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SoundCloud is often thought of as a hangout for indie kids and backyard bands – a place to discover new music. And that’s true to an extent, but it’s far from the full story.
It’s where many people (including myself) go to find fresh tracks, as many bands will often release their music on SoundCloud before releasing to Apple Music, Spotify, and other music sites. It’s where I first listened to Table People, a band based in Seoul, South Korea, who play a “whatever you like” style of sound.
However, the Berlin-based music-sharing site is more than just a few indie bands that appeal to hipsters. The site boasts an impressive amount of monthly active users — 175 million at the time of writing — many of whom are sharing some great tunes. Compare this with Spotify’s 75 million active monthly users and you’ll learn that SoundCloud is serious about music.
We think you should starting using SoundCloud today, and here are seven reasons why.
It’s Not Just for Indie Bands
Let’s make something clear. The site is more than just a place to find obscure music. SoundCloud also boasts an impressive lineup of highly regarded bands, a place where the distinguished help to find the unknown, as was the case when Snoop Dogg and Polish artist Iza Lach collaborated.
Furthermore, the site just signed a licensing deal with Universal Music, which includes a roster of Adele, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and other music sensations. SoundCloud also has a license deal with Warner Brothers, and is one of the reasons why so many bands today have gotten noticed, which is what G-Eazy says in his “SoundCloud 60” interview. Not bad for a supposed garage band music platform.
Whatever genre you prefer, whatever sound you want, you’re bound to find something you like on SoundCloud.
The Gift of Discovery
Speaking of discovering new sounds, SoundCloud has released top charts, which is sure to help you find what’s popular in music today.
The “Top 50” and “New Hot” charts consist of musical genres including, but not limited to, metal, piano, world, and triphop, as well as audiobooks, business, and technology. You can find how many plays the selection has received from the week or from all time, and easily share the clips straight from the list. It’s a nice feature that both artists and listeners alike have praised.
— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) January 21, 2016
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.
Share Some Sounds
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 good reason why the site dubs itself as a “global online audio distribution platform.”
Rather than me merely telling you about SoundCloud’s sharing abilities, I’ll show you instead. Below is an attached song cloud from Torche, a stoner rock metal group, that you can easily share on social networks, message to your friends, or embed it to a website, as we have done here.
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 “WordPress code” next to the embed code, copy the code, and paste it into a post or on a page. Easy. You can now share your favorite track on your site with ease.
Song Commenting, Community Building
You’ll also notice a bunch of profile heads rolling along a sound wave 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.
It’s a really nice function that artists and followers have used to further communicate with each other, which helps to build upon that 175 million-strong community.
Comment on my soundcloud, that's a first…. ?? pic.twitter.com/V0EI4m2YPD
— kwassa (@kwassamusic) January 20, 2016
You can send a nice comment to your favorite group on desktop, which is where SoundCloud really thrives, and let them know you like their tune. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the love.
Getting Yourself Noticed
If you want to be taken serious 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.
Let’s not forget that artists and representatives from major labels frequently visit the site to find what’s new in music.
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, etc.
The list of artists amassing a massive amount of plays on SoundCloud, and in return a lot of attention across the Internet, is endless. I just wish I knew about this when I was racing out of high school with my guitar, jamming to Slash’s rendition of Obsession Confession.
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 On SoundCloud, a partner program for creatives.
The program allows artists to monetize tracks they upload on the site through paid advertisements, much like YouTube’s monetization program, and it has largely been seen as a success. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there so that you can better engage with your audience and make more money. So, good luck, music makers!
These Apps Sound Good
In addition to existing on a fantastic website, SoundCloud also features a nice iPhone app and an equally nice 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.
In addition, the app team has made it their mission to constantly update their product, and have, most recently on Android, introduced a “Play related tracks” feature. This should help you find even more great tunes.
If you find the official apps uninspiring, there are plenty of other unofficial, third-party SoundCloud apps to choose from, which the company is completely cool with, as can be seen on its About page:
“SoundCloud can be accessed anywhere using the official iPhone and Android apps, as well as hundreds of creation and sharing apps built on the SoundCloud platform.”
In addition, if you have a Windows phone you can download Nimbus for SoundCloud [No Longer Available] as an alternative. The app has received largely positive reviews, and the dedicated team behind the app seem to update it frequently with new music so as to appeal to the large userbase.
Give SoundCloud a Try Today
With 175 million monthly users and growing, there’s a chance you already use SoundCloud. If not, consider it, as SoundCloud is a truly impressive platform to find new music, listen to your favorite tracks, or try to get your own creations heard. If you have been using their services, we want to know what you find most appealing about it, so that others can learn from your experiences.
Do you find it useful for listening to your favorite artists or for discovering new music? Do you share your own music on SoundCloud? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!