SoundCloud is shaking up the way its premium subscription offering works, with a new $4.99-a-month mid-tier option that doesn’t include the 30m+ tracks added to the service through its licensing deals with labels.
This tier will inherit the name SoundCloud Go, while the $9.99-a-month tier that previously used that name will now be called SoundCloud Go+.
So, the new SoundCloud Go is essentially the same as the free version of SoundCloud, with its 120m+ tracks uploaded by artists, DJs and users, but with ads removed and the option for offline listening. “The first, fully on-demand listening experience at this price point,” as SoundCloud described it.
Both of the premium tiers will be available through SoundCloud’s mobile apps, although SoundCloud Go will cost $5.99 a month if paid for via an iOS subscription to cover Apple’s cut (similarly, SoundCloud Go+ will cost $12.99 a month on iOS – although in both cases, people can sign up directly on SoundCloud’s website to get the cheaper prices.)
We do have a question about royalties and creators, though. On SoundCloud’s free service, artists earn money by signing up to the SoundCloud Premier program, under which they can get a share of the revenue from ads placed around their music.
The new SoundCloud Go gets rid of the ads, so will it only be Premier partners getting paid from the new tier? And if so, how will royalties work for the other tracks that it’s charging $4.99 a month for offline, ad-free access to?
We have asked SoundCloud for clarification, but the company had not responded by the time we published this story. We’ll update with its response later today.