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How SoundCloud Is Changing The Music Industry?

The online streaming industry is not new-from YouTube to Popcornflix, there are plenty of ways to stream audio and/or video online. Just as these platforms are used for sharing content online, SoundCloud is a network that allows streaming music over the internet.

Fun Fact: Despite of the several subscription based services available, SoundCloud is of the most loved industry-friendly models, which provides the freedom of uploading and listening. There are over 190 million tracks from 20 million creators heard in around 190 countries.

SoundCloud started off as an online music distribution center for semi-professional artists to grow their own community and launch their careers! It streams a unique mix of content and offers the most diverse mix of established and emerging artists, allowing users to discover and enjoy the largest selection of music.

From promising rappers and writers to independent singers, SoundCloud is a home for audio of any kind!  And, for adventurous listeners who are looking for enjoyable soundtracks for workout or workday, SoundCloud podcasts all that’s “trending” under categories like ‘Dance’ or ‘Diplo’ or ‘EDM’, and cool playlists for minded listeners are also available.

It is one of the primary drivers with a focus on bringing up new artists and allowing original content and music to flourish and reach people. With the amount of music and musicians from all corners of the world, the industry is flooding with more and more talent. Thus, there is no harm in saying that there is a strong possibility that your favorite artists, who are setting the music industry on fire, were originated from SoundCloud!

So, for those who want to be taken seriously as a music performer and get noticed by millions, SoundCloud is a community with an impressive amount of users and music to appeal to a large user-base. It is, therefore, ideal for up-coming musicians which can be accessed anywhere, using the official Android and iOS apps.

1. Why SoundCloud?

1.1 Discovering new sounds and sharing them

For a music lover, there is never enough music! Since SoundCloud is a global platform, it allows artists, musicians and even bands to upload their soundtracks and get known for their talent.

With plenty of musical pieces to be discovered, SoundCloudreleases charts like “Top 50” and “New Hot” which makes it easier for users to discover new and trending sounds on the site. Such charts allow users to find the soundtrack of a particular genre (that they like) including, metal, piano, world, audiobooks, business, and technology.

SoundCloudreleases charts

As shown in the screenshot above, there are several charts too, like “Chill”, “Party”, and “Workout” etc., which make it easy for users to listen according to their mood.

It is beneficial as well as appreciated by both, the artists and the listeners as these charts increase the chances of letting users get to know new artists and what’s currently popular.

  • For Users: In addition to exploring new artists and sounds, users find sharing music through SoundCloud effortlessly incredible! The site provides embedding options that make it easier for artists to showcase their talent to a global audience.
  • For Artists: Getting noticed is what every artist today is struggling for!SoundCloud, as a global online audio distribution platform, makes it easy for upcoming musicians to get under the spotlight and gain attention across the internet.

Despite the similar platforms, like Spotify, available in the industry, SoundCloud is increasingly becoming a place where users can find the latest hot tracks outside of the mainstream.

1.2 Lets artist reach out to the world

The best thing about SoundCloud is that it does not suffer territorial limitations. It offers users and musicians to connect with digital grounds via their API, using a set of tools that increase engagement. The record releases allow artists to showcase their masterpiece to the world, through both mobiles as well as desktop.

From Africa to Europe, no matter where you live, you can reach the potential audiences and offer them access to a library of unlimited music and sound!

1.3 Reaching out to tastemakers

Who is a tastemaker? From a producer or a radio DJ to a blogger, there is no end to tastemakers! Once the artists have got some organic buzz, they are likely to get noticed by such tastemakers and will help you take your career to another level. Once they pick up your name, you will surely experience growth in the numbers of your fans and popularity.

It is not always the case that the tastemakers will find you! So, make sure you do the needful things to be found.

1.4 A monetization model for artists/musicians

Another reason why SoundCloud has twice as many registered users like any other website and why SoundCloud has better unit economics is that its producers and the users uploading music are all focused on monetization. Even though it is free on the consumer’s side, it had a monetization scheme from the day it was publically released.

  • Available to a set of artists: It is important for artists to qualify to make money on SoundCloud. To qualify, the tracks should have at least 5000 plays in the past month.

Note: Even if your tracks are heard for a million times, you won’t qualify if the listeners are not from the countries where the SoundCloud subscription and advertisings are available. These countries are United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, and New Zealand.

  • Your income depends on the SoundCloud’s Revenue: Numerous independent artists use SoundCloud not just to showcase their talent to their fans, but also as a medium to sell their music. SoundCloud’s payment system is based on how much it makes from advertising and paid subscriptions. If SoundCloud earns good, the musician earns more, and vice versa.
  • 55% revenue share: SoundCloud makes a significant cut from the overall revenue. For example, if someone’s music makes $100, SoundCloud will keep 45% and the artist will get the remaining 55%.

1.5 The app sounds good

In addition to the website, the SoundCloud app is also available for both Android and iPhone users. The app makes it easier and more fun for users to listen and explore new tracks, follow their friends and share music. The SoundCloud app also possesses a feature called “Play Related Tracks”, which was designed to help listeners find even more great tunes, of a similar genre or the artist.

1.6 Better opportunity than YouTube (for up-coming artists)

As compared to platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud offers better opportunities for upcoming artists and musicians. Here is why:

  • Music video: With platforms like YouTube, it gets difficult for the artists to put video every time they upload a new track. For example, if there is an album with 10 songs, it is not possible to make great videos and promote each song. But with SoundCloud, artists simply get away from the expense of making these videos.
  • Social networking: As compared to SoundCloud, YouTube surely lacks the ability of social networking. Things go viral on YouTube and are featured on the homepage only if the video is considered worthy and has millions of views. But SoundCloud allows users to like, save and repost the soundtrack and even share it with others, making it easier to promote as best as you can.

1.6 It is hard to compete with a community

In the end, everyone is running in a race to stand out and achieve the same rare metal: audiences’ attention! Unlike the overpopulated areas – Spotify, Pandora, etc. – SoundCloud is a community of audio creators and is a place where they can share their unique content in several different ways. Also, with constant efforts and time passing, SoundCloud is expanding the listening audience with serving a dedicated base of users in such a way that makes them feel good about that relationship. People listening to major artists are also exposed to individual artists and to new music, allowing their taste to increase.

Thus, the fact is, building a community is one of the most effective ways to create a project at scale!

2. How Is It Changing The Music Industry?

The founders, Alex Ljung (a sound designer) and Eric Wahlforss (an artist) had never imagined that their idea to build a website for sharing the blooming talent of musicians with the world would work and the site would grow as one of the most loved and viewed platform.

SoundCloud allows musicians to share their music in an effective manner and lets the users follow people not just to listen to the sound they are sharing, but also to save them or repost the music, it overtook popular sites like MySpace, Spotify, and Pandora.

Setting up a SoundCloud account allows you to take full advantage of all the features.

  • For Creators: Easy recording and uploading to SoundCloud enables the musician to build a fan base, without any dictations of record labels and their policies! Here, they create their own rules and communicate directly with the audience. They are also provided with the ability to upload their music not only to SoundCloud but also to their Facebook and Twitter accounts by embedding it to reach a larger and more complete audience.
  • For listeners: SoundCloud allows listeners to get access to the millions of tracks, create their own playlist or artist station and find new music to love. They can also like the tracks just like they do on ‘Facebook’ and repost them just like ‘Twitter’.
Did You Know? The foremost important feature is the ability to listen to infinite amounts of music without having to stop or deal with limits! SoundCloud offers users to download as many as 100 songs and provides more than 120 minutes of audio available on their personal accounts.  

2.1 Important features of SoundCloud

  • Sharing and downloading sound: SoundCloud lets people discover, enjoy and share the largest selection of music from a diverse creator community. From emerging artists to established musicians, you can instantly find and even download a copy of the track to play it anytime, anywhere!
  • Exploring: What is your taste in music? Rock? Classical? Pop? SoundCloud provides complete access to the trending music list, an audiobook, an informational program, and even stand-up comedy! Easily browse through the different genres of music and listen to what best suits your mood. You can also use filter options to search for a specific track.

As in the image below, when a user searches for hip hop, he/she gets a complete list of the related keywords or most searched items.

use filter options to search for a specific track
  • Creating your own playlist: Organizing your own songs into an album or creating a mix of songs of a certain genre eliminates the hassle and constant need to hover onto songs of your choice. So, SoundCloud allows you to unleash the DJ within you and create a unique collection of your favorite songs in a particular pattern.
create a unique collection of your favorite songs

Comment: As shown above, you can create personalized folders of the songs you like the most, eliminating the hustle of searching every time you open the app or the website.

  • Joining groups: If you are not interested in a particular genre and want to explore more options, you can join several groups in which you can share different tunes and interact with other members. This will help you stay on the top with new artists of different genres.
Joining groups

Thus, just like in the screenshot shared above, you can search for groups and join them where you can meet other artists and/or bands.

  • Following other users: Just like other social media platforms, SoundCloud allows users to follow their favorite artists and record labels. They can also speak their minds by adding a comment or liking the track and marking it as “Favorite”. The platform enables subscribers to share it on other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Social networking: One of the best features of SoundCloud is its social network-like model. The ability to connect to the emerging artists, podcasting their amazing and authentic content ends up creating a solid list of users to their individual streams.

2.2 The three ways to experience SoundCloud

  • SoundCloud’s free ad-supported offering: Occasional advertising on the platform extends support to artists, as every time a listener sees or hears an ad, the artist gets paid! So, you can discover and stream over 120M tracks for free!
  • SoundCloud Go: For those who are more keen to listen without any disturbance, SoundCloud offers them to purchase SoundCloud Go which lets the subscribers discover, stream and download a constantly expanding mix of more than 120M tracks, offline and ad-free! You can buy it through the website, through the Android app (for a lower price), or through the Apple store (with additional transactional fees attached).
  • SoundCloud Go+: It is SoundCloud’s premium subscription which allows users to have even more freedom to choose the features and content they want, at the price that fits their budget. In this, the user gets complete access to ad-free tracks (more than 150M), offline and with no previews.           

Make the most out of Pro tier and spotlight your best work by pinning the track or playlist to the top of your profile!

2.3 SoundCloud’s tiered services structure

There is a lot that can be achieved with SoundCloud! There are plenty of musicians, bands, singers and DJs on the site sharing their tracks with the intention of getting the big hit! Engaging your audience opens ways for you to monetize tracks. Following is the tiered services structure offered by SoundCloud which was designed so that each account holder has the choice to subscribe for the specified features:

  • Partner: Even though this tier is free, it only allows you to upload content not more than 3 hours which comes with online support and, basic reporting and statistics i.e. play counts, likes, comments, and downloads.
  • Pro: This tier provides 6 hours of content to the musicians. With a cost of $6 per month or $55 annually, you also get to enable the “Quiet Mode”. Under this mode, you can manage comments and stats of your tracks.
SoundCloud Pro
  • Pro Unlimited: The pro unlimited tier provides artists an unlimited amount of uploads. It costs $15 per month or $135 annually. It also allows you to see who’s playing/downloading your tracks, which countries/states/cities you’re most popular and which social networks are providing the most traffic or engagement.
  • Premier: It is the last tier in the SoundCloud’s service structure where artists start making money from the tracks they uploaded and is available by invite only. It has all the features of Pro Unlimited and apart from them it also provides an account manager who will make your account even better! Subscribe the premier tier and enjoy exclusive music promotion opportunities.

2.4 SoundCloud Rap Movement

Unlike the conventional street-oriented rap, the “SoundCloud Rap” was responsible for shaping the artists’ images and bringing them to the world via radio stations and formal album rollouts. With all the changes that have taken place in the “SoundCloud Rapper” industry, has helped crank out some of the hottest artists.

“For things to become a movement you have at least one artist and one song,” says Todd Moscowitz, the founder of Alamo Records. Earlier the hip-hop records accounted for less than 10 percent of the market and insiders liked it to call the music industry as “feast or famine”.

Then came in a year that kick-started a massive culture and brought new industry trends-2016. This is when Moscowitz launched a label called Alamo Records in the hopes of giving a platform to undersung, left-of-center artists.

The records were not focused on urban music and with the great support of the fans, artists were uploading brash, genre-blurring songs onto SoundCloud. XXXTentacion’s “Look at Me!”—a blunt, lo-fi rap-metal anthem became a bona fide club smash from a cult favorite.

After that several rappers like Atlanta Street Savant 21 Savage and Philadelphia emo-rap curiosity, Lil Uzi Vert signed deals with major labels and managed to gain revenues from sponsorships and live shows! Since these albums were nice for narratives, often these rappers dropped singles on SoundCloud which got millions of plays and sold-out shows wherever they go.

Despite the tides of taste, rap overtook the industry writ large and became a passing threat to mainstream norms. 

 “This generation and wave of rap are using social media in a way that no other class has,” says Cole Bennett, a music video director. He has worked with Famous Dex, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp.

Following are a few names of the SoundCloud’s rappers generation:

  • The Lils: Lil Xan (Diego), Lil Pump, Lil Skies and Lil Wop
  • The adjectives: Famous Dex, Rico Nasty, Asian Doll and Ugly God
  • The Creative Spellers:6IX9INE (Tekashi69), XXXtentacion, TrippieRedd, Juice WRLD, Smokepurpp, BlockBoy JB, and Tay-K.
  • The Ys: YBN Nahmir, YBN Almighty Jay, Yung Bans and Yung Pinch.
  • The Almost Full Sentences: Ski Mask the Slump God, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and Young Boy Never Broke Again (NBA Young Boy).

These rappers, along with other hip-hop artists, musicians, and bands, originated from the SoundCloud and made big marks on the music industry as they made it to multiple platinum and triple platinum hits on songs and albums.

Thus, SoundCloud Rap Movement not only described artists but also painted the music industry.

3. How To Upload Music On SoundCloud

Uploading and sharing music on SoundCloud is not as easy as it may seem. And when it comes to uploading audio format over the internet, there are several limitations. Thus, the following are the things that you need to pay attention before uploading tracks online:

3.1 Formats: The first thing that you need to consider is the formats that are supported by SoundCloud. Here is a list of formats that are supported by SoundCloud:

  • FLAC
  • AIFF
  • WAV
  • OGG
  • MP2
  • WMA
  • MP3
  • AMR
  • ACC
  • ALAC

3.2 Browsers: Following is the list of browsers that are supported by SoundCloud:

  • Google Chrome (Version 49 and above)
  • Internet Explorer 10,
  • Mozilla Firefox (Version 45 and above)
  • Microsoft Edge (Version 34 and above)
  • Apple Safari (Version 7 and above)

3.3 Make sure you have a verified email address associated with your SoundCloud account.

3.4 The tracks should be transcoded to 128 Kbps MP3 for streamed playback and the maximum upload size on SoundCloud is 5GB. The maximum length can be of 6 hours and 45 minutes.

3.5 Banner size and profile picture dimensionsHaving the right banner image and profile picture can make or break an artist’s reputation! When deciding which picture to upload, make sure it best suits your personality and is both clear and crisp. SoundCloud allows uploading pictures as large as 2 MB or 1000×1000 pixels and banners as large as 2480×520 pixels.

4. Step By Step Guide To Upload Music On SoundCloud:

Step 1: The first step is to create your profile. When you will open the SoundCloud website: https://soundcloud.com/upload, on the top right-hand side of the screen, you will find a “Create Account” option.

Sign up using a certified email address and follow the displayed instructions to verify your email address.

Once you verify, you are logged into SoundCloud.

logged into SoundCloud

Step 2: Click on the “Upload” button on the top right of the page and you will be redirected to the upload menu. There you will find two options: “Choose a file to upload” and “Start new recording”. Click on the first option and navigate to the location of the file and select the one that you wish to upload to SoundCloud.

upload to SoundCloud

Step 3: While uploading a track to SoundCloud, you need to add basic info like title, tags, and description for it. You can also choose between keeping it private or public and add an image of your choice to make it more visually appealing.

4.1 Sharing a public track: Uploading a track publically makes it visible for everyone and can be listened, and reposted by anyone on SoundCloud. To upload a public track or playlist, you can copy the link and share it with anyone you like!

All the tracks are posted as public by default. However, you can change the settings and control over who listens to your tracks or playlists.

4.2 Sharing a private track: A private track is only accessible to the artist who posted it. To share a private soundtrack or playlist, you can get the secret link, available under the information of the track. You can share the secret link with anyone that you like.

5. How To Make Money On SoundCloud

SoundCloud added monetization features in 2014 to help premier members make money online. To earn good through the SoundCloud monetization, following are a few tactics that need to be considered and consistently worked on:

5.1 Add links to the SoundCloud Profile:  In order to sell any kind of digital product, there are websites like “Sellfy” which help people build their online store and start selling directly to the audience. So, those who are planning to sell their music or soundtracks to a global audience can create an online store and start linking them with the SoundCloud profile to start selling. Linking your SoundCloud profile to your store can bring numerous leads. There are three places on a SoundCloud profile where you can add links to drive traffic to your online store:

  • Links in your track description: Linking your track description is a common yet most effective way to drive the audience to your online store. If your audience liked what they heard, they would definitely search the description box to see where they could buy it.
If you want to add links to your previously uploaded tracks, you can simply edit the description and add the desired link.
  • Buy link: Buy link is a link that is added right under the tracks in a catalog. By clicking this icon, listeners will be redirected to your online store where they can purchase the soundtrack. You can simply go to the “Metadata” and add the buy link and a title to start getting paid!
  • Links in your bio: Listeners who are interested in you as an artist will visit your profile more often to keep a check on all your updates. Thus, having links to your store in the bio description can make it easier for them to buy the tracks that you have shared.
Select the edit button and add the desired link to your profile

Select the “edit” button and add the desired link to your profile. Have a look at the example given below:

5.2 Make your profile and tracks easy to find and browse:

This is the opportunity to connect with your fans. Once you are qualified and you have enabled monetization on your profile, you will start earning money each time someone listens or downloads the track. Getting people to easily find you or your tracks requires a little more effort. You can add or edit descriptions and share more details about the track, such as credits or lyrics.

5.3 Using other channels to promote the store or the tracks:

Cleaning and editing your profile is a good start. However, you need social media marketing to reach out to people on the internet. SoundCloud provides several options to help social media marketing. Even though SoundCloud is a well-known channel for promoting and driving a large number of sales to help artists, musicians and/or bands monetize their content, here is why you should use other social networks and marketing tactics to drive traffic and maximize sales:

  • Despite being one of the largest music streaming platforms in the world, SoundCloud has a  less number of users than other social media platforms.
  • Using other popular social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube will increase the chances of reaching wider audiences and enhanced visibility.

So, instead of putting all the eggs in your SoundCloud profile and then waiting for them to hatch, you should use other social media platforms to increase traffic and drive more sales.

There are countless ways to use social media to engage more audience on your profile:

  • For Facebook, SoundCloud lets you embed your tracks in a post so people can discover your music. Twitter provides the same ability through embedded tracks on Twitter cards. So, you can begin posting new releases and other important details on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach target audiences.
use social media to engage more audience on your profile
  • You can ask questions, polls, or organize contests to engage the listeners.
  • Holding meet and greets and offering giveaways is another effective way to increase fan engagement.

5.4 Use your waveform

The waveform is not just limited to “comments from the audience”. SoundCloud allows the artists or the musicians to use the waveform comments and share the process or the making of the soundtrack with the listeners.

Pro Tip: You can even ask and invite feedback of the potential listeners through commenting on the Waveform. Something like, “What do you think about the bass? Let me know.”  

5.5 Work on your images

There is nothing to deny that the human brain triggers visuals more than text! While scrolling through the list of artists and tracks, users are more likely to click the ones that are more professional looking. So, having a profile and header image that works is essential. To make them work, make sure you add some piece of relevant information to the header image. Following are the best practices that you need to consider before uploading pictures or banners:

  • Using relevant visuals: Including images that are relevant to your content and associates to your soundtracks is an important step. Let banners and images paint your personality and help create an impression on the minds of the audience.
Using relevant visuals
  • Stick to strong visuals: Visuals depict what style or genre of music you provide. So, using strong visuals for your profile and minimizing the text and/or description in the banners will help you represent who you are and what your brand is all about!

5.6 Advertising your SoundCloud tracks

Advertising is a method, used by many, to engage audiences, get more followers and fetch online recognition. Promoting a soundtrack through a network of music blogs, social media groups, and websites, not only increases fan engagement but also increases your plays and helps gain more popularity.

Thus, get started with promoting your soundtracks and experience a great way to get more organic likes and listeners on the website.

Remember to stick with these tips and tricks and keep uploading more tracks to earn name, fame, and money of course!

6. How To Create A Win-Win Situation On SoundCloud?

As the company has taken giant steps to help artists reach out to global audiences, the independent artists are cherishing their space to promote their talent. For those who are looking for ways to amplify their projects on the website, SoundCloud offers a list of effective tools that will help increase their SoundCloud plays. Here are the most useful tools that you can use to get more plays:

6.1 Online Communities:

  • Tunecore Social: One of the leading music promotional platforms which offer an array of services to help musicians and bands in building a list of followers on different social media sites. In other words, the site offers support for SoundCloud’s promotions. Give it a shot and make the task of promoting your soundtracks easier than ever before.
  • The Artist Union: This online community is dedicated to connecting up-coming artists with their fans. It looks into the parameters like fan engagement, track likes, reposts and number of followers and assures a good social media share.
  • Social media platforms: Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. are online communities with millions of users and thus, are one of the biggest promotional channels for sites like SoundCloud. Creating a Facebook fan page, engaging fans over Twitter, sharing your album cover on Pinterest and redirecting listeners from YouTube, are the most effective ways to introduce your tracks and sounds to the mass audience. Using these powerful platforms can do wonders for your reputation in the industry.
Even though YouTube and Soundcloud do not integrate with each other much, yet you can post teaser videos of your soundtracks and can embed the link to the original track, available on SoundCloud, in the video description box.    

With hands-on all these tools and tactics, more people listening to your SoundCloud tracks are guaranteed.

7. Learning from Other’s Mistakes: Things You Need To Avoid

With a number of artists and musicians, using SoundCloud, the platform has fostered a community where artists are sharing their masterpieces (soundtracks) and are interacting with the listeners and are inviting their feedbacks. Thus, there is no room for mistakes! Following are the common mistakes that the musicians make and tips on how to avoid them:

  • Inconsistent URLs:  It is important to add a similar extension of your profile on SoundCloud to that of your other accounts like Facebook. If not, you can edit the extension in your account settings.
  • Missing Social Links: Since social media profiles are the go-to place for the young generation, SoundCloud has integrated the ability to add social media links to the artists’ profile. This feature even adds the ideal thumbnail image, making it easier for fans to reach their favorite artists through their social media profiles.  If the link is not added, there is a possibility of losing your potential listeners. So, make sure you add the essential links like website, Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube.
  • No Contact Information: A common mistake that bands or musicians make is that they end up leaving the basic bio and contact information empty. This carelessness can cost listeners. Thus, make sure you add a short, to-the-point description (50-250 words) and contact information to your SoundCloud profile.

Do not forget to add your most liked or played track on the top of your feed!

  • Stop Uploading Everything: You have a single shot in impressing a listener! Do not let it go vain and try to make the most out of each opportunity. Ideally, to impress the listeners, your profile should showcase your best work and not some unfinished projects that you think you are uploading for live feedback! Thus, clear the clutter and sort what you should post on your SoundCloud profile.
  • Mislabeling: Placing the right keywords, track title, artist name, and genres are as important as uploading the track. If the above-stated parameters are not taken care of, the listener will not be able to find your track on the website. So, adding the right filters, determining the right keywords in title and description, and recognizing the right genre is important for users to trace the track as well as the artist.
  • Not Having Their Own Account: This, by far, is the most common mistake that musicians make! The majority of the musicians end up uploading the tracks without logging into their respective accounts which is not less than a blunder. Posting through your own engaged and lively account is a basic code of conduct that every artist should adhere to.
  • Stop Spamming Others: The Waveform was introduced to help musicians and bands receive genuine and constructive feedback from the listeners, so as to help them make better and more profound music. But, there is always a group of people who spam others. Start avoiding those spammers today!
  • Replying To The Comments: Commenting is one of the most effective ways through which an artist gets to interact with the listeners. Replying to all the comments not just adds value to your reputation, but also makes people want to come back to your profile. It shows that you are genuinely interested in their feedback and increases your fan base.
Pro Tip: Save your “Thank You” responses to several comments and personalize your comments to get the best results in your fan base growth and engagement.  

So, these are the common mistakes that every musician should avoid and mark their way through the platform.

8. Some Successful Artists On SoundCloud

  • NinnoRodriguez: He released his debut album – LP Third Culture Kid (11 track document) – and after its release, his career rose up the ladder and he began publishing more tracks on the website. His debut album boldly projected self-assured sound and socially conscious lyrics.
  • Lil Yachty: He started off uploading numerous songs on the website and was cherished by thousands until one fine day when he touched millions and became the rapper’s biggest crossover star in 2016.
  • Russ: Russ is, without a doubt, SoundCloud’s one of the finest curated artists. Before turning to SoundCloud he struggled for 10 years and had published 11 self-produced albums! Artists like him know the real struggle that one has to face to establish a career in the music industry.
  • CRWN: King Puntespina aka CRWN created a huge wave of the music scene with classical sounds and modern techniques. This began as a mere bedroom beats project, but with SoundCloud’s revolutionizing the music industry, it became a classic example. With his other soundtracks like his collaboration with Jess Connelly who released a new EP called ‘How I Love’, he hit 50k mark on the website.
  • Lil Peep: In 2010, Lil Peep discovered the SoundCloud rap and used that as his model of inspiration. With every passing year and him performing live with a DJ, he is selling out shows and getting major attention in the industry.
  • Curtismith: Mito Fabie, popularly known as Curtismith, too turned to SoundCloud with the desire of becoming an established as well as one of the most sought out rappers in the industry. With consistent efforts and dynamic soundtracks like EP Soully, Yours, containing collaborations with the likes of local artists Kiana Valenciano and Sam Concepcion, his career made strides.
  • Ugly God: Like other performers, Ugly God standouts on the website and he cherry-pick from the Based Gold template. But in early 2010, Lil B (a Berkeley based rapper) won over a larger cult because of his personality and constant output of music. This made Lil B loved so much!
  • Lil Pump: He has a brief career origin story! He released his self-titled song, “My Mamma Said Lil Pump Won’t Be Shit”, and the song still holds millions of plays. “Flex LikeOuu” is another hit on the website.

9. Past, Present And The Future Of SoundCloud

Many artists and musicians still owe their success to SoundCloud! As a global music streaming website, SoundCloud’s journey has been a roller coaster ride. Being a Berlin-based streaming startup, it witnessed growth in the careers of established as well as struggling artists, went under several algorithmic changes and experienced financial concerns as well!

Many of the SoundCloud problems started in 2012. The launch of Spotify, lead to a race within the music streaming market. A major part of SoundCloud’s listeners’ list found Spotify irresistible and SoundCloud was pressured to going into their negotiations with the majors.

In 2017, the company struggled financially, yet managed to remain enormously popular among artists and music lovers. Later that year, SoundCloud wrapped up the largest financing round and recovered as a stronger independent platform that is here to stay.

During 2014, SoundCloud introduced On SoundCloud and On SoundCloud Premier which was similar to YouTube’s partner program. These programs are still in operation but very little has been shared about their success.

In 2016, SoundCloud raised its financing and brought in the SoundCloud Go and Go Plus, a paid monthly subscription, designed to compete with the music streaming giants, allowing access to the library of over 150 million tracks. As an effort to monetize its engagement, SoundCloud started serving more ads and had licensing deals with the major record labels.

The company was clearly struggling to make it’s business models viable. In order to compete with other streaming giants like Pandora, Spotify and/or Apple Music, SoundCloud came up with subscription plans and major labels to serve as a label listening platform. The company has fought and stood still against an unproductive business strategy, management problems and has managed to remain viable.

With no barriers to enter, it has evolved into an amazing music delivery platform and is truly growing as a strong community of music lovers, providing a unique experience to both creators and listeners alike!

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