Today is a big day for our portfolio company SoundCloud. They are launching SoundCloud Go in the US today. They plan to launch SoundCloud Go in other parts of the world as soon as they can get the rights together to do so.
SoundCloud Go is the ultimate music service, giving listeners access to 125 million tracks from all over the world, offline or online, and ad-free. For comparison, traditional music subscription services, like Spotify and Apple Music, offer access to roughly 35 million tracks and internet radio services, like Pandora, offer access to roughly 2 million tracks.
I’ve had beta access to SoundCloud Go for the past month and it is an entirely different experience than the other premium music services. Here are some of the things you can only do on SoundCloud Go:
- build a playlist that includes the top hits, emerging unsigned artists, and remixes and listen to it on the subway to work
- stream your favorite podcasts online or offline and ad free
- listen to mixtapes legally in a way that honors the rights of the underlying content creators
- start a listening experience with a top hit and find emerging artists that are similar
You can either build a content platform on the internet top down or bottom up. It is easier to do it top down, going to the industry for the content. But it is better to do it bottom up, going directly to the creators for the content. Because a service with an upload button in it is fundamentally different than a service without one.
The bottom up approach can be harder to pull off, but the services that have done it like YouTube and SoundCloud are special.
I am listening to my favorites on SoundCloud Go while I write this. In that playlist I have Kanye and I have my friend Noah who grew up with my son and is an emerging artist. Both Kanye and Noah have profiles on SoundCloud. Both Kanye and Noah upload tracks they make to SoundCloud. So SoundCloud Go is the democratic, open, all inclusive music service, built for creators first and foremost, but also perfect for listeners.
To try SoundCloud today, go to https://soundcloud.com/go. It is $9.99 on desktop and Android. If you are an iOS user, I would recommend you subscribe on web and then enjoy on your mobile. There is a 30 day free trial. I hope you enjoy SoundCloud Go as much as I do.