SoundCloud has finally entered the every-expanding world of paid subscription, on-demand streaming services.
Their new service, SoundCloud Go, will cost $9.99 USD per month and will feature ad-free listening, offline listening, and an expanded catalogue including music from major and independent labels.
SoundCloud Go’s roll-out is a long-anticipated attempt by SoundCloud to further monetize the site, which despite running advertising since 2014 has reported significant losses including a loss of more than $44 million USD in 2014 as reported by MusicBusinessWorldwide.
The announcement comes after contracts were leaked last year that indicated not only that the site would move to a paid subscription service, but that the original free SoundCloud service would no longer be available. It looks like that, for now, this won’t be the case and the existing service will continue to remain for users who don’t sign up for Soundcloud Go.
The launch of SoundCloud Go has also come just over a week after the company finally struck a deal with Sony. There has been an icy relationship between the two companies following Sony’s decision to pull a significant amount of its content from SoundCloud last year after a payment dispute. Sony was the final major label to reach an agreement with SoundCloud, after agreements had already been reached with Universal, Warner and digital rights agency Merlin who represent over 20 thousand independent labels.
Although these deals will allow the site to put content from these labels on their service, the rights holders still have to agree to having their work on the platform.
Soundcloud Go is currently being offered as a 30-day free trial for users who sign up, and has at this stage only been rolled out in the United States. Other countries are expected to gain access to the service over the next year.