'SoundCloud Go' Subscription Service Coming to the UK and Ireland

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SoundCloud Go, a music-streaming subscription service, has just recently been released in U.K. and Ireland. Go first launched in March for the United States, offering downloadable tracks, a more extensive catalog of listening and a totally ad-free experience.

The service costs £9.99 a month in the UK, €9.99 in Ireland, and $9.99 in the U.S; pretty standard fare for a premium subscription when considering competitor prices. Go users will be able to listen to everything currently in SoundCloud's archive (sans internet if desired) drawing from a library of 125 million tracks. In conjunction with the release of Go, SoundCloud has simultaneously injected a healthy dose of ads into its free streaming in order to pay artists and content creators. This may seem like unwelcome news, but considering that ads were introduced to U.S. listeners March 2014 after 7 years of ad-free listening, the UK made out well with an extra 2 years of no ads!

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There are several music-streaming companies who haven't made a real dent yet (Tidal, Deezer, Rhapsody), but how can they with the omnipresent Apple brand pervading our waking lives. Just 6 months after breaking into the market, Apple Music roped a whopping 12 million subscribers. Apple has made the service available in 113 countries whereas it's rival, Swedish company Spotify, is limited to 59. However, Apple Music is a paid service only, offering no freemium option. Meanwhile, Spotify boasts 60 million users as of February15 million of which are paid subscribers.

Will the Berlin-based SoundCloud have enough draw on their current listeners to encourage payment for an otherwise free service? In all likelihood, regular SoundCloud users have another music-streaming service for music not accessible through the underground service. Spotify Premium offers open playlists, sharing capabilities, genre and mood-based radio options, in addition to everything that SoundCloud Go offers. Apple Music and Spotify have nearly the same capabilities when it comes to music-related services, but Apple has added some enticing, new items. First off, Apple Music is attempting to humanize the industry through Connect, a social feature allowing artists to share pictures and videos which fans can comment on, like, or share. More exciting, though, is the Beats 1 global radio station hosted by Zane Lowe of Los Angeles, Ebro Darden of New York, and Julie Adenuga of London.

X's. Tune into @zanelowe on @Beats1 on Thursday 9-11am (PST) to hear the first track from : Too Much To Dreampic.twitter.com/aplmAcOZEy

Go is stepping into the arena with some heavy-hitting, deep-pocketed companies, both of whom are as vicious as they are determined. Fortunately, like Spotify, SoundCloud will have a free version of their streaming service which must, unfortunately, be punctuated by ads and sponsored tracks. In using the digital audio advertising exchange (DAX) of Global Radio, the prominent media and entertainment company in command of several UK radio stations, SoundCloud make quite a bit of revenue off of their current 175 million users. Adding to the mix is SoundCloud's own direct sales team based in the UK.

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