SoundCloud Matches Apple Music and Spotify’s Student Discounts at $4.99/Month

SoundCloud today announced the launch of discounted student memberships, offering students the chance to subscribe to SoundCloud Go+ for $4.99/month instead of the traditional price of $9.99/month. SoundCloud Go+ for Students is available to all students enrolled at a Title IV degree-granting college or university, and they'll be eligible for up to four consecutive years.


Students will gain all of the same perks of SoundCloud Go+ as regular subscribers, including offline listening, ad-free playback, full catalog access with no previews, high-quality audio, and more. Students who already subscribe to SoundCloud Go+ can still subscribe to the student plan after verifying their identity and student status with SoundCloud through the third-party SheerID service.

SoundCloud is following in the footsteps of most other music streaming services with today's announcement, since rivals like Apple Music and Spotify have been offering a 50 percent discount for students for a few years now. With these discounts, each service typically offers students the chance to subscribe for as low as $4.99/month, and when they graduate the discount ends.

Last month, SoundCloud revealed a new tool that lets creators distribute their music directly to Apple Music and Spotify, allowing artists to easily share their work among the major streaming services. Although SoundCloud has its Go+ consumer streaming service, the company is also known for its SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited services that are aimed at artists, with features like release scheduling, streaming numbers, full embed controls, unlimited uploads, and the new Apple Music distribution feature.

Students interested in signing up for the discounted Go+ subscription can visit SoundCloud's website to sign up for a 30-day free trial.


This article, "SoundCloud Matches Apple Music and Spotify's Student Discounts at $4.99/Month" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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SoundCloud’s New Tool Lets Artists Distribute Music Directly to Apple Music and Spotify

SoundCloud today announced a new feature that allows creators to distribute their music directly to major streaming music services like Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music (via Billboard). The tool will be included in SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited subscription tiers for artists, and each artist will get 100 percent of earnings back from each streaming platform, meaning SoundCloud won't take any cuts and won't charge additional distribution fees.


Artists on SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited who are 18 years or older, control all rights to their original music, have no copyright strikes, and have garnered at least 1,000 plays in the past month will be able to use the tool. These eligible artists will now see a distribution button within the track manager section of SoundCloud, prompting them to select from a list of distribution channels like Apple Music, and schedule their release.

Last September, Spotify launched a beta for a service similar to SoundCloud's, allowing indie artists to bypass distributors and upload their music directly to the service. SoundCloud is now expanding this idea to support all streaming services, and the company hopes that these companies see it more as a location to scout new up-and-coming artists rather than another streaming rival.
"SoundCloud isn’t, nor ever was, meant to be a one-way, mass streaming experience," Trainor explains. "Streaming has risen, people are paying for music again and it’s fantastic what all the major streaming services are doing there. But what SoundCloud has been about, always, is empowering creators and giving that connection between creator and listener. Our overall position is about continuing to invest in that -- it’s not about trying to chase those other mass services."
While SoundCloud does offer a monthly streaming music service that is a competitor to Apple Music and Spotify, the company's major difference is in its community of artists who create and share their music on the platform. With the expansion of direct uploads to Apple Music and Spotify, these creators will now have even more outlets for their music to be heard.


SoundCloud Pro starts at $6/month and Pro Unlimited $12/month (both billed yearly). At the Pro and Pro Unlimited level, artists can schedule releases, check full stats on tracks, gain access to full embed controls, replace tracks, and now distribute unlimited releases to all major music services. At this point, SoundCloud notes that this tool is still in beta.


This article, "SoundCloud's New Tool Lets Artists Distribute Music Directly to Apple Music and Spotify" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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SoundCloud Go+ Subscription Plan Now Supports High Quality Audio Streaming at No Extra Cost

SoundCloud today announced that users on the SoundCloud Go+ subscription plan will now gain access to lossless audio streaming at no additional cost.


SoundCloud Go is the company's enhanced streaming service, with three tiers that start at free with 120 million tracks to stream; $4.99/month with 120 million tracks, offline saving, and ad-free streaming; and SoundCloud Go+ with everything in the previous tiers plus 30 million "premium" tracks and high quality audio.
When you discover a track on SoundCloud, it’s all about connecting as closely as possible to the creator’s sound and vision. With high quality audio streaming now part of your SoundCloud Go+ subscription, you can experience what’s new, now and next in music on a higher level.
High quality audio means that content uploaded to SoundCloud in a lossless format doesn't lose the integrity of its engineered recording. Go+ subscribers can opt into this feature in SoundCloud settings > "Streaming quality."

SoundCloud has been expanding its streaming service over the years, launching "The Upload" playlist in May 2017 to personally curate a list of songs for each user. In December 2017, the company debuted a new home screen in the iOS app to further lean into user personalization. The revamped launch screen offers curated recommendations, personalized playlists, and "exclusive culture-focused audio content."

High quality streaming is a feature that has been missing from Apple Music since its launch in 2015, and one that a few of its rivals already have. Tidal launched with "HiFi" streaming as one of its premiere features, offering lossless audio using FLAC at a resolution of 44.1 kHz/16 bit, and further expanding with "Tidal Masters" that has "the highest-possible resolution" of around 96 kHz/24 bit. Tidal's plans with HiFi cost $19.99/month.

You can download the SoundCloud app from the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link].


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SoundCloud Debuts New Home Experience Focusing on Personalized Music Curation

SoundCloud is today launching a brand new home experience within its iOS app that the company said will make it easier to discover new content from the service's community of creators. The new home tab offers curated recommendations, personalized playlists, and "exclusive culture-focused audio content."


All of these recommendations will come direct from SoundCloud's creators, and users will be able to interact with the new content through the app's new and updated look. The new featured playlists will update weekly similar to Spotify's Discover Weekly and Apple Music's Mixes, and include "Hip Hop Supreme" and "In the Mix" playlists for the latest rap tracks and DJ mixes, respectively.

For more personalized content, The Upload playlist will now appear on the home screen. This playlist launched earlier in 2017 and offers new music based on your listening habits. In a similar vein, the "More of what you like" playlist matches you up with others in the SoundCloud community and spotlights the tracks it thinks you'll enjoy.

Other playlists and charts SoundCloud mentioned will appear on the new home screen include the following:
-Stay plugged-in to the tracks gaining traction and generating buzz with the New & Hot charts.

-Keep track of the platform’s latest album releases with Fresh Pressed (US only).

-Know which tracks are soundtracking your country with the Top 50 charts, based on wherever you are in the world.

-Dedicated to serving you what’s next in music and supporting emerging artists, SoundCloud will periodically spotlight what’s happening on the platform with playlists like SoundCloud Next Wave, The SoundCloud Playback and more.
In February, SoundCloud introduced a streaming music plan with a cheaper price tag, called SoundCloud Go, which users can subscribe to for $5.99/month. A top-tier SoundCloud Go+ option is also available for $12.99/month, including access to an expanded catalogue of music. There's also the basic free tier of SoundCloud that includes ads and lacks certain advantages of the paid tiers, like offline listening.

SoundCloud is available on the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link].


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