After years of speculation, SoundCloud has entered the paid streaming game with its new, hybrid service: SoundCloud Go. The service introduces a new tier of paid tracks to the streaming giant that includes the catalogs of three major labels and 20,000 independent labels. SoundCloud touts Go as having a collection of 125 million songs, but since this includes SoundCloud's entire free library of approximately 110 million songs, that leaves only around 15 million new paid tracks.
When you compare that to any of its competitors like Spotify or Apple Music, which all carry around 30 million paid songs, it's not a very impressive catalog. According to The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes, the service hasn't quite reached its potential yet. He notes a lot of inconsistencies, for example the lack of albums. Apparently, you have to add individual tracks to playlists to stitch albums back together.
I would say that SoundCloud's major advantage is its free music library, but with its aggressive removals of so much content recently, that's not even the leverage it once was. For a hybrid service like this, I'd personally look to Google Play Music / YouTube Music Key, which offers the same 30-million paid songs that the other competitors carry alongside YouTube's entire catalog as its free music source, at least until SoundCloud works out the kinks. If their remix monetization strategy works out, power to them as that would surely give SoundCloud an advantage over its rivals, but would you bet $10 a month on it?
SoundCloud Go costs $9.99 per month if you sign up on a desktop or Android device. (Be aware it costs $12.99 if you sign up via iOS, so be sure not to do that!) Those who subscribe to one of SoundCloud's other plans right now get a $4.99 introductory price for six months, and everyone gets a 30-day trial to decide if Go is right for them.