Ever since Apple got into the music streaming biz, the market has heated up, with more and more services adding features to place themselves above the crowd. One of the most unlikely players in that market is following suit. Soundcloud has just announced the addition of a Stations feature on its iOS and Android apps. Its purpose may be simple, to help users discover more music, but, in the grand scheme of Soundcloud's plans, it might be taking it closer to competing with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
Soundcloud already stands out from the rest because of its more indie vibe, inviting creators of all shapes and sizes to upload their music to the service for the whole world to hear. That said, Apple Music's Connect feature does encroach in that territory a bit by embracing not just labels but even indie artists.
Now Soundcloud is fighting back, sort of. With Stations, users will be presented with a list of tracks they might not have normally discovered on their own. These lists are gathered based on the users' preferences and listening habits and can be generated from any track, search term, content stream, or the user's Collection. Stations themselves can also be added to Collections for future reference.
It might seem like a simple, but much welcomed feature, but it might also be just one of the steps towards Soundcloud's bigger ambitions. It might transform itself into a full-pledged subscription-based music streaming service this year, especially after closing some licensing deals with the likes of Universal and Warner. When that happens, Soundcloud will indeed be playing in the big leagues. Whether it has what it takes to survive, however, not to mention retain its indie appeal, is a different question entirely.
For now, however, Soundcloud users, both on iOS and Android, can revel in the joys of never-ending listening to new and yet to be discovered tracks.