Popular music streaming company SoundCloud has launched a third tier of its previously two-tier service, a mid-range option that allows users to cut ads and listen offline for $5 per month. The company will continue to offer its premium $10-per-month service — aimed to compete with Spotify and Apple Music — as well as its free subscription option.
The new middle tier comes with a shift of branding: The higher-tier service, previously called SoundCloud Go, will now be called SoundCloud Go+, and the new middle-tier option will be called SoundCloud Go.
“The new SoundCloud Go plan gives you the first, fully on-demand listening experience at this price point,” said the company in a blog post. “This means full control to choose the exact tracks you like, play them anytime, anywhere, as many times as you’d like.”
The new middle-tier plan lets users play ad-free versions of its 120 million plus song catalog, as well as download their playlists, albums, and tracks, but it doesn’t give them full access to the same number of premium tracks that users of SoundCloud Go+ enjoy. SoundCloud Go+, with all premium tracks included, has about 30 million more songs than the newer, cheaper, subscription offering, many of them licensed through major labels.
The move to create a middle-tier version of its on-demand streaming service isn’t terribly surprising. The company has been looking to monetize its massive free subscriber base for some time now, and has a history of relatively dire financial straits. If more users pay to use its service, those woes could be eliminated, and those who use it often may jump at the opportunity to get rid of ads for just $5 per month.
If you’re looking to give SoundCloud’s premium options a shot, the company is currently offering free 30 day trials of both of its paid services, which are both available in the iOS and Android app stores.
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