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SoundCloud review

There are so many methods for independent musicians to grow their audience these days, it can be overwhelming to keep track of them all. Sure, not every independent artist needs to take advantage of each opportunity that comes their way, but outreach expansion is a surefire way to attract new fans. SoundCloud is one of many online platforms you can use to build a community around your music, and it’s also a respected music streaming service.

Today, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about SoundCloud as both a creator and a listener.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on June 22, 2021, to address an FAQ about DistroKid.

What is SoundCloud?

With SoundCloud, you can make a combined artist and fan account.

SoundCloud is a music streaming service and a platform where independent and established artists can spread their music—be it for free or as pay-to-listen content. When you create an account, you don’t need to choose between setting yourself up as an artist or as a fan, since both are combined into one account. Regardless of if you pay for premium features, the platform lets you customize your music library and your own music releases.

SoundCloud also features a host of tools for artist development like audio mastering, which is discounted for people with paid creator subscriptions. You also get access to a distribution service called Repost by SoundCloud ($30/year or free with Pro Unlimited), and monetization tools. The SoundCloud Playbook is an online information hub with embedded intro videos that give detailed and digestible instructions on how to use different aspects of the platform. In a similar vein, the SoundCloud Help Center is a troubleshooting hub full of frequently asked questions.

Paid subscriptions at a glance

SoundCloud is for both creators and music enthusiasts.

There are two paid subscription options for creators:

  • Pro Unlimited: $144/year, and includes all Repost by SoundCloud tools alongside unlimited uploads of any audio quality.
  • Repost by SoundCloud: $30/year, and lets you distribute unlimited music to the most popular streaming and social services.

There are two paid subscription options for listeners:

  • SoundCloud Go: $4.99/month for ad-free listening, and you can save unlimited tracks for offline playback.
  • SoundCloud Go+: $9.99/month for ad-free on and offline playback with complete access to the platform’s catalog. You can enjoy high-quality audio and access DJ tools.

How do you use SoundCloud for creators?

To access the full suite of editing functions for your profile, you need SoundCloud Pro Unlimited.

Independent artists will appreciate SoundCloud for its intuitive user interface, the multiple ways you can connect with fans, and the varying degrees of customization.

To release a track, EP, or LP, simply upload your audio files and album artwork, and input track details. SoundCloud recommends that you upload lossless stereo files like WAV, FLAC, AIFF, or ALAC, among others, but it transcodes these into AAC 256kbps files that are only accessible to listeners who pay for a SoundCloud Go+ subscription. SoundCloud doesn’t state the streaming quality for its other tiers, but a SoundCloud representative shared that its SoundCloud go and ad-supported experience offers 128kbps MP3 streaming quality.

If you choose not to upload album artwork, your track’s artwork in the media player will default to your profile picture. You should meticulously input the metadata, so if you decide to monetize your music, everything can run smoothly and you can keep track of your royalties.

Uploading a track is simple once you have everything you want to include.
With SoundCloud Pro you are afforded even more control over how you want to customize your releases.

You can choose to make your release public or available by link only, enable or disable direct downloads, as well as track embeds. With SoundCloud Pro, you can disable comments and can even replace a track while retaining its plays, comments, and reposts information.

Related: How to write a song

When you upload a track, you can select which snippet of the song you want to use for your “artist shortcut”a song preview that will display on your followers’ mobile app homepages when you release the track. It’s best to select a section of the song that is exciting and representative of the track as a whole.

Will you retain all the rights to your uploads?

You can report suspected copyright violations directly to SoundCloud.

In compliance with United States copyright law, SoundCloud will not confiscate any of your rights to your music. In fact, SoundCloud has a policy in place that if you report someone for copyright infringement, the company will investigate and remove the upload. If the infringer cannot resolve the dispute with you, the rights holder, SoundCloud will issue the infringer one strike. After the person receives three strikes, they’re banned from the platform.

Can you upload a podcast to SoundCloud?

Yes, you can upload audiobooks and podcasts, and categorize them accordingly so it’s easier for listeners to discover. Monetization options are only available for music uploads, but this is a great way to build a fanbase for your budding podcast.

How do you monetize your music?

SoundCloud Premier is by invitation only, but anyone can sign up for Repost by SoundCloud.

We all have bills to pay and food to buy, and music monetization will advance your career and keep you fed. The service offers two avenues of music monetization: Soundcloud Premier and Repost by SoundCloud. These two programs are quite different from one another, but they both get your hard-earned money safely into your wallet. In addition to these monetization options, you can purchase advertisements on SoundCloud.

Related: ASCAP: An invaluable resource for every independent musician

What is SoundCloud Premier?

In order for eligible listeners to enjoy high-quality versions of your tracks, you must upload lossless audio files.

SoundCloud Premier is an invitation-only monetization program for independent musicians. To qualify for it, you must be a SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscriber and own 100% of the rights to your music. You also need 500 eligible streams in the past month, must be at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in your country), and cannot have any copyright infringement strikes against you. Only under these circumstances will you receive an invitation to join Premier.

Once you’re enrolled in SoundCloud Premier, all you need to do to monetize a track is input its international standard recording code (ISRC) and select the countries from where you want to monetize streams. This qualifies the track to collect royalties from streams in the available countries, adhering to a dollar-following principle. The revenue from the individuals who stream your music specifically goes to you, and not into a pool with other artists’ streams. SoundCloud Premier delivers payouts roughly at the end of every month through PayPal, and it pays in US dollars only. If you live in a country other than the US, you can just instruct PayPal to accept US dollars.

The more that fans stream your music, the more you get paid.

As soon as you publish a monetized track, it will immediately be available to stream. You can enable monetized tracks for free download, but downloaded plays don’t generate revenue with Premier. Streams that occurred before you signed the SoundCloud Premier agreement don’t count towards monetization either, but you can go in and enable old uploads to start monetizing as soon as you join the program. You retain all the rights to your monetized tracks, so you can distribute and monetize them with other platforms through a separate distribution service too.

Don’t miss: Home studio recording: Everything you need to record on a budget

Besides monetizing your music, SoundCloud Premier verifies your work as original to help you avoid copyright issues. It also allows you to pitch your tracks to SoundCloud playlists, and access Promote on SoundCloud (more on this in a bit). You can stop monetization through Premier by disabling specific tracks for monetization. If you want to leave the program, you have to contact SoundCloud.

What is Repost by SoundCloud?

If you sign up for Repost, you’re locked in for 12 months.

Repost by SoundCloud is a subscription-based distribution service similar to CD Baby or Distrokid. It’s available to anyone for $30/year. When you register a song to Repost, you can distribute it to platforms like Instagram, Spotify, Apple Music, and TikTok. Repost will then collect revenue from streams on these partner platforms. You can easily split royalties with your collaborators by percentage, and in total you retain 80% of the revenue generated from the partner platforms. Repost by SoundCloud is bundled into a Pro Unlimited subscription.

Like SoundCloud Premier, Repost generates revenue from your SoundCloud streams, but only Repost distributes your music to other platforms. A contract with Repost means you’re beholden to Repost as your sole distribution service for 12 months. This differs from a contract with Premier, which lets you use a different distribution service to monetize streams from other platforms.

The primary difference between Repost by SoundCloud and SoundCloud Premier is that only Repost distributes your music to other platforms.

There’s a higher tier of Repost by SoundCloud called Repost Select, which is available by application and invitation. If you’re a member of Repost Select, you can work with a dedicated artist representative to help you develop your career. Repost Select members have access to tailored promotional tools and support. These members also have more opportunities to get placed on streaming platforms and radio playlists. Members also are in the pool of artists SoundCloud considers for their artist accelerator fund, which can help fund a whole recording project from start to finish.

Adding a fundraising link to your SoundCloud page

If the past year hindered your music career and financial situation, you can add a fan support button to your profile page, which fans can use to donate money to you (PayPal or GoFundMe). Regardless of if you have opted into Repost by SoundCloud or were invited to join SoundCloud Premier, a fundraising link on your profile provides an easy and direct way for fans to support you.

How can you promote your music on SoundCloud?

Whether or not you pay for a SoundCloud creator subscription, you’ll have access to promotional tools.

SoundCloud is as great a music discovery service as it is a music exposure service. Even if you are using the free version of SoundCloud for creators, you can access promotional tools and get your song on your Instagram stories. You can also share a song privately via link to certain labels, radio stations, or blogs prior to release. Similarly, you can send embed codes to blogs that will report statistics, so you can track which ones funnel fans back to you. Although only paying members can pitch songs to SoundCloud’s editorial playlists, some algorithmically personalized playlists (SoundCloud Weekly) will feature trending and popular tracks regardless of who uploaded them.

If you have a SoundCloud Pro Unlimited membership and have the potential to be invited to SoundCloud Premier, or if you use Repost or Repost Select, you may access Promote on SoundCloud. Promote contains a suite of tools that let you pitch tracks to SoundCloud playlists and create promotions. With promotions, you can target specific demographics for a specific duration. You can also pitch your songs to partner playlists, like those on Spotify and Apple Music. You can create pre-save links to generate commotion around your upcoming release, and once the release drops, the link will convert into a Smart Link for you to track.

What is SoundCloud Pro?

SoundCloud Pro Unlimited gives you access to a ton of artist development tools.

SoundCloud offers three different subscription plans for artists: SoundCloud Basic, SoundCloud Pro, and Repost by SoundCloud.

SoundCloud Basic is the only free version of the service, and you can upload up to 3 hours of music and access basic listener insights. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited costs $12/month if you pay annually, and $16/month when billed monthly. With Pro Unlimited, you can upload endless hours of music and access exclusive features like SoundCloud Premier. You can also schedule track releases ahead of time, and enable Quiet Mode on a track, which will make the statistics and comments visible only to you. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited also includes all the features of SoundCloud Basic and Repost by SoundCloud. Here’s a detailed table of the differences between the three different subscriptions:

 SoundCloud BasicSoundCloud Pro UnlimitedRepost by SoundCloud
PriceFree$12/month billed yearly
$16/month billed monthly
$30/year
Upload time3 hours total, each track 4GB maxUnlimited hours total, each track 4GB and 6 hours and 45 minutes maxN/A
Track replacementCan replace a track while leaving stats and comments unchangedN/A
Schedule releases in advanceN/A
Instantly release tracks on website or mobile app
Access to Dolby powered audio mastering$4.99/track3 free tracks per month, $3.99/each additional track
Create and customize your SoundCloud profile and URL
Disable commenting and manage public statsN/A
Direct messaging with fans
Notifications when fans interact
Promote tracks on SoundCloud discovery pagesYes, by invitation for SoundCloud Premier, through Promote on SoundCloud
Customizable player for website embeds
Enable track downloads100 downloads per trackUnlimited downloads N/A
Listener statisticsBasic InsightsAdvanced Insights
Monetize plays on SoundCloud
Monetize plays on other streaming platforms
Distribute releases to other streaming services
Split payment with collaborators
Select monetizable countries
Accept fan donations
SoundCloud playlist pitching
Other streaming services playlist pitching
Promotion by SoundCloud's artist relations team
Discounted pricing for audio production from partner companies
Access to Gobbler-SoundCloud suite of audio plugins
Access to Creator Guide, SoundCloud 101, and other resources from industry professionals
1-day responses from SoundCloud Team

How can artists and fans communicate?

A unique feature of SoundCloud is the ability to comment on specific timestamps of a track.

SoundCloud bridges the gap between artists and fans, and this connectedness goes all the way down to how the accounts are set up.

Once you open a SoundCloud account, you get automatic access to both the free version of SoundCloud for creators and for listeners. This is important: artists can build connections with each other by commenting on tracks, reposting them, and directly messaging fellow artists. Your profile will display all of this information, save for private messages. You can also create public playlists that your followers can check out.

Your followers will be able to view your reposts, liked tracks, artists you follow, and comments you’ve made on other artists’ releases.

When listening to a track, you can comment on specific timestamps of a song, which is a feature I’ve never seen on any other streaming platform. If you really like one line an artist sings, or you really like the bass drop of an EDM song, you can let them know right where it happens. In addition, you can send direct messages to your followers. Let’s say, for example, you’re reading through your statistic report and one follower has consistently been listening to your music the most. You might want to send them a message to thank them, or even send them a link to free concert tickets.

How do you use SoundCloud for fans?

SoundCloud keeps the music you like organized.

If you’re not a musician and you were hoping this review would be about using SoundCloud as a music-listening platform, this is the section for you.

Even if you never intend to upload a track, you can still accumulate followers on SoundCloud if people like the things you repost and the playlists you make. It’s also a wonderful platform for directly supporting the musicians you like since you can donate money and directly repost their releases.

SoundCloud has a lot of intelligent music discovery features which are great for both artists and listeners.

Your SoundCloud home page will feature recommended releases based on your listening history, different genres, new releases, top tracks, and editorial playlists. You’ll get recommendations of people to follow including artists who first made it big on SoundCloud. Your stream page displays new releases from artists you follow and anything reposted by people you follow. On your library page, you can view your recently played tracks, the songs you’ve liked, any albums, playlists, or stations you’ve saved, and a list of the artists you follow.

What is SoundCloud Go?

SoundCloud Go and Go+ are great for listeners who want to listen to music without any ads.

The unpaid version of SoundCloud for listeners is ad-supported, and sometimes ads will play in the middle of a track. This is pretty obnoxious, but you can register for two ad-free subscriptions: SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+. Both subscriptions will rid your experience of ads, and enable offline listening. Here’s a chart explaining the details of the differences:

 Free, ad-supported versionSoundCloud GoSoundCloud Go+
AdsYesNo adsNo ads
Save unlimited tracks for offline listening No, cannot save any tracks for offline listeningYesYes
Access full catalog of Premium Go+ tracksNo, only 30-second previewsNo, only 30-second previewsYes
DJ toolsNoNoYes
High quality audioNoNoYes
PriceFree$4.99/mo after 7-day trial$9.99/mo after 30-day trial
Student planNoNo50% off

If you get a SoundCloud Go or Go+ subscription, you can use it on up to three devices, in addition to the SoundCloud web app. The high-quality audio available on SoundCloud Go+ is 256kbps AAC, which is roughly equivalent to 320kbps MP3. Do keep in mind, however, that you can only stream in the audio quality if the file the artist uploaded is lossless.

SoundCloud Go+ lets you access mixing SoundCloud tracks with some DJ apps, which is otherwise available through a SoundCloud DJ subscription. A DJ subscription offers everything SoundCloud Go+ offers, and allows you to download unlimited tracks for offline playback within some DJ apps. A DJ subscription is the most expensive SoundCloud subscription available, as it costs $19.99/month.

How does SoundCloud compare to Bandcamp?

Bandcamp

SoundCloud is a unique platform because of how it integrates social media features with its music streaming service. There are no direct alternatives to SoundCloud out there, but Bandcamp often comes up in the same conversations.

Bandcamp is an online storefront for artists to sell their music, merch, and concert tickets, and it’s a platform for fans to make generous donations to their favorite artists. It also functions as a music streaming service, but unlike SoundCloud, Bandcamp artists can upload unlimited hours of their music for free. Bandcamp makes its money by taking a 10-15% revenue share from artist sales. We recommend independent artists to get involved with both platforms, and music lovers to support their favorite artists through both platforms.

Read next: Best microphones for recording

Should you join SoundCloud?

SoundCloud is a far-reaching music streaming service with plenty to offer, but it can be overwhelming at first.

No matter who you are, what you make, or what you listen to, you’re bound to find a pleasant home in SoundCloud. Yes, the free listening experience has annoying ads, but that’s nothing new to the world of music streaming. Both industry rookies and veterans can benefit from a strong SoundCloud presence, and there are plenty of budget-friendly tiers to accommodate nearly everyone’s needs.

Sours: https://www.soundguys.com/soundcloud-review-51374/

SoundCloud Pro, is it worth it?

One of the most influential streaming platforms in the music industry, SoundCloud, has helped to kick-start the careers of many previously unknown artists. The open audio platform once started as a website for upcoming artists to upload their tracks, but has evolved to a platform with advertisements for revenue and an option for paid subscriptions. However, the website now has 175 million registered users and continues to function as the main track sharing platform for new artists. Today, Guest blogger Melvin van der Waal from Moon Jelly Agency shines his light on the benefits of the SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription.

SoundCloud Pro, is it worth it?

Analytics

When you subscribe to SoundCloud Pro, you’ll be able to utilize a wide array of analytics. Pro users will be provided with much deeper insights than the basic statistics. This means you can find out which users and pages are playing your tracks the most, and see which influencers, labels, and artists are listening to your music. Furthermore, you can see the location of your listeners, making it easier for you to plan your next tour, for example. You can even find out the number of plays on a track per app, and per website, giving you even more insights into the popularity of each of your releases.

Content Control

To provide Pro users with more creative freedom, SoundCloud gives them the possibility to turn comments and public stats on or off. You’re also able to pin one or more tracks to the top of your profile, directing more clicks and downloads to your latest release. Your visitors will find their way to your best tracks faster this way.

Profile Verification

When you become a Pro user, your profile is given a verification mark, making your profile look a bit more legitimate. While it only shows that you are a paid member, the verification symbol triggers listeners to check out your persona and profile, which in turn leads to more clicks, streams, and downloads.

Download Restrictions

If you are a free SoundCloud user, you’ll be restricted to 100 downloads per track. Upgrading to SoundCloud Pro will increase this limit to 1000, while SoundCloud Pro Unlimited users can offer an unlimited amount of downloads. This tool is valuable as the more downloads a track receives, the more your brand will feel the benefit, and the more exposure you’ll get.

To Pro or not to Pro

Due to the immense influence of SoundCloud’s services, it is vital to really put time and work into your SoundCloud profile. The most important thing is that you HAVE a Soundcloud profile filled with proper content. From there on, it is up to you. If you’re not into analytics, don’t care about the verification button, and don’t want to share downloadable tracks, just go with the free profile. If you want to get more out of Soundcloud, a paid plan will give you some handy additional features that can help you grow your account more quickly.

Do you think a SoundCloud Pro account is worth it? Let us know in the comments!

See also

» How to become a DJ?
» Why artists use ghost producers
» How to record a great-sounding demo
» 10 steps for finding the right artist name

Guest blogger Melvin van der Waal (Moon Jelly Agency)
Melvin began his music journey at DJ Mag, where he focused on the online marketing and interviewed lots of DJs and producers. In 2016, Melvin started working for Armada Music as their marketing and social media specialist. Besides knowing a thing or two about online marketing, Melvin has always been interested in helping musicians with their marketing. That’s why Melvin joined Moon Jelly Agency, the international marketing agency for artists, record labels, and promoters with offices in Amsterdam, New York, and Seoul.
Sours: https://www.bax-shop.co.uk/blog/studio-recording/soundcloud-pro-is-it-worth-it/
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Man, Soundcloud – you used to be cool. For years it has been one of the few direct lines to the pulsing heart of electronic music, cutting through the vulgar, superficial face the genre shows in the mainstream. Naturally, other sounds are well-represented, but it’s reasonable to call electronic music the platform’s backbone.

Admittedly, the interface has never been an award-winner; it’s a glitchy, rough sonofabitch, but with that once came a rawness and honesty of purpose uncomplicated by gross commercial influence. It was about giving the bedroom beatmakers and homegrown house architects an opportunity to be uncovered, and listeners a chance to discover.

When a sharing community gains traction and starts making a greater call on resources, it’s understandable that it will seek to draw income to finance continued operation. This objective becomes unpalatable, however, when it eclipses its own catalyst.soundcloudFor Soundcloud, the satiation of corporate appetites has overtaken focus on the provision of a valuable service to a cooperative community.

This road to monetisation of Soundcloud has been a rocky one to say the least. A meteoric rise following its genesis in 2007 (which, just as an interesting historical note, added a fairly strong kick in the ribs to Facebook’s assault on Myspace at the time) earned it a fair few euros from a London-based investment company.

2011 was notable for another injection of coin, coming in part from – believe it or not – Ashton Kutcher, and a few other Yanks. This gave the business the clout to start looking at strategic partnerships, marking a turning point in its organisational character.

Back in early 2013 a venture with Twitter fell through because you couldn’t upload licensed music to Soundcloud. Tragically, this was seen as a stumbling block, when it should have been a watershed moment: the platform’s point of difference had been thrown into sharp relief.

We asked Cosmo's Midnight what they would do if they owned Soundcloud. Read the full interview.

Without the deafening noise created by the militant distribution of major labels and their vociferous legal teams, the unknown battlers crafting this continually evolving electronic sound had found a place – an increasingly popular place – to be heard.

It was not to be. Initially billed as a way of resolving claims by perpetually circling lawyers, Soundcloud sought to make deals so that the labels could represent themselves on the platform, and ensure no one was stealing their internet points.

Yet still, talks with everyone from major labels to content houses Funny Or Die and Comedy Central continued to avoid resolution. Somehow, a ghostly vestige of each failed deal managed to survive, coalescing into the wheezing, grotesque body of diversified income channels it has devolved into today.

First, there are maddening previews of at best two minutes, which roughly amputate the main body of the song, and betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of long-form composition in electronic music. There are Spotify-esque ads that similarly interrupt the ambience of a listener’s session.

Where does heavy music sit in the world of streaming? We chat to Nate Toussaint of The Brave.

Most maddeningly of all, there are two different forms of subscription which don’t overlap. Soundcloud Go is a streaming service that enables a listener to get past preview cutoffs. Soundcloud Pro is for artists – it allows unlimited upload time, a suite of analytics barely equal to those available for free to content-creators on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, and access to features that still fail to overcome the clunkiness of it’s standard UI.

This web of money grabs means that the artists actively contributing to the platform – who are its soul, the foundation on which the entire project has been built – not only have to pay once to access features that help them get heard, but also pay again to access full versions of songs made by artists with record deals locked down, who are already miles ahead.

People at the back pay once to get their music heard, and they pay again for the right to hear the people at the front.

After more than a decade of running around in chaos trying to figure out how to respond to revenue declines caused by the digital revolution, the music industry seems comfortably settled into the idea of the subscription model.

Will Google be the ones to finally purchase Souncloud? Read more.

That dealt with, big music has gotten back down to the old business of mangling independent music, mining its originality and talent for it’s gold, and leaving the actual producers of it in the dust. Only now they’ve got it even better, as they don’t have to speculate on the value of new musicians by financing their early career. Now, the musicians are paying for that too.

Monetisation of valuable digital services is on the whole a positive thing. Done right, it creates value for both the organisation and its users. When that relationship is destabilised against the users, everyone loses. Users have a poorer experience, and are less likely to patronise the platform.

As the money fades, the problem spirals, and the story ends. Soundcloud began as the project of two Swedish producers in Berlin who created a way for musicians to collaborate and share recordings with each other.

Sadly, there’s less and less room for value sharing in an increasingly jealous, mercenary digital space.

While you’re here, check out our feature on how to promote your band, featuring some sage advice from some of Australia’s best publicists.

Sours: https://happymag.tv/soundcloud-go-soundcloud-pro-and-every-f-up-in-between-what-happened-to-our-beloved-platform/
Repost By SoundCloud - Best Way To Distribute Your Music? 😂 - Full Tutorial \u0026 Walkthrough

SoundCloud

Online audio distribution platform

Soundcloud logo.svg

Screenshot

SoundCloud Homepage.png

Screenshot of the desktop version of SoundCloud

Type of businessPrivate

Type of site

Music streaming, Internet community
FoundedAugust 2007; 14 years ago (2007-08)
Stockholm, Sweden
Headquarters

Berlin

,

Germany

OwnerSoundCloud Limited
Founder(s)Alexander Ljung
Eric Wahlforss
Key peopleMike Weissman (CEO),[1]
Eliah Seton (President),[2]
Drew Wilson (COO, CFO),[3]
Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood (CCO, CMO),[4]
Antonious Porch (CDO),[5]
Alexander Ljung (Chairman and Co-Founder)
IndustryMusic, Social/Internet Community
Employeesapprox. 425 (2021)[6]
URLsoundcloud.com
RegistrationOptional; Required to post and upload content.
Users+30 million creators (March 2021), +265 million tracks (March 2021)[7]
LaunchedOctober 2008; 13 years ago (2008-10)
Written inRuby,[8]Scala[9]

SoundCloud is a Swedish-founded online audio distribution platform and music sharing website based in Berlin, Germany that enables its users to upload, promote, and share audio, as well as a digital signal processor enabling listeners to stream audio. Started in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud has grown to be one of the largest music streaming services in the world.[10] SoundCloud offers both free and paid memberships on the platform, available for mobile, desktop and Xbox devices.

SoundCloud has influenced the music industry through the success of many artists who have used the service to launch or advance their careers, like Billie Eilish,[11]Juice Wrld,[12]Kehlani,[13]Chance the Rapper, Marshmello,[14]Post Malone,[15]Lorde,[16]Khalid,[17]Kali Uchis,[18]Lil Uzi Vert,[19]Rico Nasty, Lil Tecca, Saweetie, $UICIDEBOY$, Alina Baraz, Lewis Capaldi,[20]Towkio, Louis the Child, Lil Yachty, Doja Cat,[21]Megan Thee Stallion,[22]Lotic, Violet, Peggy Gou,[23]DaBaby, NLE Choppa, Bad Bunny,[24]Roddy Ricch, Rod Wave,[25] and Chika.[26] SoundCloud has received support from many investors and other media platforms such as Twitter.[27][28]

History[edit]

SoundCloud was established in Berlin in August 2007 by Swedish sound designer Alexander Ljung and Swedish electronic musician Eric Wahlforss, and the website was launched in October 2008.[29] It was originally intended to allow musicians to collaborate by facilitating the sharing and discussion of recordings, but later transformed into a publishing tool for music distribution.[30] According to Wired magazine, soon after its inception, SoundCloud began to challenge the dominance of Myspace as a platform for musicians to distribute their music.[30]

In April 2009, SoundCloud received €2.5 million Series A funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.[31] In May 2010, SoundCloud announced it had one million users.[31] In January 2011, it was reported that SoundCloud had raised US$10 million Series B funding from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. On 15 June 2011, SoundCloud reported five million registered users and investments from Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's A-Grade Fund, and on 23 January 2012, it reported 10 million registered users.[32] In May 2012, it was announced that SoundCloud had 15 million users, and site usage was increasing by 1.5 million users per month.[33]

A new APN was released in December 2012 which improved mobile device support and added features such as concurrent listening and site navigation, and the ability to create personal collections.[33] The response from users was mixed, and many expressed dissatisfaction with the change.[34] At this time, SoundCloud was reported to be "reaching 180 million people per month", with 10 hours of content being uploaded per minute.[35]

In March 2014, Twitter announced it would partner with SoundCloud in developing its first integrated music app. However, the project never moved forward because SoundCloud was unable to accommodate licensed music due to a lack of necessary arrangements with music labels.[36][37] In July 2013, SoundCloud had 40 million registered users and new users were joining at 20 million per month.[38]

SoundCloud announced in January 2014 that it had commenced licensing negotiations with major music companies to address the matter of unauthorized, copyrighted material regularly appearing on the platform.[39] The announcement followed a round of funding in which US$60 million was raised, resulting in a $700 million valuation.[37] According to media sources, the negotiations were initiated in an attempt to avoid similar problems faced by Google, which had been forced to handle a large number of take down notices on its YouTube video-sharing platform.[40]

In May 2015, it was reported that Twitter was considering the acquisition of SoundCloud for approximately US$2 billion. However, the prospect of acquisition was discounted by the media, with one report stating that "the numbers didn't add up",[41] and Bobby Owsinski hypothesizing on the Forbes website in July that SoundCloud's ongoing inability to secure deals with the major music labels was the foremost culprit.[42]

On 28 September 2016, Spotify announced that it was in talks to buy SoundCloud,[43] but on 8 December 2016, Spotify was reported to have abandoned its acquisition plans.[44]

In Spring 2017, SoundCloud initially faced being sold after not raising the $100 million needed to support the platform.[45] The initial evaluation of SoundCloud at $700 million did not hold as strong to investors after their financial shortages.[45]

In July 2017, SoundCloud announced layoffs and the closure of two of its five offices in San Francisco and London in an effort to manage costs.[46][47][48] In August 2017, SoundCloud announced it reached an agreement on a $169.5 million dollar investment from The Raine Group and Temasek.[49] In connection with the investment, veteran digital media operators Kerry Trainor and Michael Weissman joined the SoundCloud team respectively as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.[49] Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss remained with the company—Ljung as Chairman of the Board, and Wahlforss as Chief Product Officer until 2019, when Wahlforss transitioned into an advisory role.[50]

Alexander Ljung at Next10 (2010)

In May 2019, SoundCloud bought artist distribution platform Repost Network.[51]

In January 2020, a 75 million US-Dollar investment by Sirius XM was announced.[52]

On 2 March 2021, SoundCloud announced a new pay model for artists, entitled "fan-powered royalties", which went into effect on 1 April 2021.[53] Under this new model, royalties come directly from the subscription and advertising revenue that listeners earn for SoundCloud, instead of allotting a certain portion of the total "pool" of revenue earned by SoundCloud to each artist based on streams. This means that a fan who listens to more advertisements or pays for a SoundCloud Go subscription will be more valuable to an artist, supposedly benefiting smaller independent artists with fans who listen to their music frequently.[54][self-published source?] SoundCloud claims that under fan-powered royalties, Canadian electronic music producer Vincent's earnings would jump to US$600 a month, up from US$120 a month under the pooled revenue model.[55][56][self-published source?] To commemorate this announcement, Englishtrip hop band Portishead released a cover of ABBA's 1975 song SOS exclusively on SoundCloud.[57] Little is known about how beneficial fan-powered royalties have been for artists, beyond SoundCloud's claims, over the traditional pooled royalties model, which most competing services such as Spotify continue to use.

Monetization, subscription services[edit]

In August 2014, SoundCloud announced a new program known as "On SoundCloud", which would allow "Premier" partners to monetize their content through pre-roll audio ads, channel sponsorships, mobile display ads, and native content. The company announced deals with a number of content partners (including Comedy Central and Funny or Die), independent labels, and YouTube multi-channel networks, and that it was in "active and ongoing, advanced discussions" with major record labels.[58]

In December 2014, it was reported that SoundCloud could potentially raise approximately US$150 million in new financing, resulting in a valuation surpassing one billion dollars. The major label issue became prominent again when the new financing information was released, as the lack of monetization was presented as an issue—SoundCloud signed an agreement with Warner Music Group as part of the new Premier program that allows both Warner Music, which also has a minor stake in the company, and its publishing division to collect royalties for songs they have chosen to monetize on the site; meanwhile, the other labels remained skeptical of the company's business model.[59][60] By December 2014, SoundCloud had shared ad revenue with about 60 other Premier Partners.[59][60] Concerns over the amount of revenue from the program led Sony Music Entertainment to pull its content from the service entirely in May 2015.[61] In June 2015, SoundCloud announced that it had reached a deal with the Merlin Network, a group representing 20,000 independent record labels, to monetize their content through the Premier partner program.[62]

In January and March 2016, SoundCloud reached respective deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. A UMG spokesperson told The New York Times that the deal would give the company an option to require certain content to be restricted to paid subscribers—a statement suggesting that SoundCloud was preparing to launch its own subscription streaming service.[63][64][65]

In February 2017, SoundCloud launched a mid-range subscription tier named SoundCloud Go, that allows users to remove ads and listen offline for $5 per month.[66] The original version, which was renamed to SoundCloud Go+, allows access to over 150 million songs, offline playback, no ads, no previews, and premium music tracks for $10 per month.[67][68] Both subscriptions were categorized for listeners, with separate subscription services provided specifically for creators.

Features[edit]

SoundCloud's key features include the ability to access uploaded files via unique URLs, thus allowing sound files to be embedded in Twitter and Facebook posts, although mobile devices require a SoundCloud app to play a track within Facebook.[69] A file may be embedded by clicking a share button corresponding to the target site (e.g., Twitter). This contrasts with MySpace, which does not have reshare buttons.[30]

Users can listen to unlimited audio. Registered users without paid subscription may upload up to 180 minutes of audio to their profile at no cost.[70][71][72]

SoundCloud distributes music using widgets and apps.[31] Users can place the widget on their websites or blogs, and then SoundCloud will automatically tweet every track uploaded.[30]

SoundCloud depicts audio tracks graphically as waveforms and allows users to post "timed comments" on specific parts of any track. These comments are displayed while the associated audio segment is played.

Users are allowed to create playlists (previously known as "sets"), and to "Like" (specific tracks, which will then be saved to the user's "Like" page), "Repost", "Share", to "Follow" another user, and to make complimentary downloads of their audio available.[73]

On the playback page, playlists containing an audio track are linked back to.

SoundCloud's API allows programs to upload music and sound files, or download files if the uploader has given permission to do so.[30] This API has been integrated into several applications, including DAW software such as GarageBand, Logic Pro, and Studio One.[74]

SoundCloud supports AIFF, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR, and WMA files.[75] It then transcodes them to MP3 at 128 kbit/s and Opus at 64 kbit/s for streaming purposes.[76] (SoundCloud Go+ offers 256 kbit/s streaming.)[77]

SoundCloud supports the Creative Commons licenses.

Their site uses adaptive web design with dynamic serving, where the mobile page resembles their mobile app user interface, but without parallax scrolling of the cover image background during playback and seeking, and only with minimal functionality.

Subscription services[edit]

SoundCloud Pro[edit]

SoundCloud offers premium services for musicians under the banner SoundCloud Pro. The SoundCloud Pro service allows users to upload up to six hours of audio, and adds additional features such as enhanced analytics, and the ability to disable comments on tracks. The Pro Unlimited tier allows unlimited uploads.[78]

SoundCloud Go[edit]

On 29 March 2016, SoundCloud unveiled SoundCloud Go, a subscription-based music streaming service; the service provides an ad-free experience, offline playback, and integrates licensed music from major labels into the existing, user-uploaded content of the service.[79] Co-founder Eric Wahlforss stated that this aspect would help to differentiate SoundCloud Go from other music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as it technically provides a larger total library of songs than competing services, with a higher degree of diversity in its content. The Verge found that, excluding existing content uploaded by users, the service's initial library of songs is smaller than those of its closest competitors.[80][81]

The service was initially priced at US$10 per month. On 28 February 2017, SoundCloud renamed its main Go plan SoundCloud Go+, adding a secondary tier titled SoundCloud Go at a US$5 price point, which does not include the licensed music library but still offers ad-free and offline playback.[79][82] SoundCloud Go+ offers mix tracks for certain DJ apps, has a complete catalogue, and has 256 kbit/s streaming.[77]

Platforms[edit]

Mobile[edit]

SoundCloud offers two mobile apps; the main SoundCloud app is oriented towards streaming, with music discovery, playlist, and sharing features.[83] In November 2015, a separate app known as SoundCloud Pulse was released for Android and iOS; it is primarily oriented towards content creators, allowing users to upload and manage their uploads, reply to comments, and view statistics. Pulse's features were previously located within the main app; senior marketing manager Brendan Codey explained that the shift to separate apps was meant to allow SoundCloud to improve its user experience for content consumers, without having to worry about how these changes affect features oriented towards creators.[84]

By the end of 2016, SoundCloud Pulse had over 100 million downloads.[85]

On 1 April 2017, Chromecast support was added to the main SoundCloud iOS app.[86]

In July 2020, Soundcloud introduced Insights into its mobile app, discontinuing Soundcloud Pulse that previously housed analytics for artists. Through the new Insights portal all users can see their top listener, top city, top country and top 50 tracks, while Pro Unlimited subscribers have access to their top 50 everything (listeners, cities, countries, and tracks).[87]

Desktop[edit]

SoundCloud has repeatedly attempted to create desktop clients equivalent to their mobile applications to compete with services like Spotify, which maintain and develop their own client. Although there are many community third-party desktop applications such as SoundCleod[88] and SoundNode,[89] SoundCloud has never actually created a desktop application equivalent to their mobile applications.

On 6 January 2011, SoundCloud released "SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac" to the App Store for Macintosh, which introduced the playlist feature to SoundCloud. However, was limited to tracks that have allowed third-party application playback, even though the application was a first-party release, leaving many frustrated. The application was later discontinued due to the lack of resources maintaining their new desktop application, the mobile applications, and the web browser at the same time.[90]

On 2 May 2017, SoundCloud released an application for Xbox One, set as the basis for the beta desktop version to be released later that month. It was released only missing a few features compared to the desktop beta, mainly 'shuffle', the ability to cast a song from an external device, and the ability to go forward or backward in a playlist without using Cortana. All of which were fixed in a patch, released later on.

On 30 May 2017, SoundCloud released the "SoundCloud for Windows (Beta)" desktop application to the Windows 10Microsoft Store (digital). It was released missing many core features that were in SoundCloud's mobile apps such as 'repeat', and basic animations. It also lacked many features from the previous "SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac" incarnation, such as application specific volume control, and the ability to upload and manage tracks from the client. However, the application included voice control via Microsoft's Cortana, and unlike the previous desktop application, it supported all tracks regardless of their 3rd-party application playback availability. The app (as of 2020) has not been updated nor changed from its initial release, leading many to believe that—as with the previous application—SoundCloud is struggling to manage the desktop application in conjunction with their mobile and web versions.[91][92]

In 2021, Chromium-based platforms such as Microsoft Edge began support for websites to become applications. In SoundCloud's case, downloading "SoundCloud for Windows (Beta)" from the digital Microsoft Store would showcase this feature.

Reception[edit]

Recognition[edit]

SoundCloud won the Schroders Innovation Award at the 2011 European Tech Tour Awards Dinner.[93][94] In 2012, SoundCloud was named Best International Startup at the TechCrunchCrunchies award ceremony.[95] In 2015, SoundCloud won two Webby Awards, the Webby Award and People's Choice Award for Best Streaming Audio app.[96]

Criticism[edit]

As SoundCloud evolved and expanded beyond its initial user base, consisting primarily of grassroots musicians, many users complained that it had sacrificed its usefulness to independent artists in an attempt to appeal to the masses, perhaps in preparation for public sale. Such criticism particularly followed the launching of a revamped website in 2013 which, according to former CEO Alexander Ljung, was implemented for the purpose of increasing SoundCloud usage.[97]

On 3 July 2014, TorrentFreak reported that SoundCloud offered unlimited removal powers to certain copyright holders, allowing those copyright holders to unilaterally remove paid subscribers' content without recourse.[98][99]

In April 2015, SoundCloud announced a new partnership with Zefr, a content tracking company that works with YouTube to help identify songs on the platform and facilitate either takedowns or ads being run against it. Zefr states it will "better understand the sharing of content on the platform." Some users are worried it could mean a stricter copyright enforcement and more ads.[100]

In July 2016, SoundCloud notified registered users via email that it would be "phasing out" groups because they "were not a strong driver to help users share their new tracks to the most users effectively".[101] This announcement was met with alarm and concerned responses from numerous artists, who deemed the change unacceptable because it would eliminate their only effective means of sharing music on SoundCloud.[102]

SoundCloud has a continuous play feature on non-mobile platforms which relates to the listener's stream and likes. Unlike YouTube's autoplay feature which is on by default but can be turned off, users cannot turn off the continuous play feature on SoundCloud.[103]

SoundCloud has also been criticized for changes in service. The new update of the website and application made the feed and interface more difficult to use for some users. Also, the anti-piracy algorithm — which was put into place to combat the staggering number of illegal music downloads — has often been criticized for taking down music that was not illegally submitted or downloaded.[104] Also, Universal Music Group has the right to take down any files on SoundCloud. Uploads can be taken down directly by Universal Music Group outside of SoundCloud's anti-piracy policy. Other than uploads, Universal Music Group has the ability to take down accounts, both premium and free. Customers of the company have claimed this to be "bogus," arguing that the right to manage and delete accounts should be reserved to SoundCloud itself, not to an outside company.[105]

Cultural impact[edit]

Music industry[edit]

SoundCloud first entered the music streaming industry as a new way for artists to share and promote their music. Being that the platform is entirely online there is no need for a record label or distributor for one's music to be heard.[106] Users and artists are placed into the platform together, creating a community focused space.[107] The way that users are able to comment, like, and share songs and artists makes the platform feel more like a social media site rather than a streaming service.[108] Many artists have moved from SoundCloud into the mainstream music industry because of their increased popularity from the platform. In 2018, the Grammys began to recognize artists and their music on SoundCloud. The shift from The Recording Academy was again due to the popularity of the platform and their artists, such as Chance the Rapper.[109]Chance the Rapper is an example of a SoundCloud artist who broke the mold of the industry; he released his debut mixtape, 10 Day, on SoundCloud.[110] In a Vanity Fair interview Chance explained how he decided against signing to a major label and felt it was better for him to give his music "without any limit on it".[110] SoundCloud has given artists an alternate path to pursue for a career in music that is different from the existing music industry.

SoundCloud rap[edit]

Main articles: Mumble rap and Emo rap

Through SoundCloud, a sub-genre of rap was created. As artists such as Smokepurpp, Yung Lean, XXXTentacion, Ski Mask the Slump God, Juice WRLD and Lil Pump originated from SoundCloud and rose to the Billboard top charts.[111] The sound created was different from the mainstream, with a grittier and darker sound that results from a lack of production. SoundCloud rap is a lo-fi, melody driven, distorted sound with lyrics that usually focus on repetition and less on content. The SoundCloud artists themselves are known to have exaggerated appearances that include bright colored hair and face tattoos.[112] These SoundCloud rappers are in the late teens to early twenties age range with a strong youth following.[112]Smokepurpp, a SoundCloud artist, explained in a Rolling Stone article how the first songs he created and put on the platform were not recorded using a real microphone.[111] The DIY nature of SoundCloud made it so millions of artists were able to put out their work without any studio equipment usually needed to make music.[113] The freedom to upload on the platform allows for many SoundCloud rappers to post tracks impulsively or post many tracks at a time.[112] The imperfect sound created by these SoundCloud rappers has contributed to their growing popularity and the creation of a rap sub-genre.

Blocking[edit]

See also: Censorship in Turkey § Blocking of Internet sites

The government of Turkey blocked access to the SoundCloud website on 24 January 2014.[114][115][116]

A user named "haramzadeler" ("bastards" in Turkish) uploaded a total of seven secretly recorded phone calls that reveal private conversations between the former Turkish prime minister, now President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and others, including: Erdoğan Bayraktar, local politicians, some businessmen, and the prime minister's daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, and son, Bilal Erdoğan.[117] Linked to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, some conversations on the recordings revealed illegal activity and possible bribery—mainly about the building permit for villas located on protected cultural heritage sites in Urla, İzmir.[118] The opposition party Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi submitted a parliamentary question to the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) concerning the issue, which asked why SoundCloud services were banned without any proper cause or reason.[119][120]

See also[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to SoundCloud.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SoundCloud

Soundcloud what happened pro to

After that, the rumor disappeared almost completely. So that's why these vibrations are. A soft and velvet bandage was laid over my eyes. Now I am deaf and blind.

😂 SoundCloud Pro To Distribute Your Music (WHY?!) 😂

Not today. Come for me tomorrow, at five o'clock. '' No shit. I'll decide when to fuck you. '' With whom and when I decide to fuck myself, and my husband.

Now discussing:

A girl with short-cropped red hair, dressed in a White Guard uniform, angrily squinted at the sides with her eyes. And Yurko was right, who advised him to tie up his former lover. The "mistress" of the Zaporozhye steppes was not afraid of anyone in the world.



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