I know this is not a new issue and many people complain about having their message facility blocked on soundcloud but i would like to voice my opinion and dissatisfaction at my situation.
Im a small independent artist working with a very small budget tying to compete in a industry that is dominated by the power of money and capitalist greed. I work hard on creating the best quality of music i can and bringing that music to as many listeners as i can (i request anyone reviewing this case please take the time to review the quality and care i put into my soundcloud profile and the quality and ethos behind the content i create).
I pay for the top level premium soundcloud account and don't post content very often (once every few months) but when i do post something i take the time and effort to try and get it to as many listeners that will appreciate it as possible. The main effort i make is to message my followers, people who for whatever reason have consciously decided to follow me (obviously because they have an appreciation for the content i am providing) and who can at any time change their mind and with one click of a button follow me no longer. Yes i copy and paste the same message , i have over 2k followers (which i have built up over time and with care) i don't know them all personally and as a small artist making no money from music and only working on the basis of passion and the love of the art as my reward, holding down a regular job and every other part of life which consumes our time, messaging each person with an individual message is just not realistic (and i'm not convinced it would go any further to stopping these restrictions anyhow). However the message i do copy and paste i have written with care, consideration and love. It briefly sums up the style and ethos behind the music i have uploaded and shares the link to give them easy listening access. The fact is this is a very nice feature implemented by soundcloud which allows my music a better chance of being heard by the right people even if they didn't happen to log on to soundcloud the day i posted and would have never had a fair chance of hearing it. The responses i get from these messages are very positive and i have never once received a negative reply or anybody suggesting I am spamming them.
Having read the guidelines regarding messaging followers (which i don't agree with but have accepted as what i see as an infringement on my rights) I try to work within whatever limits have been set. However these limits are not clear. Sometimes i can message 50 followers a day for weeks without a problem but on another occasion 15 in a day and i have been blocked. There is no consistency i can see or at least a set guideline which can allow me to work within the rules. On this recent occasion i limited myself to messaging 50 followers a day until i received a warning at which point i stopped for a few days before re starting and on the first or second day after i restarted i received a ban for what i think was 14 days. let me repeat that 14 DAYS! So i accept it blindly (whilst realising the unfairness of the situation) and when the 14 day ban was over i began messaging again. I decided that next time i get a warning i'm going to wait a whole week before messaging again to make sure i don't incur another ban. On the second day of messaging after after sending 15 messages i received my next ban (without a warning) of 15 days. I know the rules state that the bans will increase each time but this is a blatant bullying technique one of intimidation and harsh punishment. This is authoritarianism at its finest.
I have always loved and supported the soundcloud platform, open platforms such as these are so important at maintaining a healthy creative climate in a artistic form which in the last 20 years has been butchered by greedy executives in big corporations at the expense of the artistic form itself. Just take a look around at the most popular artists today (no offence intended what so ever, each to their own) and this is down to the greed of the executives working in the industry and not to the artists themselves. It's the executives that decide who to invest their money in and promote and they no longer will take chances on young innovative musicians. You only have to look at who was at the top of game in the 60s 70s and 80s and who is there now to see how people who appreciate good music and the good musicians themselves have been cheated in this generation in favour of image trends, sexual profiling and tapping into registered patterns in our mind that create a familiarity of comfort and a lack of stimulation. I won't digress into the ethical debate of this and whether and how it could be interpreted as a form of brainwashing the masses with drivel and creating a static mindset of compliance and apathy. In times gone by we had musical artists at the top who chose to use music as a means of opening peoples minds on mass to social injustice and alternate anti establishment views but where are they now? The only place they can be heard is on platforms like this and thats one of reasons soundcloud has such an important responsibility to allow as much freedom for all artists to promote themselves as possible. But all of these restrictions and monetisation strategies that have been implemented recently have tipped the balance in favour of artists who are already well established, who already have a wide reach and more money to promote themselves. I understand everyone working at soundcloud needs (and deserves) to make a living as well, the platform is otherwise very well run and in its essence is a beautiful concept. But these policies contradict that essence and are detrimental towards the health of the industry and the art form itself. As long as everyone accepts these infringements blindly without question and continues to supports platforms which favour financial greed over quality of content without saying anything nothing will change. Please if you have taken the time and care to read this all the way to the end it must have resonated with you for a reason, whether you have been effected directly or not , we are ALL being effected, we are ALL being cheated, whether we are voices struggling to be heard or ears who won't ever hear, keys trying to unlock doors or doors that will ever remain locked. We all have a responsibility. Say something. Express your dissatisfaction. The ripples will resonate further than this platform or music itself. We are walking blindfolded towards the edge of a cliff, lets not walk over the edge without trying to take off the blindfold to have a little look around first. Who knows what we might see.
Love, Peace and Harmony