SoundCloud just unveiled its own streaming music service, SoundCloud Go. At $10 per month, it competes with the likes of some more familiar faces: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and others. But SoundCloud is unique in that it’s not just offering all the same music as all of its competitors since the majority of SoundCloud’s audio is user-uploaded content. In fact, some of it isn’t even music at all — the website also hosts podcasts among other things.
So what exactly is SoundCloud Go and more importantly, should you pay $10 per month for it? It’s an odd service for SoundCloud to offer to say the least, but since it’s so different from other streaming services out there, it’s worth taking a close look at the pros and cons.
Pro: Listen Offline and Ad Free
SoundCloud Go for $10 per month ($9.99 if you really want to get specific) lets you listen to SoundCloud files offline and advertisement free. You can’t magically get access to everything on SoundCloud offline, so what you can do instead is mark your favorite tracks to download for offline use. This works either on the desktop website or in the iOS and Android mobile apps.
Con: Every Streaming Service Offers That
This isn’t the differing factor between SoundCloud and its competitors whatsoever. Every single premium streaming service, like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Red all offer offline listening plus an ad-free experience. If that’s really what you’re signing up for, you don’t need SoundCloud Go to get there. Other options will serve you just fine, even if you’re just looking to upload your own music.
Pro: SoundCloud Go Has Over 125 Million Tracks
SoundCloud promises that with a premium subscription, you’ll get access to far more tracks than you would using the free version of SoundCloud. Specifically, you’d get a staggering 125 million tracks available for streaming. To compare, Spotify doesn’t even have half that amount of music.
Con: 110 Million are User Uploaded
The downside to SoundCloud’s massive library of 125 million tracks is that 110 million of those are user-uploaded according to Macworld. That means that only 15 million tracks are authentic recording tracks from a verifiable source. Since Spotify and Apple Music have much larger libraries of legitimate content, you’re better off there if that’s what you’re in this for. But still, if you like the creativity and variety that SoundCloud’s user base brings, you can’t find a large library of content like that elsewhere.
Pro: Browse Artist Playlists and Mixes
SoundCloud has gotten some A-list artists like Rihanna and Kanye West on board with SoundCloud Go to create their own playlists and mixes. That means you can browse and listen to the music that the stars are listening to as if they’re DJing just for you. You can also listen to the wide variety of user-uploaded playlists and mixes.
Note: You can also listen to user-uploaded playlists using SoundCloud free. A-listers are exclusive to SoundCloud Go, however.
Con: Search is Pretty Awful
Searching through content on SoundCloud, particularly SoundCloud Go, is quite cumbersome. If you switch to authentic tracks, you won’t find probably as many as you’d want. If you switch to user-uploaded tracks, you’ll just get plain confused. Many users upload songs from other artists that they’ve tweaked or given a poor title. So it becomes difficult to identify exactly what you’re looking for and get to it immediately. Spotify search gets you to the real song you want in seconds.
If the pros outweigh the cons here, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of SoundCloud Go on SoundCloud’s website.