SoundCloud has officially joined the big boys club of streaming services with its own subscription service. After finally inking a licensing deal with Sony Music, the Berlin-based streaming and discovery service has officially launched its new on-demand, subscription service titled SoundCloud Go. The new service comes with a price tag of $9.99 per month, comparable to other competitors like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer or TIDAL.
SoundCloud Go comes with some of the standard advantages one might expect from paying for a streaming service. Having implemented ads in the past two years to try and raise some desperately needed revenue, premium members will have an ad-free experience when listening to their music. They will be able to listen to their entire collection offline on their phone, much like on a different service.
The advantage that SoundCloud has entering the marketplace is its massive library of songs and user base. It currently boasts a user base of nearly 175 million users and 18 million content creators ranging from massive pop stars such as Drake and Kanye West all the way down to a bad room DJ or struggle rapper uploading unofficial remixes or freestyles.
Now that SoundCloud has signed deals with the three majors, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music, plus Merlin, which represents thousands of indies and various publishing companies, it boasts a library of over 125 million songs. That is nearly 100 million more than Spotify or any comparable service, which is a distinct advantage. Many of these may be pretty terrible unofficial remixes of dubious standing on the site, but SoundCloud's friendliness to creators and ease of use makes its library vast.
Also now that it has signed deals with the majors, it can now start officially licensing and start the official process of paying royalties on DJ mixes, unofficial remixes and freestyles, which has been an issue for many artists in the past who have butted heads with the service and their take down first, ask questions later policy.
SoundCloud Go won't have the official sheen with radio hits that is found on Apple Music or Spotify and that is the point. They want to keep the community they have now, but allow for creators and labels to get paid a higher rate, while also creating an ad-free space for listeners. It remains to be seen if this will work out, but with their massive user base, even a 5 percent conversation rate would put them in the same league as Apple Music right now.
Sign up on SoundCloud's website. There is a 30-day free demo and after it costs $9.99 per month.
— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) March 29, 2016