How To Make Money On Soundcloud

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How To Make Money On SoundCloud

With digitalization taking leaps and bounds, online streaming continues to be a big thing. There are various ways on how you can stream music and audio online, but Soundcloud is one of the most viable options in the market. Let’s explore further why this is preferred over the competition. Read on to know how to make money on SoundCloud. 

What Is SoundCloud?

Soundcloud is a popular European online music sharing and distribution platform located in Berlin, Germany. The website was founded by Eric Wahlfross and Alexander Ljung to enable people to upload, share, and promote audio around the world. In its more than a decade of existence, it has grown to be one of the largest and most successful music streaming services in the market, with its housing more than 175 million members worldwide. 

SoundCloud has two primary target markets – those who want to share their audio and music tracks, and those who just want to fulfill their hearts by listening to these audios. 

We call the first group as contributors. They are mainly in charge of recording, organizing, and posting their music tracks on SoundCloud so other people can hear them. At the same time, they also have the power to monitor the demographics of their visitors to ensure that they are still relevant to their followers. 

On the other hand, the SoundCloud listeners are those who stream, download, and even buy the contributors’ music. They also have the power to promote these offerings by promoting it to their other social media accounts, posting these tracks on their online groups, and putting these on their “favorite” album. 

Pros And Cons Of SoundCloud

SoundCloud

Pros

  • In Soundcloud, you have the option to upload existing audio (something you have recorded in the past) or record it on the spot. Its interface is very convenient, so you don’t have to worry about it being time-consuming at all. 
  • You can also choose your target audience on this platform. If you’re still not confident about yourself and you’re still not ready for the world to hear your voice, you have the option to share it privately with your friends. But if you feel that it’s time to get into the music arena already, then you can post it publicly on websites, blogs, or any social media network. You can even embed your audio in these places since it has a unique URL address in store for you. 
  • Another unique feature that Soundcloud has is its “timed comment” system. Your listeners can drop their respective comments on a specific part of the track so you and your other followers can see the feedback easily. For instance, one of the users finds a particular songline at the 3rd-minute mark compelling to listen to; then they can pin their comment there. You don’t have to scramble and look for it further. 
  • One feature that sets Soundcloud apart is the fact that there are no limits to file sizes. You can upload audios as little as 1 kb, but you also have the freedom to post a 2-hour podcast on the platform. Just be reminded that the uploading time will depend on the file size – the higher the file size, the longer the waiting time. 
  • The users also prefer Soundcloud compared to other audio uploading sites due to its user-friendly website. Even if you’re a new member, you can easily explore its dashboard due to its fantastic interface. 

Cons

  • Even if you can record on the spot, the downside to this is that you cannot edit these at all. The site has no built-in added effects and editing tools. Therefore, if you want to add special effects on your audio, use another recording device and edit using another software instead of recording yourself in Soundcloud on the spot. 
  • Another disadvantage of Soundcloud is that only those listeners who have Soundcloud are allowed to follow a contributor’s account or comment on a specific track. Sadly, most fans do not sign up on this platform. 
  • It is costly to engage in the Soundcloud premium subscription. You have to spend $9.99 per month so that you’ll be given unlimited access to many songs wherein all of them are ad-free. 

How To Get Started

Now that you know what Soundcloud is and its pros and cons, it’s now time to join the community and get started. Here is a guide, alongside some tips, on how you can get started with the platform. 

Sign Up For A Soundcloud Account

Go to Soundcloud’s website and look for the ‘Create Account’ button located on the top right-hand corner of the screen. You have the option to login using either your Google or Facebook account, depending on what’s more convenient for you. If you don’t want to link your profile to these social media platforms, you can also create a stand-alone Soundcloud profile using an email address. 

Set Up Your Profile

One of the strategies to work your way towards the top is to look legit. Therefore, setting up your profile properly is an essential step. 

For one, you have the freedom to change your username or your URL so that your followers can track and find you easier. You may use your alias or your full name – your choice. 

At the same time, it is recommended to change the images on both your profile and header. Personalize your profile description as well so that you’ll be able to connect to your audience easier. 

Make sure to add social links as well so that your listeners and potential partners can easily message you for projects and proposals. 

Follow Your Favorite Music Artists

As a beginner in this area, you still have to establish yourself by creating your Stream. A Stream is equivalent to a social media feed where you have to follow friends, labels, or artists. 

If you already have people in mind, you may type their names on the search bar and click ‘People’ on the left-hand side. Once you see their profile, you can then click Follow. You may also check out the suggested ‘Who To Follow’ located on the right side of the home page. 

Upload Your Own Music

If you want to be the next big thing, then you can start by uploading your own music on the site. Just go to the main dashboard and look for the Upload button on the top right-hand corner and then click ‘Choose a file to upload’ after. 

After attaching your file, you will then be prompted to give it a Title, Genre, File Description, and Additional Tags. Take note that you can also change its privacy setting by selecting either Private or Public, depending on who you want your music to capture. Once you’re done editing everything, click Save and wait until the site gives you the Upload complete confirmation page. 

Build Your Community

It’s not enough for you to have good music to prosper in this industry. There are other strategies that you also have to take into account so that you can build a community of followers. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind. 

  • One of the best ways for strangers to find your music is by tagging your music. The more relatable, trendy, and concise your tag is, the easier you are to find. Make sure that you are honest with your tags. If you uploaded an R&B track, then set the primary genre to R&B, not pop culture. You may even add locations and moods to your tag to add more variance. 
  • Do not just wait for your fans to comment on your waveform; instead, you should also interact with them. You can ask them regarding their feedback if you’re not sure about a section of your audio or you may even tell them stories on how you made your track. You can post something like: “I’m not sure if the guitar and bass compliment here. What do you guys think?” 
  • Do not just rely on your music. Instead, you should also put extra effort into your album or track’s artwork. The higher the resolution and the more the audience can connect to it, the higher the chances people will subscribe. Ensure that you’ll also add extra information to your file description so that people will relate to you better. You may include the music’s backstory, add lyrics, and provide a shoutout to loyal viewers. 
  • It is also recommended for you to help other co-artists by sharing and reposting their tunes and mixes. For one, this strategy will tell your audience that you’re human too, and you appreciate good music when you hear one. They’ll most likely perceive this as a humble move. 

Maintain Your Account Through Audience Statistics

For you to stay relevant, you have to make sure that what you’re posting is still in line with what your audience wants. SoundCloud Stats lets you understand your visitors more by knowing how they listen, where they are located, and what kinds of tracks they prefer. You may download Pulse – an app that easily monitors your data. 

Download Soundcloud Pulse Now

How To Make Money On Soundcloud

counting money

Recently, Soundcloud just opened its direct monetization initiative to the public. This means that the artists on the platform can now make money through uploading their music and audio. This program is now known as the Soundcloud Premier. 

The Soundcloud Premier opened in 2014 but was only limited to an invite-only approach. However, the users asked for more. With this in mind, the company recently decided to let indie and aspiring artists to generate profit through songs that are self-uploaded in the website. Here are some of the things that you should know with regards to the Soundcloud Premier program. 

Who are qualified to join Soundcloud Premier?

Although Soundcloud has moved away from the invite-only beta, there are still requirements before you can join this prestigious initiative. They set this to ensure that the users continue to upload high-quality offering, instead of just focusing on earning money. Listed below are the things that will let you quality for Premier. 

  • Must be an independent creator
  • Has a pro or pro unlimited account
  • Received at least 5,000 plays in the previous month
  • Located in Soundcloud-monetized countries (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Ireland)
  • Must be 18 years old and above
  • Account has no copyright infringement reports and strikes against it

How long will I have to wait to get accepted into the program?

Once you have filled up the form and signed the agreement, you have to wait for 24 hours for the company to review your profile. You will then see a blue icon on your profile if you get accepted. This symbol means that you are qualified for monetizing. 

What are the steps to monetizing a track?

Below you’ll find a quick guide on how you can monetize your track. 

  1. Go to the Tracks page and select your desired track/s for monetization. 
  2. Click the pen icon beside it to edit. 
  3. Go to the monetization tab of the said track. 
  4. Enable the monetization setting and enter the required details on the Metadata tab. 
  5. Save your changes.

How much will I earn from monetizing my tracks?

The company revealed that those creators who monetize using the Premier program would receive a 55 percent net revenue share – covering the tracks they have the rights to. In addition, Soundcloud will also pay a particular amount to rights holders for publishing royalties. 

Take note that you also have to work on your marketing and promotion to be able to create more traction to your song. The more listeners you have on your stream, the higher the payment you’ll receive. 

Are there more ways to earn money on this platform?

As an artist, you also have the opportunity to make money via brand partnerships. These refer to sponsorship packages offered to selected Premier artists. Certain companies look for relevant tracks where they can insert their promotions. Some brands already have a preferred artist for these strategies, but in some cases, Soundcloud is the one who recommends artists to these brands. 

Aside from the Premier program, you can also generate profit by selling your music on Soundcloud. You can add the links of your online store to your Soundcloud profile. Once they’re directed to your website, they will then be given the option to purchase the tracks they’re interested in. 

If you want to venture out in this endeavor, make sure to familiarize yourself thoroughly with how the business goes. You may use Brian Reynold’s book entitled Make Money With Soundcloud: Discover How To Get Rich With Soundcloud as your guide. 

Make Money With Soundcloud

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Author
C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.

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