Soundcloud is officially entering the paid music streaming realm.
Since it’s inception in 2007, the company has allowed virtually any type of audio, from hour long electronic music remixes to teenagers recording acoustic covers, to have profiles and post to their server.
Since then, the Berlin based company has slowly introduced new measures to gain revenue, such as strategic ad placement and the option for bigger artists to sign agreements that would bring both parties revenue from advertising.
After signing deals with major labels, including one major holdout Sony Music, this month, Soundcloud has rolled out a new subscription plan for consumers, giving them ad-free listening and a whole range of music from mainstream artists that had shunned the service because it only gave tracks away for free, including top acts like Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift.
Basically, everyone will still have access to the tracks posted by the average person, but stuff from famous, established artists will be in an exclusive tier only available to those who pay.
There is a 30 day free trial being offered, after which the service will cost $9.99 a month. If you opt out of the service, your access to “premium tracks” will be hindered and the listening experience will not be ad free.
Soundcloud, a privately held organization, will have a staggering 125 million tracks available when the paid tier, Soundcloud Go, launches Tuesday. That’s about four times other paid services. Soundcloud hopes that this massive variety will draw users away from services like Spotify and Pandora.
“We’re at the very early days of streaming,” said Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder and chief technology officer, in an interview. “The pie is going to be very large over time.”
“You’re going to be able to listen to a Rihanna next to an emerging artist, next to a DJ set, next to a mashup in the same playlist,” said Wahlforss. “It’s new for us, it’s new for the world.”