Music streaming platform SoundCloud has extended the paid-for subscription service it launched in the US in March to the UK and Ireland.
SoundCloud Go will cost £9.99 per month — mirroring the price of rival services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal — for access to ad-free streaming of a library of around 125 million tracks.
Those tracks range from bedroom DJs to artists signed to major labels. In total, SoundCloud says 12 million “creators” are listened to every month on the platform.
SoundCloud Go also allows users to store tracks on their phones to listen to offline.
SoundCloud has had advertising on the platform in the US since 2014, but this is the first time users in the UK and Ireland will start seeing and hearing ads. SoundCloud now has 10 staff based in the UK.
Ad formats on SoundCloud include: audio ads and interstitials, which can be bought through Global’s Dax network; “native” ads such as promoted playlists; and branded content, which in the US has seen the company select artists to produce tracks for brands.
Speaking to Business Insider in London ahead of the UK and Ireland launch, SoundCloud’s chief revenue officer Alison Moore said ad rates are comparable to other audio ad prices, but that the relationship users have with the platform makes it “unique” from other streaming services.
“We bring unique content to the picture. These people are music lovers and music discovery lovers and they’re very highly engaged,” she said.
Not all artists posting music to the platform will be able to benefit from the monetisation of their content — only those that are part of its invite-only Premier program. Right now, that differs from other online streaming services, where artists can pay a small, sub-$20 annual fee to a digital distribution company — like TuneCore, Distrokid, or CD Baby — for their music to be placed on a number of streaming platforms and they can be compensated per download or stream.
Asked how smaller artists may feel about their tracks being used to generate advertising and subscription revenue for SoundCloud, without being given the opportunity to take a cut, Moore said the company was gearing itself up to give “multiple opportunities” to artists big and small.
Moore declined to reveal how many SoundCloud Go subscribers there are in the US, or the company’s revenue numbers, but she said the company was “very happy” with its progress so far.
Financial filings showed the Berlin-based streaming service reported a loss of €39.14m ($44.19m) in 2014 on revenues of €17.35m ($15.37m).
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