I’ve been debating this question with friends lately. I’ve got a Spotify subscription because it came free with my phone, but SoundCloud is the platform I enjoy the most. If you’re like me, maybe you want to know what makes each service unique or if one has more to offer than the other.
So without further ado, here’s a breakdown of each service and why my friends and I like them:
SoundCloud: allows you to follow artists back easily; unlimited uploads; playlist algorithms can suck sometimes; has better exclusives; profile pages look cooler.
Spotify: the most popular streaming platform (in terms of subscribers); more curated playlists; college student discounts.
Artists with smaller followings tend to upload it exclusively on SoundCloud.
That’s because Spotify pays a lower royalty rate, and they want their music to be exclusive. In other words, if you subscribe to stream an artist’s latest single on SoundCloud or Spotify, the revenue will likely be higher for the former.
As far as curation goes, I prefer SoundCloud to Spotify. Their “Related Artists” and “Suggested for You” playlists are awesome ways to discover new music. That’s not to say that Spotify doesn’t have good play.
Neither: YouTube has a lot of songs, too; there are tons of streaming services out there.
Ability to privately share demos and unreleased recordings within SoundCloud’s
Spotify has a similar platform (Showcase), but I’ve never used it. So if music discovery isn’t your thing, you probably won’t find much use for either site. If you do like finding new songs, SoundCloud is the way to go—especially for indie or underground artists.
So is SoundCloud better than Spotify? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. If you want an easy way to discover new music and pay a low subscription fee, Spotify is probably your best bet. But if you want the most interaction with artists and other listeners within your favorite genres, I suggest also checking out SoundCloud. SoundCloud’s followers can easily interact with artists, while Spotify curators are biased.
My personal opinion is that I think both websites have pros and cons, but if you’re going to subscribe to one or the other, it all depends on your music taste and which artists you like to follow back.
So no, it’s not better than Spotify—but I’m glad they’re both around because you can’t go wrong with either one.
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