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juannomore / Flickr CC

Music streaming service SoundCloud is adding a new — and — cheaper paid subscription option that is focused on convenience by removing ads and letting users listen to music offline. The company unveiled its first subscription service last year.

The lowdown: The new tier will cost $4.99 per month and will give users access to the 120 million songs part of SoundCloud's free content catalog without ads and available offline. This can be a great option for users who travel and don't want to use their smartphone data to stream, for example. It will be called SoundCloud Go.

The company's original subscription service will now be called SoundCloud Go+, which costs $9.99 and will continue to offer these features in addition to SoundCloud's premium content from music labels and certain artists for a total catalog of 150 million songs.

Why it matters: Though SoundCloud made its name as a way for independent artists and DJs to upload and distribute their music, the company has faced increasing competition from services like Spotify and Apple Music, which offer music from all the major labels. Subscription services also serve as an additional source of revenue for the company, which was rumored last year to be in talks to sell to Spotify, though the latter has reportedly decided against it.

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in midterms.

54 mins ago - World

Scoop: Germany tells Congress Nord Stream 2 sanctions would be "victory for Putin"

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The benefits of giving cash directly on Giving Tuesday

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Direct cash giving — channeling donations to charities that dispense money, rather than goods or services — is emerging as the gold standard in anti-poverty philanthropy.

Why it matters: Giving Tuesday is this week, and the money donated that day can do the most good when it goes as directly as possible to those in the most need.

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