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SoundCloud VS Spotify Which One Is Better

Published on 22.02.2023 by Maiko Maisadze

Music today is more accessible to everyone than ever before. Music of different genres are available in playlists for various purposes like working out, studying, partying, different moods or. With availability comes the need of artists to get their own music to the listening ears of millions of people all over the world. For listeners, there's a need for discovering new tracks and having access to their favorite works. That is the main purpose of music platforms that serve the same purpose but in different ways. 

When choosing the right platform, users look for certain qualities. If you want to choose a musical platform as a new artist, your decision will be based on how easy it is for people to discover your music, as well as the monetization. For listeners on the other hand, user interface and listening plans are more important. Soundcloud and Spotify are the two leading streaming services with basically no real competition. On what basis can you make a selection between the two? Compare both platforms according to some of the most crucial deciding factors as a listener or an artist planning to put yourself out there through either of them. 

Ease of Use

The first on the list has to be the ease of use, referring to how easy it is to navigate the platform. Having a comfortable, easy user interface is important because it helps listeners find whatever they are looking for quickly. It also makes discovering new music more enjoyable, as well as tailoring personal profile and engaging with the others.

Soundcloud: Starting from the signup page, Soundcloud is pretty easy to use. Users who are not familiar with the platform may find it difficult to navigate the dashboard on the desktop website, however the app has a fairly easy interface.  

Spotify: Over the years, the dashboard and features of Spotify have been updated to fit any device. No matter where you are listening, Spotify is straightforward to use. Without unnecessary taps, you will be able to access your library and stream playlists. Spotify is constantly changing its interface to make it look better.

Subscriptions on Spotify and SoundCloud

Both, Spotify and SoundCloud offer different payment options. Payments, royalties, monetization is a huge deciding factor in whether you use a certain streaming platform or not. The benefits or disadvantages vary depending on who is choosing too.


Free plan: you can access all music on Spotify's free plan from their library of over 100 million tracks and 5 million podcast titles. Unfortunately, there are also many features that you cannot access while using a free plan, ad free listening or free skip number being some of them. You cannot download songs on a free plan, nor can you get the highest audio quality.

Paid plans: Spotify's paid plans vary according to the price, ranging from $5 to $15. You can link up to six accounts on a single premium plan. Spotify even has a special premium offer for students. Depending on your budget, the platform can provide a good value for money. Plus first three months are free and you get to cancel any time without any charge. In addition to streaming all music and giving you access to download songs for later, Spotify paid plans can get you enhanced playlists, the highest sound quality, and group sessions. 


Free plan: There are two categories of subscription plans on SoundCloud. Those for the artists and for listeners. For artists, there is only one free plan, the Next Plan. With the Next Plan, you can upload three hours worth of tracks, share music with collaborators, and get basic fan insights. However, you cannot share your music on other platforms, get paid, or get a profile badge. Listeners can listen to your work without paying. For listeners, the main issues are the advertisements and the limited music library access.

Paid plans: Again, there are two categories for listeners and artists. Artist plans range from $2.50 to $12.00 per month. You can share music on other platforms and get paid through streaming services and collaborators with a premium subscription. You will also get access to mastering credits, partner offers, and tools to track your music. For listeners, the basic paid plan offers an ad-free listening experience and an offline listening option. Other, costlier plans offer you access to full SoundCloud storage, high-quality audio, and even, DJ integration tools. 

High Sound Quality

Some platforms often offer features such as high-resolution audio and surround sound capabilities, which can further enhance the listening experience. These features allow listeners to experience music on a deeper level, as they can pick up on nuances in the audio that would otherwise not be heard. Additionally, high sound quality can create a more immersive experience for listeners as they can hear sound from multiple directions. Spotify and Soundcloud have similar sound quality. Sound quality mostly depends on an internet connection because all music has to reach a certain quality before it can be uploaded. You can also turn up the audio quality for a better listening experience or turn it down to save data. 


Music streaming platforms are becoming increasingly popular, with advertisers ready to take advantage of the trend by placing ads between songs. Ads can be annoying for some listeners because they disrupt the listening experience. They can also be intrusive during quiet night of listening to a podcast. Streaming platforms don't offer any kind of compensation for those who are subjected to ads unless you go premium.

You can get up to three ads while streaming on both Spotify and SoundCloud. Free accounts on Spotify are bombarded with ads. With a premium account, you can get an ad-free listening experience. Instead of playing advertisements between songs, SoundCloud plays them before songs. The ads are few compared to Spotify. This may be because their free plan allows you to enjoy only a limited number of songs. Their paid service, on the other hand, gives you an ad-free, unlimited access to the entire library or tracks.

The Best Musical Platforms for Artists 


Thousands of musical artists sign up on social media every day, but the ones with most exposure get the stage. Before you make up your mind on which platform is the best, you first need to categorize yourself. Are you a new artist or a well-known name? Big artists can use any music platform because people will listen to whatever they put out regardless of it being available only on Tidal for instance. On the other hand, upcoming artists have to put their music out there, meaning uploading it on multiple streaming platforms. While that's the best way to go about it, it's costly, so most new artists can't allow themselves such luxury. Here are some considerations to make before choosing a music platform as a new artist:

  • Popularity. Popular music platforms offer you a large audience, but with popularity comes competition. Lots of artists have to compete for the limelight, and it will be challenging for new artists to get their music where they want it to be. Spotify is more popular than SoundCloud, but again, popularity can be a disadvantage. 
  • Genres. You should check if a music platform plays your genre of music before you get on it. This is critical because it will give you an indication of the types of people that use it and how much exposure you can get. It will also let you know if you can expect to find other musicians in your genre to collaborate with. Both Spotify and SoundCloud play varying genres of music, with Spotify being a bit more niched. This is important for new artists who play a super niche genre like bedroom indie jazzy pop or something along the lines.
  • Quality of listeners. This refers to the ability of people to understand the underlying meaning of music. Quality listeners will provide thoughtful feedback, which the new artists can use to adjust and provide better music. SoundCloud is an established community like platform in the music scene. This is why most new artists start there. Spotify has no commenting feature as of now.
  • Price and opportunities. Aside from the exposure that your music can get, you should also consider payment in two ways: the amount you will pay and the amount you will get paid (in the form of royalties). When it comes to royalties, Spotify offers better rates, but SoundCloud has cheaper payment plans. 

Availability Features: Soundcloud VS Spotify

Availability on platforms: Music platforms need to be available on multiple different software, making it possible for users to have access to their playlists regardless of what type of device they are using. This means that users can access their musical libraries from a mobile phone, tablet, smartwatch or a desktop computer, making it more convenient to listen to whatever you want on the go. SoundCloud is only available on the Web, Android, Chromecast, and a few other platforms. Spotify, on the other hand, is readily available on almost all devices, including speakers, gaming consoles, car audio systems, and more. Furthermore, while using Soundcloud, you can only have one account on one device, whereas Spotify premium plans allow you to link up to six accounts.

Availability in regions: A platform of your choice should be available in most regions around the world, which could be an immense help when it come to promoting you music within the local as well as international outreach, garnering as much exposure as such platforms can give you. It also increases the diversity of music available to listeners, allowing them to discover original and exciting new tracks from around the world. Both platforms can come in handy in this case with SoundCloud available in 190 countries and Spotify constantly expanding their range. 


We have dissected the features and qualities of Spotify and SoundCloud, and by now, you should have made a choice. Depending on your status as a listener, a new or an established artist, your choice will be different. Spotify has a diverse library and high quality features, plus its popularity makes it a viable option for both, music listeners as well as content creators. On top of that, Spotify is basically a pioneer when it comes to audio podcasts. However, if you are on a tight budget, considering SoundCloud instead would be a better choice. The same applies if you want an outreach to certain niche of either listeners or other creators.

As a new artist, your choice should be a platform that will increase your exposure, which could be either of the two, however doing so on SoundCloud is easier. Although Spotify has more users and opportunities, the competition is much higher as well. Spotify may be a suitable option if you are somewhat known already, or have a large amount of followers on other social platforms you can link your Spotify account to.