actual artist and a fan-created page.

"Official blue check marks will help eliminate that confusion," SoundCloud notes. "Rest assured, if you’re a Pro subscriber your status remains the same. As a bonus, Pro Unlimited users who apply for verification will also be first in line."

Good work, SoundCloud — The music industry is constantly evolving. With streaming wars between giants like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube and viral clips taking off from the likes of TikTok (think Lil Nas X) or algorithmic tricks and traps manipulating the music you're tapping into, the music industry's only constant is change. It can be good and strangely beautiful like this ambient police scanner station. Or it can be pretty bad.

SoundCloud may not have the social repute of Spotify or the gigantic numbers that YouTube packs but it certainly has shown the ability to try earnestly in favor of making its platform more usable and entertaining for people.