You’ve probably heard about SoundCloud’s new subscription service, SoundCloud Go. They posted about it on their blog and emailed account holders too. It’s a big deal for them, but nothing that we weren’t expecting really. So far the new subscription service is only available in the US, which is understandable really as it’s probably their biggest market. But the big question is, will it work? That’s the massive question actually, and one I’m sure that they’ve spent an enormous amount of time thinking through.
But what does this mean for the likes of us who regularly use SoundCloud with our apps and music? Well I have to say that I don’t think they’ve made it entirely clear as yet. From their somewhat less than helpful ‘help pages’ it seems that unless you’re a premier artist (a status that is currently only available by invite only right now) you won’t get anything at all. The ‘On SoundCloud’ programme will apparently open up at some point but they’re not clear about the actual timescales for that as yet.
So for now it appears that as a creator you’ll only have the ability to choose as to whether or not your tracks are available for offline listening, but no cash. Not for a while anyway unless you’re lucky enough to get the special invite.
As far as I’m concerned that doesn’t sound amazing from a creator’s perspective. More importantly it doesn’t mention anything about SoundCloud Pro users. I had thought that maybe they’d make some kind of offer for existing SoundCloud Pro users seeing as how we already pay to be Pro users. However, I can find no mention of that anywhere so far. All I can assume is that you have to pay for both, which can’t be right can it?
Finally I’d like to have a think about whether or not users, whether they’re creators or listeners or both, will actually pay for it. From a personal perspective I know that it isn’t something I’d be willing to pay for, certainly now without some kind of significant discount for already being a Pro user anyway. That’s one stumbling block and I doubt that I’m the only Pro user who would feel that way. The next issue is that lots of people already have streaming service accounts elsewhere. Yes, it’s almost certainly true to say that they won’t have access to the same range of music if their using Spotify or Apple Music.
I know that it’s early days so far, but I’m not sure that this is the ray of hope for SoundCloud that I’d wished for. Perhaps it’ll improve, perhaps more will become clear in the following days and weeks. I really hope so anyway.
Anyway, those are my views for now, what do you think?
5 thoughts on “So will SoundCloud’s subscription service turn things around for them?”
I don’t know how they expect to attract paid users at that price these days.
I agree entirely.
I won’t get SC Go unless they bundle it for free with SC Pro (which I don’t have) and if the Pro version of the iOS app restores the ability to leave comments & replies on tracks. Removing that function destroyed the social media aspect of SC for me, and made SC near useless. There needs to be more value than just another streaming service. There also needs to be great tools to promote your music to fans, which is currently absent on SC.
Thanks for the comment. You make some good points. I think that SC have lost the support of the mobile community in many ways, or at the least are in severe danger of doing so. I agree that they need to do something about community, and tools, but I just can’t see it happening. Which is a shame.