With over 12 million users and an average of 175 million listeners per month, SoundCloud has become a major platform for many artists since its launch in 2007. Initially, what made SoundCloud so unique was their free access to millions of tracks, both user-generated and licensed content. However, after being slammed with several lawsuits from labels and other right holders due to royalty issues, SoundCloud was forced to removed millions of tracks from their library.
Today, the Berlin startup has unveiled their long-term project, SoundCloud Go. You guessed it, another on-demand streaming app that listeners can subscribe to for $9.99/month or $13/month for Apple device users (due to the 30% fee that Apple charges). The new streaming app is currently only available in the US but offers 125 million tracks including premium licensed content. What makes SoundCloud Go unique is that it's the first to allow labels and artists to handpick what content goes behind the paywall on a case-by-case basis.
This announcement comes just a week after Soundcloud settled a deal with Sony, which was the last of the major labels to land a deal with the audio platform. Though settling these deals and launching a streaming app might be SoundCloud's attempt at forming better relationships with right holders, they're now going head-to-head with other streaming apps like Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. Though, Tidal might not be their biggest concern.
For those who aren't moved enough by SoundCloud Go to pay $9.99/month, SoundCloud will still be accessible without a subscription. However, users who stay on the free tier won't have access to premium material and will still be interrupted by ads every now and then.
Seems like there's already some people saying "no" to SoundCloud Go.