SoundCloud usually comes up when people think of podcast hosting platforms. While it has become well-known for hosting podcasts, it was originally designed as a way for artists to share and distribute new music. However, podcasters have found SoundCloud to be a great place to express their creativity and grow their audiences.
When you’re talking about any podcast hosting platform, there are always going to be pros and cons. Check out our comprehensive SoundCloud review so you can determine if this platform will meet your needs as a podcaster rather than a music artist.
Pros of SoundCloud
Learn more about the advantages of using this audio platform to host your podcast:
SoundCloud for Listeners
As a music enthusiast, SoundCloud offers a unique experience for discovering new artists, listening to your favorite tracks, and connecting with other music lovers. In this section, I will explore the various features that SoundCloud offers to its listeners.
Exploring Genres on SoundClouds Listening and Sharing Platform
SoundCloud is known for its diverse range of genres and sub-genres. With over 200 million tracks, SoundCloud has something for everyone. Whether you’re into hip-hop, electronic, rock, or classical music, you can easily find tracks that fit your taste. SoundCloud’s search feature also allows you to filter tracks by genre, mood, and popularity, making it easy to discover new music.
Listening to Podcasts
In addition to music, SoundCloud also features a vast collection of podcasts. From true crime to comedy, you can find a podcast on almost any topic. You can easily search for podcasts on SoundCloud, and the app also recommends podcasts based on your listening history. SoundCloud also allows you to create playlists of your favorite podcasts, making it easy to keep up with your favorite shows.
One of the best features of SoundCloud is the ability to listen to tracks offline. With a SoundCloud Go or Go+ subscription, you can download tracks and playlists to your device and listen to them without an internet connection. This is especially useful for those who want to listen to music on the go without using up their data.
SoundCloud Go and Go+
SoundCloud offers two subscription plans: SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+. SoundCloud Go allows you to listen to tracks ad-free, access high-quality audio, and listen offline. SoundCloud Go+ offers all the features of SoundCloud Go, plus access to millions of premium tracks. With SoundCloud Go+, you can also listen to tracks from major record labels, making it a great option for those who want to listen to the latest hits.
In conclusion, SoundCloud offers a unique listening experience for music enthusiasts and podcast lovers. With its diverse range of genres, the ability to listen offline, and access to premium tracks, SoundCloud is a great option for those who want to discover new music and stay up to date with their favorite artists.
SoundCloud for Artists
As an artist, SoundCloud provides a platform that is both user-friendly and effective for promoting your music, connecting with fans, and monetizing your content. Here are some tips on how to make the most of SoundCloud as an artist.
Uploading Audio Files and Tracks
Uploading tracks to SoundCloud is easy and straightforward. With a free music account, you can upload up to 3 hours of audio and choose whether to make your tracks public or private. Upgrading to SoundCloud Pro or SoundCloud Pro Unlimited gives you more upload time, advanced stats, and a suite of promotional tools to grow your audience.
When uploading streamable audio files to the Web, it’s important to keep in mind the quality of your audio. SoundCloud allows you to upload in 128kbps MP3 or 256kbps AAC, but for best results, it’s recommended to upload in lossless formats like WAV or FLAC. You can also use SoundCloud’s audio mastering and DJ tools to enhance your tracks.
Promoting Your Music
Once your tracks are uploaded, it’s time to start promoting them. SoundCloud’s sharing platform makes it easy to share your tracks on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and you can also embed tracks on your own website or blog.
To grow your audience on SoundCloud, it’s important to engage with your fans. Respond to comments and messages, like and follow other artists, and participate in SoundCloud groups and communities. You can also use SoundCloud’s promotional tools, like Spotlight and Quiet Mode, to boost your exposure on the platform.
Monetizing on SoundCloud
SoundCloud offers several ways for independent artists to monetize their content. With SoundCloud Premier, you can earn royalties from your plays and monetize your content on other platforms like Spotify. You can also disable comments on your tracks to avoid copyright infringement and protect your content.
For artists looking to take their career to the next level, SoundCloud Pro and SoundCloud Pro Unlimited offer even more tools for monetization and promotion. With increased storage and upload time, advanced stats, and subscription plans, SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited are ideal for new artists looking to grow their audience and revenue on the platform.
Overall, SoundCloud is an excellent platform for independent musicians looking to share their music, connect with fans, and monetize their content. By following these tips and utilizing SoundCloud’s suite of tools, you can take your audio production to the next level and get discovered by a wider audience.
As a SoundCloud user, I have found that the platform’s community is one of its strongest features. SoundCloud is not just a music streaming service, but also a social media platform that allows creators and listeners to connect with each other.
Creators can build their own audience on SoundCloud by promoting their music on other social media platforms like Instagram or by reposting tracks from other creators. SoundCloud also offers a variety of tools to help creators distribute their music professionally, such as the ability to customize their profile and create playlists.
Listeners can discover new music by searching for specific genres or by browsing through SoundCloud’s extensive library of playlists. They can also follow their favorite creators to stay up to date with their latest releases and engage with them through the comments section.
One of the benefits of SoundCloud’s community is that it allows for collaboration between creators. They can repost each other’s tracks to their own followers, which helps to expand their audience. Additionally, SoundCloud offers a feature called “Repost by SoundCloud,” which allows creators to repost tracks from other creators directly to their own profile.
SoundCloud also offers a variety of features for both creators and listeners to enhance their experience. For example, creators can upload their tracks in high-quality formats like WAV or AIFF, and listeners can enjoy an ad-free experience with SoundCloud Go+. SoundCloud also offers an RSS feed for creators to share their tracks on other platforms.
Overall, SoundCloud’s community is a vibrant and supportive space for musicians and music enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re a creator looking to build your audience or a listener looking for new music to discover, SoundCloud has something for everyone.
It’s Designed for Audience Interaction
Your podcast most likely centers on something you’re enthusiastic about. Whether you’re sharing the trials and tribulations of your college years or offering romance advice to your listeners, you should be excited or passionate about the content you’re making.
What’s the point of sharing your content if you don’t have a fervent community to interact with?
SoundCloud doesn’t just let you distribute your content. Rather, it makes it easy for more and more users to discover your work. SoundCloud users can easily save and like their favorite podcasts and share them with friends and family.
Instead of just uploading a podcast, forgetting about it, and hoping it goes viral, you can use SoundCloud to promote your work. Creators with premium plans can perform the following actions:
- Schedule releases
- Pin your most popular episodes to the Spotlight section
- Receive unlimited hosting time
- Analyze in-depth stats on your podcasts’ performances
- Send direct messages to fans
- Engage with fans in the comments section of your podcasts
If the thought of keeping up with multiple social media accounts seems daunting, SoundCloud is the perfect all-in-one platform for up-and-coming podcasters.
Share your content and interact with fans in one place. You’ll be able to more easily grow your audience and popularize your podcast.
It Has a Designated App – SoundCloud App and Web Performance
When you publish on SoundCloud’s platform, your listeners can download all of your episodes through the company’s official app. This lets you connect with Android listeners who don’t have a standard podcast player built into their devices.
As an avid user of SoundCloud, I have found that the app and web performance are generally reliable and easy to navigate. The music app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and it provides a seamless experience for listening to music and discovering new artists.
I have found that the app is easy to navigate, with a clean and intuitive interface that allows you to search for music, follow your favorite artists, and create playlists. The app also offers a range of features, such as the ability to like and repost tracks, as well as to comment on them.
In terms of performance, I have found that the app is generally fast and responsive, with tracks loading quickly and without any buffering issues. However, there have been some occasional glitches and bugs, particularly when it comes to playing back tracks that have been uploaded by independent artists.
When it comes to the web version of SoundCloud, I have found that it offers a similarly seamless experience. The website is easy to navigate, with a clean and simple layout that makes it easy to find what you are looking for.
In terms of performance, I have found that the web version of SoundCloud is generally fast and responsive, with tracks loading quickly and without any buffering issues. However, I have noticed that the website can be a bit sluggish at times, particularly when it comes to searching for tracks or navigating through your playlists.
Overall, I have found that the app and web performance of SoundCloud are generally reliable and easy to use. While there are occasional glitches and bugs, these are relatively rare and do not significantly detract from the overall user experience.
It’s Free To Upload Music
All music artists and podcasters can upload their music or podcasts to SoundCloud for free. There are certain limitations in place with the free plan, but what SoundCloud offers is the ability to share your content online for no charge. This is something any podcaster should take advantage of!
The Availability of Different Plans
While some users may not like the idea of paying for their podcast hosting platform, it will be a necessity if you want access to certain features. If you’re hesitant about trying a paid version, you can opt for a free trial.
Check out the following review of SoundCloud’s three paid creator versions you can sign up for:
With the Pro version, you will receive:
- The ability to upload up to 6 hours of music or audio per month
- Enhanced analytics
- The ability to disable comments on music or podcasts
SoundCloud Pro Unlimited
The Unlimited version is pretty similar to the regular Pro version, but the Unlimited version grants you unlimited uploads every month.
The benefits of SoundCloud Go include:
- You can make your podcasts available for offline listening
- Listens during offline listening will count toward your stats
- You can join the company’s Premier program and get paid royalties
As a creator, you should understand how SoundCloud Go affects your audience. When compared to Spotify and Apple Music, SoundCloud Go grants users access to more diverse content, which can help you get discovered more easily.
Paying for SoundCloud Go may not be worth it for new podcasters, but those who are looking to grow will greatly benefit from it. You can check out the free trial that the company offers to see if this version is right for you.
It’s a Familiar Platform
SoundCloud has come a long way since its inception in 2007. Over the course of 13 years, it has become a very recognizable household name and has accumulated a loyal user base. This platform has:
- 12 hours of audio uploaded to it every minute
- More than 175 million unique monthly listeners
- People from 200 countries accessing it every hour
- Become a hub for artists, music producers, podcasters, and fans alike
With these numbers in mind, you can easily see how popular SoundCloud has become. This platform will never have a shortage of users, so you won’t have to work as hard to garner attention as you would need to on other audio sharing platforms.
Cons of SoundCloud
We want to offer an honest and comprehensive SoundCloud review, and it wouldn’t be complete without discussing some of the potential drawbacks.
Even with all of the hype surrounding SoundCloud, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of:
You Can’t Import Old Episodes All At Once
One negative aspect of our SoundCloud review is that this platform doesn’t let you import existing audio files from an existing RSS feed. If you want all of your episodes on this platform, you will need to upload them one by one, which can become a tedious process. And, it will affect how you track your listener data.
This con shouldn’t be too big of an issue if you:
- Are a brand-new podcaster
- Don’t have a lot of pre-existing content
- Don’t mind if all of your content isn’t in one place
Limited Upload Time with the Free Plan
Users with the Free SoundCloud plan are allowed to upload 180 minutes of audio per month. This tends to work well for music artists. The three-hour limit allows for around 45 songs, which is often more than enough for most up and coming artists.
However, it’s a much different story for podcasters. According to Pacific Content, the average podcast lasts for around 43 minutes. Based on this information, SoundCloud’s 180-minute monthly limit only allows for about four podcasts per month. You would definitely run into trouble if you tend to upload bi-weekly or even more frequently.
Uploads are Limited by Time, Not File Size
A lot of new podcasters dislike how SoundCloud limits uploads by time rather than file size.
As a new podcaster, especially as one who is just starting out, it’s okay to skimp on sample rates and bit rates when publishing your audio files. This will grant your listeners a better experience, as they’ll be able to more quickly download all of your episodes.
Even the National Public Radio (NPR) recommends podcasters to stick to lower bit and sample rates.
With SoundCloud’s limitations, you can only upload 3 hours’ worth of audio every month. On platforms that limit uploads by file size, you can make your audio files of lower quality and upload a lot more audio. And in reality, you won’t be sacrificing a whole lot of audio quality.
A lot of other platforms go against SoundCloud’s practices and limit podcasters’ uploads by file size. This tends to work out a lot better, so it may be worth looking into other platforms.
The Brand Isn’t Stable
SoundCloud has been around for more than ten years, but this doesn’t mean it hasn’t experienced bumps in the road. In 2017, the company had to lay off nearly 40% of its staff. And, it was saved from bankruptcy by a nearly $170 million investment in the same year. Since then, the company has assured its audience that it isn’t going anywhere, but it’s important to remain skeptical.
Instead of placing all of your eggs in one basket, we recommend that you use SoundCloud as a syndication tool rather than as your main media host.
It may be smart to use SoundCloud alongside other imitation SoundCloud websites like Blubrry, Simplecast, and Spreaker.
Comparing SoundCloud with Other Platforms
As a music enthusiast, I have tried various music streaming platforms, including Spotify and Bandcamp. Comparing SoundCloud with these platforms, I found that each has its own unique features and drawbacks.
Spotify, for instance, is a popular platform with a vast music library and excellent music discovery features. However, it is primarily a music streaming platform and does not offer the same social media and music-releasing features as SoundCloud.
Bandcamp, on the other hand, is a platform that focuses on supporting independent artists and allowing them to sell their music directly to fans. While it offers some social media features, it is not as extensive as SoundCloud’s.
When it comes to music discovery, SoundCloud stands out with its extensive user-generated content. It allows anyone to upload content, making it an excellent platform for discovering new and upcoming artists. However, this also means that the platform can have sub-par audio quality content.
Overall, SoundCloud offers a unique combination of music streaming, music-releasing, and social media features that make it an excellent platform for both musicians and music enthusiasts. While it may not have the same extensive music library as Spotify, it makes up for it with its user-generated content and community-driven approach.
SoundCloud vs Spotify
Spotify requires an approval process and prefers you to work with one of their aggregator partners to get your content up.
We prefer SoundCloud, as it is much easier to upload original content for new artists. You can upload 3 hours’ worth of content per month for free, and you don’t have to go through a rigorous approval process.
Think of Spotify like Netflix: only certain content is allowed to be uploaded. SoundCloud can be equated to YouTube, as anyone with an account can upload their content.
Spotify does this to exclusively provide higher-quality content. While this sounds great on the surface, it can be extremely limiting for new podcasters who are just starting and trying to get their names out there.
Success Story: SoundCloud The Read
Some new podcasters’ biggest bone to pick with SoundCloud is the lack of high-quality audio available on it. Because anyone can upload to it, SoundCloud is home to a lot of sub-par audio files. These podcasts with low audio quality can flood the platform and make it difficult for the content you worked hard to create to stand out.
Even with all of the low-grade content on SoundCloud, there are plenty of examples of podcasters who have experienced a lot of success with this platform.
For example, The Read SoundCloud is a successful podcast hosted by internet personalities Kid Fury and Crissle West. Their show comedically reviews different events and people associated with music, hip hop and pop culture.
These podcasters got their start on SoundCloud and have since earned more than 80,000 followers and 85 million listens worldwide.
The Read is just one example. There are thousands of successful podcasters on SoundCloud who cover niches including business, the environment, social justice, fashion, sports, music, and more.
Final Thoughts: Is SoundCloud a Good Choice for Podcasters?
Even though it was initially designed for music rather than podcast hosting, SoundCloud has become a go-to option for a lot of rising podcasters. It offers a fair playing field for everyone, no matter if you’re just starting out or have acquired a decently-sized audience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does SoundCloud’s audio quality compare to other streaming services?
SoundCloud’s audio quality is generally regarded as lower than other popular streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. This is because SoundCloud uses a lower bitrate for its audio files, which can result in a loss of detail and clarity. However, it’s worth noting that SoundCloud is primarily a platform for independent artists and creators, and many listeners value the unique content that can be found on the platform over audio quality.
What are the benefits of upgrading to SoundCloud Go?
Upgrading to SoundCloud Go provides several benefits, including ad-free listening, offline playback, and access to exclusive content. Additionally, SoundCloud Go offers higher quality audio streaming than the free version of the platform.
Is there a noticeable difference in audio quality between SoundCloud’s free and paid versions?
Yes, there is a noticeable difference in audio quality between SoundCloud’s free and paid versions. SoundCloud Go offers higher quality audio streaming than the free version of the platform, which can result in a clearer and more detailed listening experience.
What is the cost of SoundCloud Go+ and is it worth it?
The cost of SoundCloud Go+ is $9.99 per month. Whether or not it’s worth it depends on your individual listening habits and preferences. If you frequently use SoundCloud and value ad-free listening, offline playback, and access to exclusive content, then SoundCloud Go+ may be worth the cost.
What is the bitrate for SoundCloud audio in 2023?
As of 2023, the bitrate for SoundCloud audio is 128 kbps for free users and 256 kbps for SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+ subscribers.
How does SoundCloud Go compare to SoundCloud Go+ according to Reddit users?
According to some Reddit users, the main difference between SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+ is the ability to access certain tracks that are exclusive to the more expensive Go+ plan. Additionally, some users have reported that the higher quality audio streaming offered by Go+ is noticeable and worth the extra cost.
Though it certainly has its limitations, we recommend that podcasters use at least the free plan to take advantage of SoundCloud’s wide-reaching audience. It’s a great, easy-to-use starter platform that will maximize your reach and help connect you with fans.
You can even try the premium plans using SoundCloud’s free trial. Just be sure to cancel after 30 days if you don’t want to pay for the more advanced features.