Why SoundCloud Will Beat Other Streaming Music Services

Soundcloud-logoBy Dan Polaske an entrepreneur & blogger. Check out his artists interview series coming soon.

Who is the current leader in the streaming service war? Not Spotify. Not Rdio. Not Deezer. Not Beats Music (just launched) The answer: YouTube! Ok so YouTube is not technically a streaming service, however more music is streamed on YouTube than any of these other streaming services. Why is that? There are many reasons. The biggest being user generated content.

Users can upload music directly for free, music is available almost instantaneously, and anything can be uploaded (including copyrighted material). These streaming services mentioned do not have the same offering. However, there is a service designed specifically for music/sounds that has all three of these qualities…Soundcloud.


To get your music on most streaming services you must go through an artist aggregator. There are paid and (apparently) free options here are Spotify’s recommendations. You can upload up to 2 hours of audio for free directly to Soundcloud.

Direct & Instantaneous

According to TuneCore it takes 2-3 business days to get your music on Spotify. In a world of up to the second content, that doesn’t quite cut it. On Soundcloud your music is uploaded directly and is live almost instantaneously.

Copyright Friendly

In order for your music to go live on most streaming services it must be cleared for copyrights. In other words my (unofficial) remix of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” will not make it to Spotify. However, on Soundcloud it is totally acceptable. Well, for now. Regardless which side you are on in the copyright debate, there is no question that the ability to upload copyrighted material helps a platform grow. It has certainly helped YouTube. Uploading remixes of copyrighted material is also beneficial to artists both as the original artist and the producer remixing (IMHO).

Soundcloud has focused on making a platform creators want to use. They will continue to improve their consumer experience, as mainstream adoption continues. This will only entice more and more creators to join. I don’t believe streaming music is necessarily a zero sum game. However, I do believe that any platform that continues to offer unfiltered user generated content has a great chance of sticking around for a long time.

Share on:


  1. You’re comparing apples and oranges…
    And FYI Soundcloud DO have a copyright-scanning tool. So its NOT possible to freely upload copyrighted music for most music.

  2. SoundCloud wants us, the ones who create the content that drives their site, to foot the bill. I have 10 hours of music I’d love to share on SoundCloud, but I’m sure as hell not going to pay them for the privilege of doing it, while YouTube pays *me* to upload much more bandwidth-intensive files.

  3. From the consumers perspective I see them as very similar services.
    Yes, Soundcloud does have copyright-scanning. However, unofficial remixes of copyrighted material seem get through just fine. This is certainly not the case on Spotify.

  4. Heyoo!!
    My sentiments exactly. Many are still, to this day, surprised when I tell them that SoundCloud is my music streamer of choice. I’m a fan of stuff that most people aren’t listening to, if that makes sense. A lot of hungry, young, and creative producers live on SoundCloud and the amount of undiscovered gems I come across there far exceeds what I find on major music streamers (save maybe Songza, that’s been doing me well lately).
    And as a music creator, I love the fact that I can engage with the artists (assuming they’re not too busy to monitor the social component of their SC profile) around the MUSIC only. Not photos, or videos, or articles – but the MUSIC.
    Just my two cents. =)

  5. But how can remixes of official music be seen as a “similar” service? The average user dont care about remixes. They want the original tracks and most often the Top 100 tracks.

  6. Different products different users.
    A user who wants to listen what ever happens to pass as the crap in the top 100 isn’t going to go soundcloud.
    The user who wants to find some fresh new artist / music in some more obscure genre (obscure as in just not the mainstream genres) isn’t going on spotify.
    Music fans use soundcloud, music consumers use spotify

Comments are closed.