Soundcloud has introduced a paid-for streaming music service called Go, which adds only two new features to the existing offering: the ability to listen ad-free and download music for listening offline. It cost's $10 in the US ($13 through iTunes) where it is initially launching, before coming to "other territories" later this year.
Soundcloud has been struggling over the last few years to find its groove in a streaming world increasingly dominated by Spotify and Apple Music, which get bigger every day. Once upon a time, Soundcloud was the wonderful home to communities of DJs, experimental acts, and no-name indie bands. These communities, while vital, didn’t support any kind of a business model, and in the case of the DJs, actually caused Soundcloud headaches due to the carefree practice of using lots and lots of uncleared samples. Remixes and podcasts would be taken down over complaints from labels, users would get upset, and Soundcloud wouldn’t make a cent for the trouble.
Soundcloud’s been trying to remedy to situation by negotiating licensing contracts with major labels and introducing advertising. This latest subscription option seems to be the next step in the frustratingly futile quest to make a beautiful idea profitable. There’s no way in hell I’m signing up for this service, and while I wish the crazy geniuses who’ve built their homes on Soundcloud glowing orange platform the best, I can’t help but feel like we’re heading towards the end. [Soundcloud via The Verge]