SoundCloud Adds Robust $4.99 On Demand Streaming Plan, But Many Artists Remain Unpaid
SoundCloud has added a $4.99 per month 120 million track on demand streaming subscription tier that includes most of the features – but not all of the tracks – that it and competitors charge $9.99 for.
SoundCloud Go today added a mid-priced subscription plan that takes its free ad-supported on demand 120 million track service offline and ad-free for $4.99 per month. SoundCloud's existing $9.99 premium subscription plan, launched last year as SoundCloud Go, has been rebranded as SoundCloud Go+.
With the new $4.99 tier, SoundCloud becomes the only music streamer to offer on demand listening at that price point. But missing form SoundCloud Go are 30 million "premium" tracks, which presumably include many new releases and hot tracks available only for $9.99 per month.
Many Unpaid Artists
Many of the 100+ million indie tracks that SoundCloud is monetizing via its ad supported, $9.99 and new $4.99 tiers were uploaded by artists that are still not being compensated by the music streamer. While SoundCloud promised to streamline the process of onboarding artists to its paid Premium Partners level, the program remains "Invite Only" and criteria for acceptance vague.
Still $4.99 Could Strike A Chord
In addition to problems with creator compensation, it has been a difficult quarter for SoundCloud with several top execs exiting and reports of financial troubles. But today's launch could excite SoundCloud's base because it eliminates ads and adds offline listening to those 100+ million indie tracks and mixes that are not available on any other music streamer.
"Now with three ways to experience SoundCloud: SoundCloud’s free, ad-supported offering, SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+, users have even more freedom to choose the features and content they want, at the price that fits their budget," said Alex Ljung, Chief Executive Officer at SoundCloud. "By expanding our offering, we not only enhance the experience for listeners on the platform, but also unlock new revenue opportunities to further expand our creator-payout program.”