Music Business

SoundCloud Now Allows You To Pay To Promote Your Music (Spoiler, It’s Advertising)

Following on the heels of streaming giant Spotify, SoundCloud appears to be the latest platform to introduce a pay-to-promote feature, allowing artists and labels to pay a fee in order to give their song a promotional boost.


Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

I guess it was inevitable that this would happen. First Spotify launched a pay-to-promote feature, and now SoundCloud has done it as well with its new Promote tool.

Promote allows an artist or record label to pay to boost their tracks to the top of listener feeds and mobile homepages. Basically, it’s paid advertising of your tracks.

Like with most other online advertising, you can set their own budget and choose from a variety of targeting options to help get more streams and reach more listeners. If you’ve ever advertised on Facebook or Google, you know that can be a can of worms, as it doesn’t always turn into increased visibility unless you’re really savvy in how to go about it.

The way Spotify does it is through paid “Music For You” pop-ups that work on both free and premium accounts. These had already existed until the company got the bright idea that it could rake in some of that label promotional money by having them pay for it. The same with SoundCloud, although most likely the money will be coming from individual artists rather than labels.

It should be noted that Spotify still says that the feature is a “test,” but that’s probably not for long if it appears to be a good revenue source. In the case of SoundCloud though, Promote is now in full launch.

Note that this feature is only available to SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited accounts (in other words, the premium ones you pay for).

I’m generally for online advertising as I’ve found it generally useful, but what I’ve also found is as a service’s advertising service matures, it gets more and more expensive for decreased results. Companies tend to squeeze out as much money from advertisers as possible as things go along.

My recommendation is to give Promote at least a limited try if you have a reasonable SoundCloud presence, but don’t commit big money until you’re sure the results are there. Then, keep watching your spend like a hawk as the rules and algorithm will eventually change, usually not in your favor.

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  1. I guess it was bound to happen. It will be interesting how this might help the indie artist. However, I think it will only be something the majors can afford.

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