Go SoundCloud Go

Our portfolio company SoundCloud introduced a new subscription offering yesterday called SoundCloud Go which complements its existing subscription offering called Go+. Combined with the longstanding free service, SoundCloud now has an elegant set of offerings for its users:

SoundCloud is fundamentally different than other streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Tidal, Napster and Deezer because it has always allowed anyone to upload their music to its platform (UGC content). About this time last year, SoundCloud added all of the music that these other streaming services have and launched its premium offering (Go+).

You can see the numbers in the above chart. The premium content that Spotify, Apple Music, etc offer is about 30mm tracks. The UGC content that is only available on SoundCloud is another ~120mm tracks.

The UGC content on SoundCloud is not just your daughter’s high school friends making music in their bedroom (which is how many of the current top artists started out). It is DJ mixes, mixtapes, remixes, top artists like Kanye dropping music quickly and easily (which he did yesterday), emerging artists like Chance who are unsigned and have chosen to stay independent, podcasts, and a lot more. It is the most eclectic, interesting, and vibrant streaming music service in the world.

And so if you have always loved SoundCloud for the UGC content, but want it with no ads and offline sync, get SoundCloud Go. Its available here.

And here’s some “UGC” content to start your morning off with, courtesy of Lil Uzi Vert:

#Music#streaming audio

Comments (Archived):

  1. curtissumpter

    Fred Wilson bumping Lil’ Uzi Vert.Now, I’ve seen it all.

    1. fredwilson

      also my featured song of the day in our little twitter music clubhttps://twitter.com/fredwil…

    2. jason wright

      Pumping surely?

  2. JimHirshfield

    Subscriptions… Freemium model…FTW?Ratios of users the same as last time we talked about this? 1%…10%…100%?

    1. fredwilson

      i think the % that will pay for something is likely to be in the 5-10% range

  3. curtissumpter

    Fred, question (speaking of Lil’ Uzi Vert): I’m an African American. I feel often that the technology community has missed some opportunities b/c of the lack of diversity and ironically I don’t believe it’s all the start-up communities fault. But this is besides the point.How do you think Jay-Z starting a VC fund may impact diversity in the technology community generally?Do you think other AfAms should start VCs, i.e. Dick Parsons or Oprah Winfrey, in order to generally widen the playing field for other groups of people?Do you perhaps think there will be a McNair affect, where Steve McNair became a very respectable breakthrough AfAm QB of a major team and signaled to the league that this is a formula that can work?I’m very interested in your thoughts here.

    1. fredwilson

      i think the more women, african americans, hispanics, and other under-represented minorities in the tech sector become investors, the better off we will be

      1. curtissumpter

        C’mon Fred. I read Hatching Twitter. You’re a smart guy. And I’ve read this blog for a while. You’re incisive. I expected a deeper cut from you.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I agree with Fred and think you should cut him some slack. This could be a good topic for a blogpost. I have blogged on it.There are certainly businesses that are huge that can be built off one sector. Look at Johnson Publishing. However, just because you are a celebrity, or successful in some business doesn’t mean you will be a successful VC. It’s a totally different skillset.It’s also a totally different risk profile. They have to be risk tolerant because startup investing isn’t for the faint of heart. I do think that for every wealthy person, allocating some capital to VC is a good idea.Diversity in tech is a long game. It’s not a quick fix. Entrepreneurship is not gated. It’s open to anyone. That being said, not every idea is fundable.

          1. curtissumpter

            Cut him some slack? I was being hard on him?One sector? So if it’s started by a minority it has to be single sector? Thereby Chinese people should only invest in Chinatown or Chinese food? Huh?Every idea is not fundable? Entrepreneurship is not gated? Wow.Your post and the assumptions underlying it say a lot more about you than about my post.

          2. pointsnfigures

            thanks. see you all later. leaving the bar.

          3. curtissumpter

            peace dude

        2. fredwilson

          what is a “deeper cut”? maybe i can provide that. but i don’t know what that is.

          1. curtissumpter

            There have been some anecdotal statements where people talk about the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Please note there are large exceptions to this rule, i.e. Ev Williams at Twitter, a guy who just was a good hacker and figured some things out without the Stanford/start-up pedigree.However I’ve read many statements, i.e. a Bloomberg reporter who was talking about Page and Brin’s first investment, basically saying, the first investment sounds like a high risk but they had this pedigree. I’ve heard Sacca say, I don’t take investment ideas via email b/c I have this ecosystem. When he did take an investment idea from someone who didn’t have this pedigree it was b/c his wife told him he was wrong (it was a female-centric enterprise) and the investment turned out to be very successful. There was a story about Eligibly (http://www.builtinnyc.com/2… where she talks about sort of being discouraged from applying to Y Combinator.There’s ample research that says we have same group bias.My question is what do you think will be the impact on the tech ecosystem as a whole in terms of product perhaps (which is a very hard question to answer), in terms of perception, and in terms of initial investment and exit or anything else you can think of with the rise of VCs that may be majority minority owned but not necessarily sequestering their investments exclusively (or even necessarily majority) to other communities as a whole?Do you think this will lead to a break in this idea of “pedigree” in terms of hiring and/or initial investment? What other impacts do you think this may have?

          2. kategleason

            Hi! I’m Katelyn. 🙂 I do not feel I was discouraged from applying to YC. I felt that in order to optimize for my best chance at acceptance I needed to enter the interview process with a working product and a paying customer.

          3. curtissumpter

            Jesus. You just jumped out of the fucking page.I’ve never been surprised reading a Discus comment before. It’s like I’m referencing Alice in Wonderland and then I get a text that says, “Hey, it’s Alice.” It’s a little Black Mirror. Just a little.But you understand my sentiment, right? In the article it says ” tried to raise capital because I thought it would get me into YC, and they basically laughed at me.”You also refer to everyone being from Stanford, etc. and how that made you feel. The point being is you can understand the sentiment and the question I’m expressing. Or you don’t.I’m not asking to be a smart ass. I really want to know.

        3. Twain Twain

          @fredwilson:disqus and his wife, Joanne, are two of the better folks. They invest in diverse founders and back initiatives like Craig Newmark’s for women in AI.Look, WE are all fighting against 2000+ years of Western philosophy. Please read this:* https://aeon.co/essays/on-thttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…In addition, we’re fighting 350+ years of the “Enlightenment” (that actually blinded us and put us into boxes of 0’s and 1’s and probability %) and Descartes’ ideas of “Reasoning involves separation of mind from body from emotions” which causes all sorts of problems in data I/O and removes the Humanity and consideration (thinking with care) towards humans and reduces us to sets of numbers. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…In addition, we’re fighting ALL the unrepresentative data classifications designed by a nano-set of academics and developers who don’t understand our cultures: https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…We could just as easily swap out “women” for “African Americans” in that example of bias happening in data I/O.Believe me, this is OUR PROBLEM & OPPORTUNITY TO SOLVE, TOGETHER WITH TECHNOLOGY.I’ve invented a system to de-bias data I/O. However, people are so “stuck in the box” because it’s the paradigm, toolsets and data we’ve had for 350+ years that … WE ALL HAVE TO BREAK FREE FROM IT: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Last night I had a verbal fight on a street corner with a white, male, mid-50s AI guy who stood 6’3″ and triple my weight. I’m Chinese, female and 5′.He kept insisting that we think probabilistically and there are plenty of tools to infer our meaning, context, culture, intent etc. I told him it’s a really Science 101 thing that we don’t think probabilistically and if he can’t tell the difference between the amplitude in the bell curve (which is what AI engineers use to model language and user behaviors online as well as in recommendation filters) from the amplitude in the brain wave, and if he represents the mindset of AI developers then we’re all in trouble. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Most people would have backed down and been intimidated by him. Plus women are “supposed” to be subservient and not speak up, right.Well, his final words were: “At least you’re passionate about what you believe in. I give you credit for that.”Should AfAms start VC funds? Have you seen Marlon Nichols of Cross Culture Ventures? He’s amazing:* https://www.youtube.com/wat…However, my view is we need founders, designers, engineers, investors etc to be aware of the bigger narrative of how we got to these biased models.And to be mindful of why we need to and how we can make ALL SYSTEMS MORE REPRESENTATIVE.@pointsnfigures:disqus – It is indeed a long game. We’re fixing all the mistakes and wrong tools+paradigms we inherited from generations of thinkers before us.

          1. curtissumpter

            First of all look at Discus displaying the actual web page as opposed to the link. Second, this comment seems complex and well thought out. I’ll be working late tonight so I’ll now I have food for thought for dinner (sometimes some of my jobs take time to run). Nonetheless I’ll read it and get back to you.I will read the articles you linked to and then compose a thoughtful reply.But do you understand my sentiment?

          2. LE

            I might as well tell you now that you are more right than you are wrong. The trappings of a good education and wealth and even for that matter good looks go a long way in this world. There is just no getting away from that. That is the way it is. You simply have to work harder and get around it. That said all of that gets you the meeting (or the date) but doesn’t close any deals. I have to tell you that if a pretty girl came to me I might take the meeting but doesn’t mean I would go along with what she was selling. Otoh a short ugly man with a good product would also get a meeting and might get a deal.I’ve told the story here before of how when I applied to one of those good schools my dad had me visit some guy he knew from some group he belonged to that had ‘connections’. I remember very distinctly coming away with the impression that my dad wasn’t important enough for this man to pull strings for me. So I got in myself on my own merits after figuring out some good angles and so on. Just worked harder which is the way it should be. Later when I sold my first business it was bought by someone who had board connections to the same school. Although I wasn’t able to get any business from that school (despite being an alumni meant nothing) the person who bought my business (who was not an alumni) was able to because of his uncle (who was an investor in the acquired business).

          3. Twain Twain

            Thoughtfulness for and towards people who don’t look, talk, think, have the same culture/context as us is an invaluable thing for all of us to put into practice.That older white guy who slogged his guts out to build up 20+ years of domain expertise feels the same way you do when investors pass on his startup for the 15 year old dropout who happens to be a brother of someone in their inner circles.Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, “Dream more than others and think practical. I was turned down by 217 of the 242 investors I initially talked to. You have to have a tremendous belief in what you’re doing and just persevere.”Is Jay-Z’s move into VC a great thing? Sure and, hopefully, he’ll give the same attention to older white guys as much as the young female engineer from Compton, the widowed father from Michigan raising 3 kids and the immigrant kid from Tanzania who taught himself to code by watching YouTube videos and got on a plane to realize his dreams.

          4. LE

            Most people would have backed down and been intimidated by him. Plus women are “supposed” to be subservient and not speak up, right.Explain why exactly that is please. Are you implying that there was the threat of physical danger because of his size and stature and maybe even his age?Last night I had a verbal fight on a street corner with a white, male, mid-50s AI guy who stood 6’3″ and triple my weight. I’m Chinese, female and 5′.Why did it get to the level of a fight?The concept that you are speaking of in the end comes down to human emotions and human nature not just numbers, facts and figures. I would rather be a woman 5″ tall arguing with a big man than I would be a man. I would rather be a short guy arguing with a big man that another big man.I am curious if you know why that is as it relates to threat of harm. It has to do with human nature and behavior.I guess part of my point is you can’t remove bias caused by the halo effect with facts and figures. Numbers and charts can’t do all of that.

          5. Twain Twain

            Fighting on points of principle.His view was: “Well, the tools we have for Natural Language Processing are what we have. They work and we should just use them. I’m solving real business problems.”My view was: “The tools we have for Natural Language UNDERSTANDING aren’t adequate, don’t represent how people think+communicate and our diverse cultural context+values, so we have to do better and invent new tools for people.If you don’t think that the machines being able to understand human language is a REAL business problem and will improve everything from customer service chatbots to Alexa to supporting decision-making … “There’s research that women don’t speak up and, when we do, some guys can try to dominate us with their views and physical presence — even if those views are wrong.* https://www.fastcompany.com…I didn’t feel threatened by him. I just thought he was being close-minded about innovation and I found that surprising — especially in SF.

  4. LE

    Looks good. However it’s not clear to someone not familiar with soundcloud (and from a quick check of the pricing page) what is a) a premium Soundcloud Go+ track? and b) What a preview is?

    1. David Noël

      SoundCloud Go+ tracks have a small label in the top right corner of the track artwork. The preview should show with the first 30 seconds in dark grey in the waveform and the rest in a different shade of grey.

  5. kirklove

    This feels like a strange offering to me. When I saw it released yesterday my assumption was they dropped the $9.99 to $4.99… which really felt like a game changer over the de facto $9.99 model ubiquitous across music streaming services.I get it… it’s the labels calling the shots there.In the end though I don’t see a real benefit to paying $4.99 then… offline mode even in NYC is becoming less and less of an issue and ads are pretty tolerable.

    1. fredwilson

      the free tier is a great deal, as you point outbut lots of people want no ads and offline sync. this is the number one request from SoundCloud users who love the free tier but don’t want the premium tier.this is all about listening to your users and giving them what they wantand once they are on the Go plan, they can get “spotify” for an extra $5/month

      1. Henry Yates

        “and once they are on the Go plan, they can get “spotify” for an extra $5/month” nice pitch 🙂

  6. Richard

    Most people aren’t incentivized by a 120 mm of anything (other than books). Better approach is for SoundCloud to charge content providers and let content providers set the price (if any) on their content. How does SoundCloud not see this approach?

  7. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I cant help smiling – music to me is as much about distaste as tasteThere is music I love.But there is perhaps more “music” I would pay to NOT listen to than the other way round.Especially when it gets in the way of a good conversation, birdsong, beauty of nature etc.Also some ads work but …If you ever find ads tedious – (who doesn’t)?how much more do you hate muzak in a place where you cannot even subscribe to get rid of it ?

  8. Chimpwithcans

    Hi Fred, is Soundcloud profitable at the moment?

  9. Chimpwithcans

    Also – does anyone know – when is this available in South Africa?

  10. Ремонт Телевизоров Киев

    Ремонт телевизоров Киев – разных брэндов и фирм производителей, на дому у заказчика позволяет рационально распределять платежную нагрузку, особенно в возникшей ситуации

  11. fredwilson

    i will forward that feedback to the team

  12. Anne Libby

    +1 for the request to lose the ad for paying customers…

  13. Sylvain Grande

    hi Charlie. Would you be so kind to email me at [email protected] with your soundcloud username so we look into it. thank you

  14. Sylvain Grande

    hi Anne, would you be so kind to email me at [email protected] with your soundcloud username so we look into it. thank you

  15. Simon Edhouse

    Fred, my feeling is that Soundcloud’s model has got a lot of inertia built in. Do you think there is room in the market for some radical innovation in Music distribution? (leading question) .. 🙂