Based in Germany, SoundCloud has taken the music world by storm since its inception in 2007. The audio platform has been particularly helpful for underground, independent artists looking to launch their careers and build fan bases. Equally, listeners prefer SoundCloud due to finding undiscovered fresh talent to support. So, what is SoundCloud all about? Let’s jump in!
What Is Soundcloud?
SoundCloud is an audio platform to listen or share music, and comes in both Desktop and App form. It features over 190 million tracks from 20 million creators that users have listened to in 190 countries. Artists can record and upload sounds to share publicly or privately to select people. You can track your music’s performance and interact with listeners in the comments section. By following artists, you will see their uploads in your feed and you can also save your favorite tracks and playlists.
SoundCloud has garnered attention for highlighting underground or bedroom artists, and lots of creators have got their starts on the platform. For independent artists, SoundCloud is truly one of the best services to upload your music to.
How Much Does Soundcloud Cost?
Good news – the basic of SoundCloud is free!
With SoundCloud basic, you can upload up to three hours of audio and store it. You can also access your stats such as plays, likes and shares. Creators can customize how their track appears to audiences such as changing the color or size.
SoundCloud Pro Unlimited is the platform’s premium version. This costs $12 per month (annually) and $16 per month (monthly). The benefits of Premium are:
- Unlimited audio upload time and storage
- The ability to schedule releases
- Access to more specific stats, for example their top listeners locations
- More customization options such as turning comments on/off and choosing five tracks, playlists, or albums to highlight at the top of your profile
- Access to Repost by SoundCloud. This allows you to promote your tracks, monetize your plays and distribute tracks to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
SoundCloud also offers SoundCloud Go, which allows users to listen without ads and save tracks for offline listening. This comes in at $4.99 per month. There is a Premium version of this too, called Go+ version. This offers the benefits of Go plus high-quality audio and access to the platform’s entire catalog for $9.99 a month. If you have Pro Unlimited, you can get Go+ for half off.
How To Use SoundCloud
On SoundCloud, you can create and upload your own sounds or listen to other people’s. You can open an account for free or sign up to one of the above subscription plans.
Once you’re signed in, simply click on the upload tab in the top right of the screen to publish your first track. Add in your title, description and genre, and select Public or Private. Unlike many streaming services such as Spotify, this means that artists don’t need to go through a distributor to get their music onto SoundCloud.
SoundCloud Pulse is another helpful tool for artists. It’s a companion app that allows you to reply to comments, get real-time stats and share your sounds. You can also follow other users, and edit track details from your cellphone.
To discover other’s tracks, you can search by name or phrase at the top of the screen. You can also browse the categories on your home page, such as Top Playlists and New Arrivals. Similarly to streaming services, once you like songs and albums, they go into your library. You can also follow creators so that their new uploads appear on your feed.
Does SoundCloud Have Ads?
Both SoundCloud Basic and Pro have ads. If you want to listen ad-free, you’ll have to sign up for SoundCloud Go or Go+. Go and Go+ are more aimed at listeners, whereas Pro suits creators.
Pros & Cons Of SoundCloud
Like all services, SoundCloud has both pros and cons. Let’s take a look at what they are:
Pros of SoundCloud
- Users can upload music and podcasts for free
- Pro subscriptions allow you to distribute your music to all major streaming music services
- Unlimited track skips across the board
- Mixing tools for DJs
- Platform built both for listeners and creators
- Focused / geared towards underground artists
- Comment functionality – you can even comment on specific parts of the track which shows up on the waveform of the audio
- Algorithmic playlists
Cons of SoundCloud
- Search functionality can be a little tricky to find what you want
- Lacks lyrics
- Features ads even for Premium accounts
- Some major-label music isn’t available via the free tier
- Doesn’t let pros sell music directly to customers
SoundCloud has come a long way since its inception, and is the go-to place for finding upcoming artists not on the mainstream’s radar. As an artist, SoundCloud can be a great way to build a following by sharing your music, interacting with fans and receiving feedback. We would recommend starting with the basic version and progressing to a Premium subscription once you’ve found your footing!
How Audiosocket Can Help
We may not be a streaming service, but Audiosocket is a music licensing platform that is always looking for new talent. You can submit your music here for consideration. We offer a non-exclusive contract, meaning that you can maximize your potential by licensing your music to other companies or projects, also. We commission 50% of the gross licensing fees and publishing royalties, but you keep 100% of the writer’s share.
Audiosocket have secured placements with giants such as HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Disney, HP and many more. We would love to hear your music, so what are you waiting for?