Early smartphones were not much more than a telephone, a Personal Assistant and a larger display. This scenario quickly changed though as new features were added, making these devices more powerful and capable of storing music, pictures, emails, texts, and so much more. Powerful apps were developed to Photoshop pictures, dress up your selfies, or have video chatting from phone to phone. Data packages with Share Everything become the norm and the streaming of movies, YouTube, and music took off. Spotify seems to be leading the pack, but SoundCloud Go is starting to make its mark and has just made its music subscription service available in Canada for $9.99 CAD a month after a 30-day free trial.
SoundCloud Go is slowly growing from its beginnings in the US and has since spread to the U.K., Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand and now to Canada. While some have criticized the service for being somewhat thin, they have been signing licensing agreements with some fairly heavy players – most notably, Sony Music. The service still isn't for album lovers, while the app is not the most elegant looking, it is fast. Favorite tracks or playlists help drive SoundCloud's algorithm for what content to push to you. The off-line mode is quick and hassle free, and you can set it only to download via Wi-Fi to save on your data usage. SoundCloud Go seems more geared to a younger audience as it definitely pushes towards toward a shuffle function of favorite songs you selected.
SoundCloud Go promises an expanded catalog, an ad-free experience, and offline listening. SoundCloud says they are committed to making sure the artists get paid for their work. In Canada, they have agreements with "Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and the Society for Reproduction Rights for Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (CMRRA-SODRAC, or more commonly known as CSI)." SoundCloud hopes this will open up the doors for Canadian artists to open up their creativity and generate revenue.
There have been many rumors swirling around SoundCloud, but one has come true – Twitter invested $70 million into the company after considering purchasing them. Spotify was discussing the possibility of acquiring SoundCloud – a company that is known mostly for their offering of a platform that allows unknown artists to upload their own music for consumption. This would help expand Spotify's grip on the market. For now, though, it looks like Canadians have yet another music streaming option to choose from.