SoundCloud is launching its paid subscription service, SoundCloud Go, in the UK and Ireland Tuesday, offering music fans access to its 125 million tracks for £9.99 (or €9.99) with a 30-day free trial.
The move comes hot on the heels of the service’s launch in the U.S. in March in an attempt to position it against Spotify and Apple Music globally. A free version will remain available, albeit with adverts inserted, and listeners will be able to sign up to a 30-day trial of the paid service.
The paid version will allow people to hear an expanded catalog and will facilitate offline listening.
The free version will be supported by audio advertising, in-stream native ads, promoted profiles and creator partnerships, the company says.
SoundCloud, which launched in 2008, has long been a favourite of emerging and unsigned bands and DJs looking for an online home for their music, and its embeddable widgets have been dotted among tastemaker blogs for years.
Recently, though, more high profile acts have used it to premiere music.
While the company was valued at $700 million in 2014, it’s only recently attempted to monetise its catalog and user base.
How it fares in an increasingly crowded market, dominated by Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, which number tens of millions of subscribers between them, remains to be seen.
However, SoundCloud’s Alexander Ljung remains bullish. In an interview with the BBC he pointed to the platform’s usability for musicians as a key selling point.
“For artists generally, one of the things that’s special about SoundCloud is they have their own account, which they control,” he said.
“So that’s led to a different degree of authenticity. If they have an idea they went to get out to the world, a bit like Twitter, they can publish it instantly. That’s become a really powerful way for artists to connect to fans. They can’t really do that anywhere else.”
He also promised “more territories coming soon” as SoundCloud Go aims to launch in more countries. The company couldn’t provide any figures for subscription take-up in the U.S. to Mashable on Tuesday.