SoundCloud has jumped on the streaming bandwagon this week. Their streaming service, SoundCloud Go, launched this week, and it’s already getting a lot of backlash.
The monthly price of SoundCloud Go is on par with other subscription costs. For $9.99 a month, users get access to SoundCloud’s extensive library with offline syncing.
So, what’s the problem? Well, according to The Verge, there’s a catch.
Musicians have been uploading millions and millions of songs to SoundCloud since its launch in 2007. Those songs have always been available for free — and they’ll remain that way even after Go’s launch — but now, you’ll be able to play SoundCloud tracks right alongside the big hits you’re addicted to. SoundCloud thinks this extensive library is something a lot people are willing to pay for.
SoundCloud thinks this will give them a leg up in the streaming business, but others aren’t so sure. Compared to other subscription-based services, SoundCloud has fewer paid tracks available.
But, according to SoundCloud’s CTO and Co-Founder Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud isn’t trying to compete with Spotity, TIDAL or Apple Music.
Wahlforss isn’t worried about competing with Spotify, at least for now. He’s more focused on the 170 million people who already use SoundCloud every month, and the 12 million so-called “creators”—the musicians and DJs and remixers and cover artists that people listen to every month. Wahlforss loves the idea that those creators can live next to the Beyonces and Biebers of the world. “Not only do we get all of this content from the major labels,” he says, “but on top of that, everything that’s been going on on the platform—the DJing activity, the remixing and mash-uping, cover music, and all that—all of that stuff can live now on the platform side by side with premium content.”
Users aren’t forced to upgrade, as SoundCloud tweeted above, but people are still pretty upset. Not only is there not a lot of artists on SoundCloud that Spotify or Apple Music have, the app is also tricky to use.
The service did only launch this past Tuesday, so maybe things will improve over time.