A subscription model for SoundCloud had been discussed for quite a long time, and in March of this year it finally launched in the form of SoundCloud Go. Last month we reported that the service would soon be expanding to Europe, and now, just over one month after the service launched in the U.S., it has finally begun to go international.
It seems that SoundCloud is taking the slow and steady approach with its subscription plan, as yesterday the service did indeed become available in new countries, but only two of them: the U.K. and Ireland. This contradicts what was expected last month when SoundCloud revised its deal with Sony/ATV Music to ensure proper worldwide royalty payments, and is far more in line with what industry insiders were expecting.
Fortunately, if you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of SoundCloud Go in your country, there is still a chance that it could arrive this year, especially in Europe. The company says it plans to rapidly introduce the service in more territories this year, but it still won’t be everywhere. “We are looking at a couple of years to really take this to the whole world,” SoundCloud chief technology officer Eric Wahlforss told Reuters.
SoundCloud Go is priced at $10 per month in the U.S., and the company has decided to keep similar pricing in the two new territories — if not exactly the same pricing. In the U.K., the service is priced at 10 pounds per month (roughly $15) while it goes for 10 euros per month in Ireland (roughly $12).
Along with the subscription service, audio ads for non-subscribers have also been introduced in the two new countries. In addition to removing these ads, the subscription also grants access to certain tracks that cannot be accessed otherwise. These tracks are decided by the artist, not by SoundCloud.
The expansion of ads and the new Go subscription plan to add more territories doesn’t mean that SoundCloud is suddenly in the clear when it comes to its financial situation. “SoundCloud is not a profitable business yet. And that is very intentional. We are investing heavily in growth and that is what we will continue to do. We are in this for the long haul,” Wahlforss said.
Earlier this year, SoundCloud sought a major infusion of cash, saying that its situation would be dire if it didn’t receive additional funding in the next 12 months. The additional funds from a subscription model will certainly help to relieve this, but unless the company sees rapid adoption of these subscriptions, that long-haul approach may be difficult to maintain.