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6:00 AM PDT 3/29/2016 by Natalie Jarvey
SoundCloud Go offers an expanded music catalog for $9.99 a month.
SoundCloud is following Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and YouTube Music with a jump into the crowded music subscription waters.
The eight-year-old free music streaming company on Tuesday announced its first paid offering, a $9.99 a month SoundCloud Go subscription that will feature an expanded, ad-free music catalog of 125 million tracks from 12 million artists. The service, which is available in the U.S. and will roll out in other countries later this year, will also offer offline listening.
Founded by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss in 2008, SoundCloud has become popular with emerging artists and DJs as a place to distribute their tracks to fans. But, until recently, the service ruffled feathers with the major labels for operating as a free unlicensed platform.
The Berlin-based company made steps toward monetization in 2014 with the launch of its advertising program that shared revenue with musicians. And last year it began slowly signing deals with the major record labels as it prepped its subscription service. Sony was the last holdout, pulling original songs from Adele, Kelly Clarkson and other artists last year during a breakdown in negotiations. The deal finally was completed earlier this month, paving the way for the launch of SoundCloud Go.
The company is now placing an emphasis on its efforts to work with the music industry and compensate rights holders for their work. “SoundCloud Go represents our vision of the future of music streaming: a platform for creators to collaborate on; for fans to discover the latest tracks, enjoy legendary music and connect with their favorite artists; and for our unique creative community to have the opportunity to be paid for their work,” said Ljung, who runs the company as CEO. “We are proud to offer the ultimate music streaming choice for both artists and fans and, together with the music industry, enable artists at all stages of their careers to be heard on SoundCloud.”
SoundCloud Go is available through SoundCloud's existing mobile apps. The service costs $9.99 on Android and $12.99 on iOS. The company also is offering a free 30-day trial.