Who’s got time for music? Young people. Without the crushing demands of a full-time job, or trying to raise a family, they’re free to spend a lot more of their time listening to music. On the other hand, they tend to have the least amount of disposable income. It’s a realization that virtually every music streaming platform came to ages ago and acknowledged it by adding student plans to their mix of prices. Well, every streaming platform but SoundCloud. Still, better late than never, and now SoundCloud is offering college and university students 50 percent off a SoundCloud Go+ membership, which drops the price to $5 a month.
Regularly priced at $10 per month, SoundCloud Go+ is the company’s most inclusive streaming subscription, with more than 120 million tracks from established and emerging artists, more than 30 million premium tracks, the ability to save tracks offline on mobile devices, no ads, and high-quality audio.
To qualify for the discount, you will need to be able to prove that you’re currently enrolled at a Title IV degree-granting college or university, in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands, Australia, or New Zealand. SoundCloud verifies your status through a third-party service called SheerID. Once verified, your student discount will remain valid for 12 months, after which you’ll need to go through the verification process again, or bump up to the full $10 per month price plan (or cancel outright). Unfortunately, SoundCloud doesn’t recognize the concept of lifelong learning: The discount is only available for four consecutive years.
Of course, that is assuming SoundCloud is still around in four years. The service has been a runaway hit with indy musicians looking for a platform they can use for greater exposure (anyone can upload their original music), but it’s had a much harder time convincing indy music fans to part with their money for continued access to this music. In 2017, the company received a much-needed infusion of cash from investors, but without the deep pockets backing competitors like Google, Amazon, and Apple, it’s unclear whether or not it will be able to stay afloat. Even the 800-pound gorilla of the streaming music world — Spotify — has struggled to make a profit.
Launching a student discount plan looks like a good way to bring new paying customers into the fold and the demographic is a perfect fit for SoundCloud’s artists. The question is, will these students stick with the platform once the discount ends?