Music streaming firm SoundCloud is launching its long-planned subscription service, but for now the $9.99-a-month service will only be available in the US.
SoundCloud vis hoping that its huge catalogue of more than 125m tracks – quadruple those of its rivals Spotify and Apple Music – will persuade a chunk of its 175 million subscribers who listen for free to start paying.
The new Spotify rival will give users access to some 125 million tracks including premium licensed content on demand, starting first in the U.S. at $9.99 per month.
On top of the existing SoundCloud UGC trove, users get tens of millions of on-demand premium tracks, along with offline listening, and no ads.
Those who choose to stay on SoundCloud’s free tier will still see ads, and will get a very reduced number of new premium content tracks.
SoundCloud has been talking about its plans to launch a subscription service for the past two years, during drawn-out licensing negotiations with music rights holders.
The company has agreed deals with all three major labels, the indie-label licensing agency Merlin, and various music publishers.
SoundCloud Go, which will be more expensive on iOS devices at $12.99 a month to factor in Apple’s 30% share of in-app purchases, will also enable its users to store tracks on their devices for offline listening.
Labels will be able to decide whether to make their music available on SoundCloud’s free service, its subscription tier or both.