Music streaming service Soundcloud has launched a UK paid-for service to rival the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
The company hopes to attract users with a mixture of officially licensed tracks and its catalogue of 125 million covers, remixes, DJ sets and podcasts.
Called Soundcloud Go, it costs £9.99 per month in line with its rivals.
Soundcloud itself will remain free to use, although listeners in the UK and Ireland will hear advertisements between songs from Tuesday morning.
The launch is a big move for the company, which built its business by allowing artists to upload their music and share it with fans on social media and blogs.
Acts like Drake, Lily Allen, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus have used it to premiere songs, or share works in progress – even when they have a stake in rival streaming services, as West does with Tidal.
It has established the Berlin-based company as an influential player in the music industry, especially in the dance music genre.
The company was valued at $700m (£478m) in a funding round in 2014, but it has only recently started trying to make money from its 175 million users.
The subscription service launches with a free 30-day trial, and allows users to store tracks on their phone for offline use – “the number one requested feature”, the company says.
But it is launching into an increasingly crowded market. Apple has attracted 11 million people to its music streaming service since it arrived last summer. Market leader Spotify is approaching 30 million subscribers while Tidal, which recently boasted exclusives from Rihanna and Beyonce, has about three million paying customers.
Soundcloud Go launched in the US in March to mixed reviews, with tech website Engadget calling it “a mess” and “a chore to use”.
The Verge noted it offered “far fewer” official tracks than …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment