SoundCloud's new iOS update, which is available today, comes with a new feature — a feature that, surprisingly, had no promotion before its out-of-the-blue launch. The new addition? A SoundCloud-based streaming music service with a 30-day free trial for iPhone users, and a $12.99 per month fee after the first month.
Called SoundCloud Go, the service is set to feature more than 125 million tracks from roughly 12 million established and emerging "creators." (In comparison, the number of tracks available on competing streaming service Spotify in 2012, one year after its American launch, numbered around 20 million.) According to a press statement issued by the company, these creators are the same ones that the site currently carries — which means the "emerging" half of the general artist demographics on the site might outnumber its more "established" counterpart.
"SoundCloud Go represents our vision of the future of music streaming: a platform for creators to collaborate on; for fans to discover the latest tracks, enjoy legendary music and connect with their favorite artists; and for our unique creative community to have the opportunity to be paid for their work," said SoundCloud founder and CEO Alexander Ljung in an official statement released by the company on March 29. "We are proud to offer the ultimate music streaming choice for both artists and fans and, together with the music industry, enable artists at all stages of their careers to be heard on SoundCloud."
Some pleasantly surprising pros to the service include commercial-free streaming and offline playback, which means uninterrupted sound on even your most Wi-Fi-less underground subway ride.
Unfortunately for iPhone users, the service will be available for Android phones for a slightly less expensive $9.99 per month subscription. As The Verge pointed out, the payment difference is essentially a reflection of the new normal: "The iOS markup is most likely a reflection of the 30 percent cut that Apple takes on app purchases from its store," they added. But then again, if iPhone owners are really feeling left out, they can always access the SoundCloud Go service on the web for the lesser of the two available prices.