SoundCloud Go launches for UK subscribers, ads roll out to free users

SoundCloud’s rival to Spotify and Apple Music launches in its first territory outside the United States.

Following its launch in the United States in March, SoundCloud has launched its subscription service SoundCloud Go in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The service gives users access to a catalogue of 125 million songs for a fee of £9.99 per month, combining official tracks with remixes, covers, DJ mixes and podcasts. New users will be able to take advantage of a 30-day free trial.

SoundCloud Go also offers users a Spotify-style offline listening experience through its mobile app, though early users have noted that it doesn’t have the same amount of officially licensed tracks as its rival.

In an interview with the BBC, SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung addressed the gaps, saying: “Not everything was there on day one, but a lot of it has been added since. We’re still ingesting huge amount of content every day.

Ljung also argued that SoundCloud offers a more direct experience for artists and fans, offering a spontaneity other streaming services can’t match.

“If (artists) have an idea they went to get out to the world, a bit like Twitter, they can publish it instantly. That’s become a really powerful way for artists to connect to fans. They can’t really do that anywhere else.”

The launch of SoundCloud Go in the UK and Ireland also comes with the start of advertising for SoundCloud’s free service. According to TechCrunch, this will come in the form of audio spots, promoted profiles and native advertising.

The was for the launch of SoundCloud Go last month was paved by the company’s deals with major labels Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as independent label agency Merlin.

It followed a turbulent few years for SoundCloud, which regularly deleted copyrighted tracks uploaded by users as well as entire accounts.

The company has also struggled to reach profitability since launching in 2007. Earlier this year the compnay revealed it lost $44 million in 2014 alone.

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