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Spotify vs Soundcloud 2024: The Better Music Stream Service?

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Spotify vs soundcloud

Choosing between Spotify and Soundcloud? The decision for listeners and creators alike isn’t just about access to music and which platform better serves your needs.

Spotify excels with its algorithm-driven personal playlists and expansive library, appealing to those who enjoy discovering new music seamlessly.

On the other hand, Soundcloud’s unique appeal lies in its vast collection of indie, DJ mixes, and unreleased tracks, making it a haven for those seeking the unconventional.

This article dives deep into the nuances of both platforms, offering insights to help you make an informed choice, whether you’re streaming your favorite tunes or sharing your own sounds.

What Is Spotify Streaming Platform?

Spotify is a popular music streaming service that combines music and podcasts. It has over 400 million active monthly users, and 180 million have a Spotify premium subscription. It allows music lovers to follow artists and keep track of tour dates and new music releases.

Once you have built a library of your favorite artists and songs, Spotify will give you tailored recommendations depending on your tastes. (Also see, ‘How To Hide A Podcast On Spotify‘)

What Is Soundcloud Music Streaming Service?

Soundcloud was established in 2007. Being an open platform, Soundcloud focuses on listeners and artists in the music industry from all skill and experience levels. It has 76 million registered users. As long as you own the rights to a track, say an independent music track, anyone can upload music to Soundcloud.

As a creator, you can monetize your uploads and connect with fans.

ALSO SEE: SoundCloud Review


Both Spotify and Soundcloud have a free version for users. Ads support the Spotify free version and have some limited features. You have access to all of the playlists and albums that Spotify has, but music can only be played in shuffle mode with only six skips per hour.

You can’t, however, download songs for offline listening, so you will need to be connected to the internet to listen.

The free version of Soundcloud gives you access to all of the songs on the platform but only allows creators to upload up to three hours of music and limits the statistics available. For listeners, there are ads and you can’t download songs for listening offline on the free version.

Spotify Premium costs $9.99 monthly for a single membership but also offers both Duo and Family accounts for $12.99 and $15.99, respectively. There is also a student option on Spotify Premium that costs $4.99 per month.

Soundcloud has two levels of premium membership. The first is Soundcloud Go, which costs $4.99, whereas Soundcloud Go+ costs $9.99.

Sound Quality

If you’re just listening to music on your phone with standard earphones, then the differences in sound quality between Spotify and Soundcloud are negligible and aren’t something you should be concerned about. (also see, ‘How To Listen To A Podcast On iPhone‘)

However, if you’re listening through high-quality equipment (see also ‘Windscreen Vs Pop Filter‘) and headphones, then sound quality is very important.

For free users, Soundcloud offers music with a streaming quality of 128 kilobits per second, whereas the free tier of Spotify streams at 160kbps. If you plan on sticking to the free services only, then Spotify has better sound quality.

The premium tiers of both services offer higher music-quality streaming. With Spotify, you can turn on high-quality music streaming to download songs or stream in up to 320 kbps. Soundcloud Go+ also offers streaming at 320kbps, so the premium tiers of both services match up well.

Size Of The Catalog

Size Of The Catalog

Currently, Spotify has more than 80 million songs available for users to listen to. In contrast, Soundcloud has more than 200 million songs available. (Also see, ‘How To Loop A Podcast On Spotify‘)

Although Soundcloud has over twice as many songs in its library as Spotify does, the best catalog for you will depend on the type of music you hope to listen to.

Spotify concentrates on mainstream music from established artists and has a wide range of songs from popular artists around the world. While Soundcloud has some tracks from these artists, it focuses more on new and independent artists.

Regarding audio other than songs, Spotify is the best option. Soundcloud only carries music but Spotify also has over three million podcasts.

For Musicians

As we just mentioned, Soundcloud has a large music library from new and independent artists. If you are a new creator who is looking to get your music out there, establish a fanbase, and get some useful statistics, then SoundCloud is a great place to start. 

Even at the free tier, you can upload up to three hours of music, although you won’t have full access to the useful analytical tools that Soundcloud provides. If you upgrade to a premium tier, then you can get comments from listeners and interact with them, also.

Spotify has more options for earning money as it pays for streams and allows creators to add merchandise and ticket-selling options. However, it’s not a friendly platform for new artists and is best suited for professional musicians.

ALSO SEE: Best Music Podcasts

Apps And The User Experience

The Spotify app is very easy to use. It has a very user-friendly interface and even new users will quickly be able to navigate and find their favorite artists, build playlists, and get recommendations. The web version of Spotify is very similar and just as easy to use.

Spotify also has apps that are available for a wide variety of other platforms. You can download Spotify to games consoles, Smart TVs, and computers, and use it with appliances such as Amazon’s Alexa with ease.

Soundcloud has a good app and browser version also, but it isn’t available for download to your computer. Unlike Spotify, Soundcloud also can’t be downloaded to other devices such as game consoles.

If you’re looking for a streaming service to use on your phone or web browser, then both Spotify and Soundcloud offer good user experiences. However, Spotify is more integrated with other devices.

Final Thoughts on Whats Better Soundcloud or Spotify

Spotify vs. Soundcloud

There are many similarities between Spotify and Soundcloud. They both offer both free and paid tiers and have very similar streaming qualities. Soundcloud has more songs on its platform whereas Spotify has a large library of podcasts.

If you’re a new and fresh creator looking to share your music, then Soundcloud is your best choice. We would also recommend Soundcloud if you want to discover independent music. However, for listeners who want to access popular and mainstream music, Spotify is the better service.

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Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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