SoundCloud to debut video ads (just only in specific circumstances)

soundcloud-logo canvasSoundCloud is incorporating new video ads on its mobile platforms in the U.S. The spots will play between tracks, but only when the phone screen is on and the SoundCloud app is in the foreground. The decision is an innovative one. It makes sense from a user experience perspective – after all, few people would pull out their phone from their pocket to engage with a video ad they’re only hearing. While it might limit the reach of the video spots, it will also eliminate wasted reach that doesn’t actually make impressions.

SoundCloud launched a paid subscription for U.S. listeners in March. SoundCloud Go offers ad-free listening, so it seems most likely that the video spots will also be limited to the free tier. SoundCloud hasn’t said anything about adoption rates so far, other than that the rollout was positive. It was strong enough that Go also launched in the UK, Ireland, and France.

Anna Washenko