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SoundCloud Go launches in UK and Ireland

By | Published on Tuesday 3 May 2016


Boom. That’s SoundCloud Go going live in the UK and Ireland. Who’d have thought it would have caused a sonic boom? But it’s big news, see. Now you’re not signing up to SoundCloud’s new-fangled subscription service due to indifference rather than geography.

So, yes, SoundCloud has put its premium service live across the British Isles, having turned the service on in the US back in March. The paid-for version of SoundCloud, which offers a stack more music content and offline listening, was a long time coming, of course, it taking some time to persuade all the record companies to come on board, Sony Music being the last to do the deal. On the publishing side, PRS signed an agreement last year as part of the settlement of its litigation against the streaming site, while Sony/ATV recently extended its directly negotiating deal to the European market.

SoundCloud is also switching on advertising in the UK today, which [a] gives content creators the option to monetise their free-to-access content by allowing ads to appear around their audio and [b] means another benefit of paying £10 a month is that any ads now set to appear to freemium users won’t if you go premium.

Confirming the UK and Ireland launch, SoundCloud chief Alexander Ljung said: “We received an incredible response from our community of creators and listeners alike with the launch of SoundCloud Go in the US earlier this year, and we’re excited to expand our offering to our listeners in the UK & Ireland”.

He went on: “Creators are, and always have been, at the core of everything we do at SoundCloud. And it’s through this monetisation of the platform, which also includes the introduction of ads to the free service, that we will eventually enable them all to be paid for the work they share with the world”.

Record companies which liked SoundCloud as a marketing platform had been calling for the digital firm to introduce monetisation options for years, even though they then took their time to sign up to the subscription service SoundCloud bosses developed. Though SoundCloud itself is also banking on the addition of subscriptions and ads bringing in much needed new revenues, to help safeguard the long-term future of the company.

The big question now, as the subscription service starts to roll out around the world, is whether SoundCloud can turn its loyal audience of freebie users into paying customers, given the advertising business alone is unlikely to be sufficient to satisfy either the music industry or the digital company’s shareholders. Time will tell.