If you need yet another music subscription service in your life, SoundCloud has the next big thing you're waiting for. The music streaming platform announced SoundCloud Go, which is only available in the U.S. for now. Priced at $9.99/mo. through SoundCloud's website or Android app, and at $12.99/mo. via the iOS app after the 30-day trial period expires, SoundCloud Go expands the familiar music discovery experience by giving access to even more tracks, including ones by commercial artists. Some of that content will be accessible for free as full tracks, while some of it will be available in 30-second previews.
Still, the backbone of the service – for now, at least – remains the vast catalogue of songs and music collections submitted by the SoundCloud community. That's about to change, though, as the platform has been licensing music from UMG, Sony, Merlin, Warner, and other big-name labels in order to deliver "a slew of new tracks and albums from the biggest names in music" alongside tunes by independent artists. Subscribers can also make their "liked" tracks and playlists available for offline listening. Moreover, the monthly subscriptions remove the advertisements that tend to get in the way of listening.
SoundCloud Go also offers benefits to music makers, not just listeners. Creators can reach more listeners in more places thanks to the platform's music discovery algorithm, which gives them the chance of having their most popular work queued after the chart-topping hits people are looking for. U.S.-based SoundCloud creators with Pro Unlimited accounts are also treated to SoundCloud Go access at a discounted rate of $4.99 per month for the first six months of subscription.
Music streaming is for sale, but who's buying?
SoundCloud jumps the music streaming bandwagon amidst intense competition by services such as Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Google Play Music, Milk Music, and Pandora – to name a few. Although SoundCloud has a large community and plenty of brand exposure, The Verge notes that the platform is currently advertising a catalog of 125 million songs in which at least 110 million are free, user-uploaded tracks. While competitors like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and others have around 30 million paid songs, SoundCloud Go appears to include closer to 15 million. The service has a significant gap to fill in terms of content, not to mention convincing people that it's worth adding another music streaming subscription to their monthly bills.