What is SoundCloud? Complete Guide 2024

You might have encountered SoundCloud through its advertisements or come across its app on your mobile device. Despite this exposure, you might still be uncertain about what SoundCloud is and whether it aligns with your interests.

SoundCloud is a platform for discovering music from emerging artists globally. If you enjoy exploring new music, it's certainly a service worth exploring.

However, SoundCloud offers more than just music discovery. It provides a space for aspiring artists to showcase their songs and gain insights into their performance through statistical data analysis.

What Is SoundCloud?


Established in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform.

The founders, who crossed paths while studying at the esteemed KTH Royal Institute of Technology, shared a passion for music and envisioned creating a platform akin to Flickr or WordPress, but tailored for audio content.

Initially conceived as a modest community for artists to promote their audio creations, SoundCloud has evolved into a prominent platform for indie musicians to gain visibility. Renowned mainstream artists such as Post Malone, Chance the Rapper, and Kehlani kick-started their careers on SoundCloud.

Today, SoundCloud encompasses various facets: a streaming service, a distribution platform for emerging artists, and an online hub for fans. Nevertheless, its essence remains rooted in facilitating music discovery and exploration.

What Can I Do With SoundCloud?

How you use SoundCloud depends on which of the above categories you fall into.

1. Listening and Curating Music

Discover new music by browsing genres, exploring trends, creating playlists, and more. SoundCloud offers familiar functionalities akin to other music platforms, enabling you to listen, enjoy, and share music seamlessly.

Control playback using the toolbar while playing a track. Utilize features like shuffle and repeat, share, repost, or like songs, and add tunes to playlists or your Next Up queue.

Stay updated on artists you follow, receive notifications for interactions, and revisit your listening history to replay favorite songs.

Transitioning from a listener to a curator, you can amass a following based on your musical preferences.

Read More: How to Download Song from SoundCloud? 

2. Creating Music

Upload your tracks, utilize the mastering tool, and share your creations with the world. SoundCloud dedicates a section on its platform for creators to leverage available tools.

Explore SoundCloud's creator videos to learn about profile setup, track optimization, promotion, distribution, monetization, and access detailed statistics.

Consult SoundCloud's comprehensive creator guide for written guidance on similar topics, alongside copyright policies, release strategies, and other artist services.

Forge connections with fellow musicians, participate in the Creator Forum to glean insights from peers and industry experts, strategize networking efforts, and establish your presence in the artist community.

3. Additional Options for Creators

Beyond music, SoundCloud caters to podcasters and DJs with specialized features and tools.

Whether you're venturing into podcasting or an experienced pro, leverage SoundCloud's extensive listener base to share, connect, and expand your podcast's audience.

SoundCloud Pros & Cons

Below are the main pros and cons of SoundCloud.

SoundCloud Pros

1. Diverse pool of independent artists: SoundCloud hosts established artists alongside up-and-comers, making it a treasure trove for discovering hidden gems from emerging talents. Hits like "Old Town Road" and "The Git Up" originated from SoundCloud.

2. Organic discovery: While personalized recommendations exist, SoundCloud's discovery process feels less algorithm-driven compared to platforms like Spotify, allowing users to break out of recommendation loops more easily.

3. Stream for updates: Users can follow artists and playlists to receive updates and keep track of their favorite tunes. Additionally, they can share tracks with the community, akin to retweeting on Twitter.

4. Private sharing: SoundCloud offers private sharing options, allowing users to privately embed and share artists and tracks.

SoundCloud Cons

1. Sound quality: SoundCloud's audio quality lags behind competitors like Spotify, with lower bitrates (128 kbps vs. Spotify's 320 kbps), resulting in noticeable differences in sound fidelity.

2. User experience: While visually appealing in many aspects, SoundCloud's user experience can be confusing and challenging to navigate.

3. Lack of offline support: SoundCloud lacks offline support for free users, requiring subscription to SoundCloud Go to download songs for offline listening.

Conclusion on What is SoundCloud

SoundCloud remains true to its roots as a streaming service, distribution platform, and online community, fulfilling its original mission of facilitating music discovery and sharing across genres.

Despite the emergence of rival platforms, SoundCloud has remained relevant by staying attuned to trends and maintaining a platform for artists to showcase their work.

Whether you're in search of a fresh track, eager to share a beloved playlist, or keen to exhibit your artistic talents, SoundCloud serves as the ideal starting point.

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