Update, October 17, 12:43pm (PT): A SoundCloud spokesperon has since confirmed that artists who upload their music in lossless formats can only be streamed in “high-quality” format, which it now says is 256kbps AAC. Similarly, all premium tracks on the platform will be available to stream in 256kbps AAC. No tracks can be streamed in lossless format on SoundCloud.
SoundCloud has announced that it’s adding lossless streaming to its SoundCloud Go+ music-streaming service.
By way of a quick recap, SoundCloud introduced its Spotify-like SoundCloud Go on-demand streaming service back in 2016, and a year later the company added a new mid-tier pricing plan to the mix. So from that point on, SoundCloud Go effectively became an ad-free plan for those wanting to access SoundCloud’s user-uploaded music, with the additional perk of being able to listen offline. That cost $4.99 per month, but those wanting access to the full catalog of premium tunes would still have to pay $9.99 per month for the newly branded SoundCloud Go+ plan.
Fast-forward nearly two years, and SoundCloud has now given audiophiles a pretty good reason to upgrade to the top tier. While the company already enabled artists to make songs available to download in lossless quality, this is the first time listeners have been able to stream music in its full original glory.
It’s worth noting that most of SoundCloud’s big-name rivals, such as Spotify and Apple Music, don’t offer lossless streaming. But some other platforms do, like Tidal, which charges $20 a month for its lossless subscription plan.
SoundCloud doesn’t seem to be upping its price — for 10 bucks a month, you can get full lossless streaming. Of course, that will still require the artists to upload the music in lossless format, but this is a genuinely decent differentiator from most of the other music-streaming platforms out there.