SoundCloud's Spotify competitor launches in Ireland

If you're not a subscriber, brace yourself for ads in between songs...

SoundCloud's Go subscription service, which aims to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music in the subscription streaming game, is available in Ireland and the UK from today.

You can avail of a 30-day free trial before the monthly fee of €9.99 kicks in thereafter.

The service boasts over 125 million tracks and allows for offline listening.

Meanwhile, SoundCloud's free service is now ad-supported.

Company co-founder and chief technical officer Eric Wahlforss said:

"This is the world's ultimate music subscription service. It is all the content from major labels, major artists, major indies, back catalogue things – all of that, plus all of the stuff that is on SoundCloud today. All the emerging talent, all of the stuff that big artists drop that you can't find anywhere else, DJ mixes, podcasts, all of those things".

SoundCloud Go was rolled out in the US in March, with the service set to launch in further markets across the world on a rolling basis this year.

As for early subscribers, Wahlforss has said:

"It is too early to talk about numbers, but what we are seeing so far is very promising".

SoundCloud reported 250 million unique monthly listeners to its free service in October 2013.

By December 2014, it was down to 175 million unique monthly listeners, a figure the company has not yet revised.

Moving to the subscription model, its main competition is Spotify (which boasts 30 million paid subscribers) and Apple Music (which has 13 million).

SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung told the Guardian:

"We tend to have a younger audience. It’s less of a spreadsheet and more of a Snapchat in terms of how you actually interact with [the mobile app].

"It’s not so stale, it’s not just a utility. It’s actually something that’s alive. And just the fact that you can now build a playlist, for example, with the new Kanye album and remixes of it that don’t exist anywhere else, that’s a really special and unique experience".

Talking about how exclusive remixes and mash-ups are a large part of SoundCloud's appeal, Ljung continued:

"We are bringing a whole new revenue stream to the entire industry by thinking about how we can monetise derivative content.

"It’s been a huge part of contemporary culture: electronic music or hip-hop wouldn’t exist without that. Yet it's sat completely outside the industry. We’re suddenly at the point where we can embrace that more, and monetise it".