Pros and Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start Your Music Career

Pros and Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start Your Music Career

For most artists in the industry, SoundCloud’s music streaming and distribution website is a popular first choice for an online presence. And why not? Since its launch in 2012, SoundCloud has enabled many veterans and new artists to solidify their careers. Moreover, the platform has continuously adapted itself to meet the needs of an ever-changing music community. 


Pros and Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start Your Music Career
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How User-Friendly Is SoundCloud? Can It Be Relied Upon for An Income Option?

SoundCloud is relatively easy to join and use. It offers various types of accounts that can enable an account-holder to earn an income. This is in addition to building up a fan base and an online presence. SoundCloud relies primarily on a real-time play count on the uploaded music files for the purpose. Use this link to know more about how to accumulate SoundCloud plays quickly and affordably.

What Are the Pros of Using SoundCloud to Start a Music Career?

  • It is user-friendly:SoundCloud is easy to operate. It features excellent navigation choices, and it allows for easy cross-platform sharing of embedded links to files. For a new artist looking for an effective way of gaining a bigger audience and for the possibility of earning from their work with minimum investment on the social platform, this website is indeed full of plus-points. 
  • It supports both audio and video file uploads:For any artist in the music industry, this is a significant advantage. Most other music sharing platforms are primarily visual platforms. While it may be possible to upload a video for an individual music file, it is often not financially feasible to make and upload quality music videos for each file an artist creates. For a new music artist, the flexibility to upload podcasts, audio, and mixed-format files using the same set of tools is a boon.
  • It is easy to access across devices:Files uploaded to SoundCloud can be accessed through laptops, desktops, and mobile devices over with equal ease. SoundCloud is accessible through both Android and iOS apps and is compatible with several browsers. This enables listeners to play an artist’s music anywhere, anytime. New Artists need not fear losing out on potential regular listeners over their choice of a music-sharing platform with SoundCloud.  

    Pros and Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start Your Music Career
    Photo by Soundcloud

  • It is a website with global outreach:For any artist seeking to build a large fan base for their music, SoundCloud has the advantage of being internationally famous. Music Labels across the globe are continually scouting the platform for new talent. Suppose one has quality content and can gather enough SoundCloud plays to make their music trend. In that case, they are more likely to be discovered by talent scouts, producers, bloggers, and DJs on SoundCloud than on most other music streaming platforms.   
  • It allows the artist to earn from their content:As long as one’s content can generate and sustain several organic SoundCloud plays, artists can make money and popularity from their uploaded files. 
  • It creates new listening opportunities by generating suggested playlists:As long as an artist tags their work with correct labels, they have a high chance of featuring in a playlist generated by SoundCloud for its listeners. Auto-generated playlists like “Play Related Tracks”, “Top 50” or “New Hot” offer a mix of both seasoned and new artists to the music community and thus bring a new musician more publicity opportunities.
  • It integrates several social networking features: SoundCloud provides better social networking opportunities compared to most other platforms. This can work to a newcomer’s advantage as the artist has to build a fan base both online and offline from a count of zero. Some of these features are:
  • Listeners can like, share, and repost files. Listeners can also bookmark favorites and download select tracks of an artist. This brings an organic promotion to a contributor’s soundtracks.
  • Artists, as well as their listeners, can cross-post embedded links to SoundCloud files on other social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This enables an artist to reach out to a more engaged audience.
  • An artist can create groups or join and follow other groups based on genre, theme, and several other criteria. This enables artists to interact with listeners and other artists. They can find potent collaborators, learn from other artists, and build contacts in the industry besides growing their fan base. 
  • Artists and listeners can directly communicate with each other through likes, shares, and comments on the Waveform of an uploaded track. 
  • It allows young professionals to collaborate, edit, and modify their music:SoundCloud offers artists features to share snippets and draft versions of their files to generate reviews privately. This helps them gather feedback and improve their soundtracks accordingly. For any severe music artist, this opportunity to learn and grow without negatively impacting their follower-count is a significant advantage.
  • It lets an artist make the rules: The artist is in charge. Not only is recording and uploading to SoundCloud easy, but artists also don’t have to cater to any label or music company’s policies to tailor their soundtracks. An artist can pace out new releases on their schedule. Moreover, SoundCloud supports several file formats like WAV, MP3, FLAC, and AMR that let the music artist work with the most comfortable structures.
  • It lets artists add links to their official websites and online stores: A new artist will appreciate the ability to sell their music by linking their online stores to their SoundCloud Profile under their bio-details. They can also embed links for buying a file in the track’s description or comments on the Waveform. 

Pros and Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start Your Music Career
Photo by Ryan Howerter from photopin.com

What Are the Cons of Using SoundCloud to Start a Music Career?

It requires other social sites to work at the full potential: Although one of the most popular global websites for music sharing, SoundCloud doesn’t have a strong enough independent social presence. Despite being one of the largest music streaming platforms globally, SoundCloud has a smaller number of users compared to other social media platforms. It needs to piggyback on other platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, to reach bigger audiences.

It may not have the required trending power for all music: SoundCloud allows uploading and content-sharing across all varieties and genres of music, but not all of them can generate enough SoundCloud plays. Specific genres like Rap, or songs that can be tagged into multiple categories, tend to do very well on SoundCloud. Most other genres do not catch the audience’s eye.

It ultimately needs visuals for successful marketing: Although music artists can concentrate on the audio with more focus, the right visuals are necessary for creating a professional presence. An artist has to develop appealing profiles and add at least a few quality videos to lure a curious audience to their music.

It requires more marketing strategies than simply sharing music: A new artist must think up several marketing methods to get their music out to the world. Apart from requesting known contacts to share their music, they need to organize polls, ask for audience participation in mini-competitions and enhance their content’s visibility to obtain more SoundCloud plays.

It can be expensive for new artists: SoundCloud subscriptions are comparatively affordable. That said, it can be a costly choice for artists until they can generate and maintain the minimum required organic SoundCloud plays to monetize their content. Moreover, the site pays a percentage of its income to the artist who cuts. This means that even if the artist can generate the required number of real SoundCloud plays, the income range will likely vary month to month.

It can be detrimental to mental health: The number of plays received by a file determines its worth and visibility in search results. Rather than nuances of music, artists who are easily affected by public opinion can find themselves suffering mentally and emotionally if they use the platform as the first choice for launching their music career. The social networking features also render artist most vulnerable to scathing and harsh public reactions. They may not be able to focus on generating unique and quality content when the mind is preoccupied with strategies to improve SoundCloud play counts. Mental health is an often ignored but important casualty when it comes to attempting to break big on the internet. 

It doesn’t allow for creating albums: While the website is useful for sharing individual files, artists can’t group their files into collections or albums. This means each song needs to be uploaded, tagged, downloaded, transmitted, or reposted as individual files. Listeners who want to listen to a set of files cannot discover or download them together because of this drawback of SoundCloud. This feature can be off-putting to many listeners, and it may push them away from engaging with an artist’s larger body of work. 

Conclusion

Although SoundCloud does have a few pitfalls, its pros outweigh the cons. Ultimately, SoundCloud is not just about distributing music, and it’s an ever-growing and dynamic music community in itself. Hence, it remains an apt platform for any serious artist in the music industry to launch oneself online.

Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

Editor of www.nohoartsdistrict.com