SoundCloud’s drift towards becoming a monetized, subscription-based service has been in progress for a while now. It was all a little murky and tough to parse through, but over the past year, news of deals with some of the worlds most prominent indies started trickling through, guaranteeing revenue a revenue stream to artists on the platform who had been getting nothing more than attention in the past. This, patently, was an excellent thing, given SoundCloud’s unique status as a platform for discovering tracks by lesser-known bands and underground acts. Then there were the deals with the majors which, if nothing else, gave the whole thing an air of legitimacy.
Apparently, that was all building up to this morning’s launch of SoundCloud Go. From the listener’s point of view, it’s a familiar model—your $9.99 every month will unlimited ad-free streaming and the ability to listen offline (or $12.99 if you’re using iOS). That in itself isn’t revolutionary. But the company are pushing the independent label angle that’s made their service so popular in the past and their sweeping deals with indies are a promising indication that it’s not just talk. According to founder and CEO Alexander Ljung, “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."Because, let’s face it, we always wanted a streaming service that treated its artists like humans. SoundCloud has dropped a video to go with the launch too. It’s short and entirely comprised of young people being edgy and well-dressed. If that’s your thing.Introducing #SoundCloudGo. Offline listening. No ads. Even more tracks. First 30 days free: https://t.co/31gizm5Ohyhttps://t.co/u3eB8Lw2Ht— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud)March 29, 2016