Yesterday Soundcloud launched the service that’s been rumoured and discussed for several years: a paid subscription to compete against the likes of streaming giants Apple Music and Spotify.
Currently available in the US only, Soundcloud Go will cost $9.99 per month ($12.99 for iOS users) and the first 30 days are free. But what does this mean? Soundcloud’s Facebook video doesn’t tell us much…
But its blog does reveal more: Soundcloud Go will have three additional benefits… More tracks (thanks to its recent deal with majors UMG, Sony, Merlin and Warner), no ads and, most importantly, offline listening.
Are these perks worth the $10 per month?
The additional tracks will be a serious bonus for the casual mainstream listener but electronic music fans tend to dig much deeper and use the platform for finding fresh talent, rather than listen to material that’s already established and can be found on many other platforms. That said, stone cold classics and remixes that have yet to appear on Soundcloud will add an extra dynamic to playlists.
An ad-free experience is an obvious perk. But as the ad-based On Soundcloud service is only available in the US, it’s hard to appreciate as a perk. Yet. No one likes ads when an on-demand service is available. Just ask the additional 10 million paid Spotify users who started subscriptions in the last 12 months, bringing Spotify’s subscriber count to 30 million.
Offline listening is probably the biggest coup for Soundcloud users. Similar to Spotify, you can download your favourites and play them anywhere, anytime. But this takes it one step further where all likes and playlists are downloaded rather than opting to download particular playlists and tracks. There’s also extended options to choose how to download your favourites; automatically or WIFI-only if you’re on a data sensitive mobile plan.
But how about the creators who pay to use Soundcloud anyway? These users are what make Soundcloud unique and so popular, especially in the electronic music realms. So far Soundcloud have explained how creator pro users will enjoy more detailed discovery features that they believe will create access to even more of the platform’s 175 million unique monthly listeners. They’ve also offered a discount rate of $4.99 for six months.
We’re interested in how this will develop. Soundcloud remains one of the best sources of unsigned talent and all manner of DJ sets and podcasts if it can add more conventional streaming functionality and an even wider catalogue of music then it may have found a way out of its well publicized debt… Which can only be a good thing.
What do you think of this new development? Will you pay for Soundcloud Go when it launches in your country? Let us know…