SoundCloud is often thought of as a hangout for indie kids and backyard bands—a place to discover new music. That’s true to an extent, but it’s far from the full story. SoundCloud is packed with features that will apply to listeners of all stripes.
Here are seven reasons why you need to start using SoundCloud today.
1. It’s Not Just for Indie Bands
The site is more than just a place to find obscure music; SoundCloud also boasts an impressive line-up of highly regarded bands.
Today, the company has licensing deals with several recording studios, including Universal Music and Warner Bros. That means it can stream artists such as Adele, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and many more for free.
2. Quickly Discover New Music
SoundCloud releases weekly top charts across a number of genres. They list the most popular tracks on the app in the previous seven days, which is sure to help you find new music with ease.
Don’t forget, the list of charts goes beyond music. You will also find charts for audiobooks, podcasts, and niche sectors such as sports music and business analysis.
The charts let you see the number of plays from the previous week or from all time, and you can easily share the clips straight from the list.
What’s most impressive about this is that the charts include names you may or may not have heard of, which is sure to increase your knowledge and awareness about what’s currently popular. Staying on top of what’s good is never a bad thing.
3. Share Music With Ease
In addition to finding music you like, you’ll also find that sharing music via SoundCloud is incredibly easy. The site’s embedding, messaging, and sharing options are impressive. There’s a good reason why the site dubs itself as a “global online audio distribution platform.” Just click on a track’s Share icon to get started.
In addition, WordPress and SoundCloud worked out a deal so that you can perfectly integrate a song or playlist on your personal site. While on SoundCloud, simply click on WordPress code next to the embed code, copy it, and paste it into a WordPress post or page.
4. The SoundCloud Community
SoundCloud has a range of community-focused tools that let users and artists interact with each other.
For example, you’ll notice a bunch of profile icons on the soundwave of your favorite song. This unique feature allows the community to engage with each other, whether that’s a fan telling their favorite artist what they like about a song or simply giving them a shout-out.
You can also send comments to your favorite group, follow users and bands, and repost songs (along with a timestamp and/or comment) on your own profile, all of which help the community to become more integrated and engaged.
5. Get Your Band Noticed
If you want to be taken seriously as a music performer and get noticed by millions, SoundCloud can certainly help.
The impressive amount of users willing to find a new sound, the ease of social sharing, and the community engagement are ideal for up-and-coming performers.
And let’s not forget that artists and representatives from major labels frequently visit the site to find what’s new in music. For instance, Snoop Dogg found Iza Lach, Post Malone was discovered by Republic Records after his song White Iverson amassed plenty of plays, Kodak Black was co-signed by Drake and also inked a deal with Atlantic Records, and the list goes on.
6. SoundCloud Pro: Make Money From Your Music
Let’s not forget about one of the major reasons SoundCloud has so many active users—promotion.
There are plenty of up-and-coming producers, DJs, and indie bands on the site sharing their music in the hope of striking it big, and they can do so with one of SoundCloud’s pro plans.
Two premium plans are available: SoundCloud Pro Unlimited and SoundCloud Repost.
The cheapest plan is Repost ($ 2.50/month). It lets you distribute your music to all the major music services, provides access to promotional tools such as SoundCloud’s discovery pages, and lets you set which countries your music is available in.
The Pro Unlimited plan ($ 12/month) adds the ability to accept fan donations, direct messaging for fans, listener insights, and more.
Check out our list of the best places to sell your music online if you need some alternative options.
7. Music Downloads and Offline Listening
SoundCloud offers both offline listening and the ability to download songs so you can add them to your own library (though the features are not available on all songs; the uploader has to enable it on a case-by-case basis).
Downloading songs is ideal for people who like to maintain their own locally-saved music collection, whereas offline listing is great for long trips or when you’re expecting to be away from Wi-Fi or cell coverage for a prolonged period.
If you are a creator, you can toggle the two options on and off by heading to a track’s edit page, clicking on the Permissions toggle, and marking the checkboxes next to Offline Listening and Enable Downloads as needed.
8. Smartphone Apps Are Available
In addition to the web app, SoundCloud also offers an iPhone app and Android app.
You can’t comment on songs or do much in terms of producing music with the apps, but everything else is there. You can easily listen to tracks and find fresh music to indulge in at a later time, follow your friends, and share music.
There is also a SoundCloud app in the Microsoft Store, but we would suggest giving it a wide berth. The app is still listed as being in beta and has not received an update for a couple of years. The web app is better.
Why Not Try SoundCloud Today?
With 270 million users and counting, there’s a chance you already use SoundCloud. If not, you should consider it. SoundCloud is a truly impressive platform to find new music, listen to your favorite tracks, or try to get your own creations heard.
It is free to make a basic account as either a listener or a musician, and you can start listening and uploading right away.