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SoundCloud - Wikipedia

SoundCloud – Wikipedia

Screenshot of the desktop version of SoundCloudType of businessPrivateType of siteMusic streaming, Internet communityFoundedAugust 2007; 14 years agoStockholm, SwedenHeadquartersBerlin, GermanyOwnerSoundCloud LimitedFounder(s)Alexander LjungEric WahlforssKey peopleMike Weissman (CEO), [1]Eliah Seton (President), [2]Drew Wilson (COO, CFO), [3]Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood (CCO, CMO), [4]Antonious Porch (CDO), [5] Alexander Ljung (Chairman and Co-Founder)IndustryMusic, Social/Internet CommunityEmployeesapprox. 425 (2021)[6]mRegistrationOptional;
Required to post and upload million creators (March 2021), +265 million tracks (March 2021)[7]LaunchedOctober 2008; 13 years agoWritten inRuby, [8] Scala[9]
SoundCloud is a Swedish-founded online audio distribution platform and music sharing website based in Berlin, Germany that enables its users to upload, promote, and share audio, as well as a digital signal processor enabling listeners to stream audio. Started in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud has grown to be one of the largest music streaming services in the world. [10] SoundCloud offers both free and paid memberships on the platform, available for mobile, desktop and XBOX devices.
SoundCloud has influenced the music industry through the success of many artists who have used the service to launch or advance their careers, like Billie Eilish, [11] Juice Wrld, [12] Kehlani, [13] Chance the Rapper, Marshmello, [14] Post Malone, [15] Lorde, [16] Khalid, [17] Kali Uchis, [18] Lil Uzi Vert, [19] Rico Nasty, Lil Tecca, Saweetie, $UICIDEBOY$, Alina Baraz, Lewis Capaldi, [20] Towkio, Louis the Child, Lil Yachty, Doja Cat, [21] Megan Thee Stallion, [22] Lotic, Violet, Peggy Gou, [23] DaBaby, NLE Choppa, Bad Bunny, [24] Roddy Ricch, Rod Wave, [25] and Chika. [26] SoundCloud has received support from many investors and other media platforms such as Twitter. [27][28]
SoundCloud was established in Berlin in August 2007 by Swedish sound designer Alexander Ljung and Swedish electronic musician Eric Wahlforss, and the website was launched in October 2008. [29] It was originally intended to allow musicians to collaborate by facilitating the sharing and discussion of recordings, but later transformed into a publishing tool for music distribution. [30] According to Wired magazine, soon after its inception, SoundCloud began to challenge the dominance of Myspace as a platform for musicians to distribute their music. [30]
In April 2009, SoundCloud received €2. 5 million Series A funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. [31] In May 2010, SoundCloud announced it had one million users. [31] In January 2011, it was reported that SoundCloud had raised US$10 million Series B funding from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. On 15 June 2011, SoundCloud reported five million registered users and investments from Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s A-Grade Fund, and on 23 January 2012, it reported 10 million registered users. [32] In May 2012, it was announced that SoundCloud had 15 million users, and site usage was increasing by 1. 5 million users per month. [33]
A new APN was released in December 2012 which improved mobile device support and added features such as concurrent listening and site navigation, and the ability to create personal collections. [33] The response from users was mixed, and many expressed dissatisfaction with the change. [34] At this time, SoundCloud was reported to be “reaching 180 million people per month”, with 10 hours of content being uploaded per minute. [35]
In March 2014, Twitter announced it would partner with SoundCloud in developing its first integrated music app. However, the project never moved forward because SoundCloud was unable to accommodate licensed music due to a lack of necessary arrangements with music labels. [36][37] In July 2013, SoundCloud had 40 million registered users and new users were joining at 20 million per month. [38]
SoundCloud announced in January 2014 that it had commenced licensing negotiations with major music companies to address the matter of unauthorized, copyrighted material regularly appearing on the platform. [39] The announcement followed a round of funding in which US$60 million was raised, resulting in a $700 million valuation. [37] According to media sources, the negotiations were initiated in an attempt to avoid similar problems faced by Google, which had been forced to handle a large number of take down notices on its YouTube video-sharing platform. [40]
In May 2015, it was reported that Twitter was considering the acquisition of SoundCloud for approximately US$2 billion. However, the prospect of acquisition was discounted by the media, with one report stating that “the numbers didn’t add up”, [41] and Bobby Owsinski hypothesizing on the Forbes website in July that SoundCloud’s ongoing inability to secure deals with the major music labels was the foremost culprit. [42]
On 28 September 2016, Spotify announced that it was in talks to buy SoundCloud, [43] but on 8 December 2016, Spotify was reported to have abandoned its acquisition plans. [44]
In Spring 2017, SoundCloud initially faced being sold after not raising the $100 million needed to support the platform. [45] The initial evaluation of SoundCloud at $700 million did not hold as strong to investors after their financial shortages. [45]
In July 2017, SoundCloud announced layoffs and the closure of two of its five offices in San Francisco and London in an effort to manage costs. [46][47][48] In August 2017, SoundCloud announced it reached an agreement on a $169. 5 million dollar investment from The Raine Group and Temasek. In connection with the investment, veteran digital media operators Kerry Trainor and Michael Weissman joined the SoundCloud team respectively as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss remained with the company—Ljung as Chairman of the Board, and Wahlforss as Chief Product Officer until 2019, when Wahlforss transitioned into an advisory role. [50]
Alexander Ljung at Next10 (2010)
In May 2019, SoundCloud bought artist distribution platform Repost Network. [51]
In January 2020, a 75 million US-Dollar investment by Sirius XM was announced. [52]
On 2 March 2021, SoundCloud announced a new pay model for artists, entitled “fan-powered royalties”, which went into effect on 1 April 2021. [53][self-published source? ] Under this new model, royalties come directly from the subscription and advertising revenue that listeners earn for SoundCloud, instead of allotting a certain portion of the total “pool” of revenue earned by SoundCloud to each artist based on streams. This means that a fan who listens to more advertisements or pays for a SoundCloud Go subscription will be more valuable to an artist, supposedly benefiting smaller independent artists with fans who listen to their music frequently. [54][self-published source? ] SoundCloud claims that under fan-powered royalties, Canadian electronic music producer Vincent’s earnings would jump to US$600 a month, up from US$120 a month under the pooled revenue model. [55][56][self-published source? ] To commemorate this announcement, English trip hop band Portishead released a cover of ABBA’s 1975 song SOS exclusively on SoundCloud. [57] Little is known about how beneficial fan-powered royalties have been for artists, beyond SoundCloud’s claims, over the traditional pooled royalties model, which most competing services such as Spotify continue to use.
Monetization, subscription services[edit]
In August 2014, SoundCloud announced a new program known as “On SoundCloud”, which would allow “Premier” partners to monetize their content through pre-roll audio ads, channel sponsorships, mobile display ads, and native content. The company announced deals with a number of content partners (including Comedy Central and Funny or Die), independent labels, and YouTube multi-channel networks, and that it was in “active and ongoing, advanced discussions” with major record labels. [58]
In December 2014, it was reported that SoundCloud could potentially raise approximately US$150 million in new financing, resulting in a valuation surpassing one billion dollars. The major label issue became prominent again when the new financing information was released, as the lack of monetization was presented as an issue—SoundCloud signed an agreement with Warner Music Group as part of the new Premier program that allows both Warner Music, which also has a minor stake in the company, and its publishing division to collect royalties for songs they have chosen to monetize on the site; meanwhile, the other labels remained skeptical of the company’s business model. [59][60] By December 2014, SoundCloud had shared ad revenue with about 60 other Premier Partners. [59][60] Concerns over the amount of revenue from the program led Sony Music Entertainment to pull its content from the service entirely in May 2015. [61] In June 2015, SoundCloud announced that it had reached a deal with the Merlin Network, a group representing 20, 000 independent record labels, to monetize their content through the Premier partner program. [62]
In January and March 2016, SoundCloud reached respective deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. A UMG spokesperson told The New York Times that the deal would give the company an option to require certain content to be restricted to paid subscribers—a statement suggesting that SoundCloud was preparing to launch its own subscription streaming service. [63][64][65]
In February 2017, SoundCloud launched a mid-range subscription tier named SoundCloud Go, that allows users to remove ads and listen offline for $5 per month. [66] The original version, which was renamed to SoundCloud Go+, allows access to over 150 million songs, offline playback, no ads, no previews, and premium music tracks for $10 per month. [67][68] Both subscriptions were categorized for listeners, with separate subscription services provided specifically for creators.
SoundCloud’s key features include the ability to access uploaded files via unique URLs, thus allowing sound files to be embedded in Twitter and Facebook posts, although mobile devices require a SoundCloud app to play a track within Facebook. [69] A file may be embedded by clicking a share button corresponding to the target site (e. g., Twitter). This contrasts with MySpace, which does not have reshare buttons. [30]
Users can listen to unlimited audio. Registered users without paid subscription may upload up to 180 minutes of audio to their profile at no cost. [70][71][72]
SoundCloud distributes music using widgets and apps. [31] Users can place the widget on their websites or blogs, and then SoundCloud will automatically tweet every track uploaded. [30]
SoundCloud depicts audio tracks graphically as waveforms and allows users to post “timed comments” on specific parts of any track. These comments are displayed while the associated audio segment is played.
Users are allowed to create playlists (previously known as “sets”), and to “Like” (specific tracks, which will then be saved to the user’s “Like” page), “Repost”, “Share”, to “Follow” another user, and to make complimentary downloads of their audio available. [73]
On the playback page, playlists containing an audio track are linked back to.
SoundCloud’s API allows programs to upload music and sound files, or download files if the uploader has given permission to do so. [30] This API has been integrated into several applications, including DAW software such as GarageBand, Logic Pro, and Studio One. [74]
SoundCloud supports AIFF, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR, and WMA files. [75] It then transcodes them to MP3 at 128 kbit/s and Opus at 64 kbit/s for streaming purposes. [76]
SoundCloud supports the Creative Commons licenses.
Their site uses adaptive web design with dynamic serving, where the mobile page resembles their mobile app user interface, but without parallax scrolling of the cover image background during playback and seeking, and only with minimal functionality.
Subscription services[edit]
SoundCloud Pro[edit]
SoundCloud offers premium services for musicians under the banner SoundCloud Pro. The SoundCloud Pro service allows users to upload up to six hours of audio, and adds additional features such as enhanced analytics, and the ability to disable comments on tracks. The Pro Unlimited tier allows unlimited uploads. [77]
SoundCloud Go[edit]
On 29 March 2016, SoundCloud unveiled SoundCloud Go, a subscription-based music streaming service; the service provides an ad-free experience, offline playback, and integrates licensed music from major labels into the existing, user-uploaded content of the service. [78] Co-founder Eric Wahlforss stated that this aspect would help to differentiate SoundCloud Go from other music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as it technically provides a larger total library of songs than competing services, with a higher degree of diversity in its content. The Verge found that, excluding existing content uploaded by users, the service’s initial library of songs is smaller than those of its closest competitors. [79][80]
The service was initially priced at US$10 per-month. On 28 February 2017, SoundCloud renamed its main Go plan SoundCloud Go+, and added a secondary tier titled SoundCloud Go at a US$5 price point, which does not include the licensed music library, but still offers ad-free and offline playback. [78][81]
SoundCloud offers two mobile apps; the main SoundCloud app is oriented towards streaming, with music discovery, playlist, and sharing features. [82] In November 2015, a separate app known as SoundCloud Pulse was released for Android and iOS; it is primarily oriented towards content creators, allowing users to upload and manage their uploads, reply to comments, and view statistics. Pulse’s features were previously located within the main app; senior marketing manager Brendan Codey explained that the shift to separate apps was meant to allow SoundCloud to improve its user experience for content consumers, without having to worry about how these changes affect features oriented towards creators. [83]
By the end of 2016, SoundCloud Pulse had over 100 million downloads. [84]
On 1 April 2017, Chromecast support was added to the main SoundCloud iOS app. [85]
In July 2020, Soundcloud introduced Insights into its mobile app, discontinuing Soundcloud Pulse that previously housed analytics for artists. Through the new Insights portal all users can see their top listener, top city, top country and top 50 tracks, while Pro Unlimited subscribers have access to their top 50 everything (listeners, cities, countries, and tracks). [86]
SoundCloud has repeatedly attempted to create desktop clients equivalent to their mobile applications to compete with services like Spotify, which maintain and develop their own client. Although there are many community third-party desktop applications such as SoundCleod[87] and SoundNode, [88] SoundCloud has never actually created a desktop application equivalent to their mobile applications.
On 6 January 2011, SoundCloud released “SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac” to the App Store for Macintosh, which introduced the playlist feature to SoundCloud. However, was limited to tracks that have allowed third-party application playback, even though the application was a first-party release, leaving many frustrated. The application was later discontinued due to the lack of resources maintaining their new desktop application, the mobile applications, and the web browser at the same time. [89]
On 2 May 2017, SoundCloud released an application for Xbox One, set as the basis for the beta desktop version to be released later that month. It was released only missing a few features compared to the desktop beta, mainly ‘shuffle’, the ability to cast a song from an external device, and the ability to go forward or backward in a playlist without using Cortana. All of which were fixed in a patch, released later on.
On 30 May 2017, SoundCloud released the “SoundCloud for Windows (Beta)” desktop application to the Windows 10 Microsoft Store (digital). It was released missing many core features that were in SoundCloud’s mobile apps such as ‘repeat’, and basic animations. It also lacked many features from the previous “SoundCloud Desktop app for Mac” incarnation, such as application specific volume control, and the ability to upload and manage tracks from the client. However, the application included voice control via Microsoft’s Cortana, and unlike the previous desktop application, it supported all tracks regardless of their 3rd-party application playback availability. The app (as of 2020) has not been updated nor changed from its initial release, leading many to believe that—as with the previous application—SoundCloud is struggling to manage the desktop application in conjunction with their mobile and web versions. [90][91]
In 2021, Chromium-based platforms such as Microsoft Edge began support for websites to become applications. In SoundCloud’s case, downloading “SoundCloud for Windows (Beta)” from the digital Microsoft Store would showcase this feature.
SoundCloud won the Schroders Innovation Award at the 2011 European Tech Tour Awards Dinner. [92][93] In 2012, SoundCloud was named Best International Startup at the TechCrunch Crunchies award ceremony. [94] In 2015, SoundCloud won two Webby Awards, the Webby Award and People’s Choice Award for Best Streaming Audio app. [95]
As SoundCloud evolved and expanded beyond its initial user base, consisting primarily of grassroots musicians, many users complained that it had sacrificed its usefulness to independent artists in an attempt to appeal to the masses, perhaps in preparation for public sale. Such criticism particularly followed the launching of a revamped website in 2013 which, according to former CEO Alexander Ljung, was implemented for the purpose of increasing SoundCloud usage. [96]
On 3 July 2014, TorrentFreak reported that SoundCloud offered unlimited removal powers to certain copyright holders, allowing those copyright holders to unilaterally remove paid subscribers’ content without recourse. [97][98]
In April 2015, SoundCloud announced a new partnership with Zefr, a content tracking company that works with YouTube to help identify songs on the platform and facilitate either takedowns or ads being run against it. Zefr states it will “better understand the sharing of content on the platform. ” Some users are worried it could mean a stricter copyright enforcement and more ads. [99]
In July 2016, SoundCloud notified registered users via email that it would be “phasing out” groups because they “were not a strong driver to help users share their new tracks to the most users effectively”. [100] This announcement was met with alarm and concerned responses from numerous artists, who deemed the change unacceptable because it would eliminate their only effective means of sharing music on SoundCloud. [101]
SoundCloud has a continuous play feature on non-mobile platforms which relates to the listener’s stream and likes. Unlike YouTube’s autoplay feature which is on by default but can be turned off, users cannot turn off the continuous play feature on SoundCloud. [102]
SoundCloud has also been criticized for changes in service. The new update of the website and application made the feed and interface more difficult to use for some users. Also, the anti-piracy algorithm — which was put into place to combat the staggering number of illegal music downloads — has often been criticized for taking down music that was not illegally submitted or downloaded. [103] Also, Universal Music Group has the right to take down any files on SoundCloud. Uploads can be taken down directly by Universal Music Group outside of SoundCloud’s anti-piracy policy. Other than uploads, Universal Music Group has the ability to take down accounts, both premium and free. Customers of the company have claimed this to be “bogus, ” arguing that the right to manage and delete accounts should be reserved to SoundCloud itself, not to an outside company. [104]
Cultural impact[edit]
Music industry[edit]
SoundCloud first entered the music streaming industry as a new way for artists to share and promote their music. Being that the platform is entirely online there is no need for a record label or distributor for one’s music to be heard. [105] Users and artists are placed into the platform together, creating a community focused space. [106] The way that users are able to comment, like, and share songs and artists makes the platform feel more like a social media site rather than a streaming service. [107] Many artists have moved from SoundCloud into the mainstream music industry because of their increased popularity from the platform. In 2018, the Grammys began to recognize artists and their music on SoundCloud. The shift from The Recording Academy was again due to the popularity of the platform and their artists, such as Chance the Rapper. [108] Chance the Rapper is an example of a SoundCloud artist who broke the mold of the industry; he released his debut mixtape, 10 Day, on SoundCloud. [109] In a Vanity Fair interview Chance explained how he decided against signing to a major label and felt it was better for him to give his music “without any limit on it”. [109] SoundCloud has given artists an alternate path to pursue for a career in music that is different from the existing music industry.
SoundCloud rap[edit]
Through SoundCloud, a sub-genre of rap was created. As artists such as Smokepurpp, Yung Lean, XXXTentacion, Ski Mask the Slump God, Juice WRLD and Lil Pump originated from SoundCloud and rose to the Billboard top charts. [110] The sound created was different from the mainstream, with a grittier and darker sound that results from a lack of production. SoundCloud rap is a lo-fi, melody driven, distorted sound with lyrics that usually focus on repetition and less on content. The SoundCloud artists themselves are known to have exaggerated appearances that include bright colored hair and face tattoos. [111] These SoundCloud rappers are in the late teens to early twenties age range with a strong youth following. [111] Smokepurpp, a SoundCloud artist, explained in a Rolling Stone article how the first songs he created and put on the platform were not recorded using a real microphone. [110] The DIY nature of SoundCloud made it so millions of artists were able to put out their work without any studio equipment usually needed to make music. [112] The freedom to upload on the platform allows for many SoundCloud rappers to post tracks impulsively or post many tracks at a time. [111] The imperfect sound created by these SoundCloud rappers has contributed to their growing popularity and the creation of a rap sub-genre.
The government of Turkey blocked access to the SoundCloud website on 24 January 2014. [113][114][115]
A user named “haramzadeler” (“bastards” in Turkish) uploaded a total of seven secretly recorded phone calls that reveal private conversations between the former Turkish prime minister, now President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and others, including: Erdoğan Bayraktar, local politicians, some businessmen, and the prime minister’s daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, and son, Bilal Erdoğan. [116] Linked to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, some conversations on the recordings revealed illegal activity and possible bribery—mainly about the building permit for villas located on protected cultural heritage sites in Urla, İzmir. [117] The opposition party Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi submitted a parliamentary question to the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) concerning the issue, which asked why SoundCloud services were banned without any proper cause or reason. [118][119]
See also[edit]
Weird SoundCloud
Music websites
Streaming music services
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The Truth About SoundCloud Reposts (and Paid Promotion ...

The Truth About SoundCloud Reposts (and Paid Promotion …

Ever wondered what a repost is worth? The repost feature changed SoundCloud forever. By getting others to ‘repost’ your track, it’s published to the streams of all their followers. Technically, a repost by an influential account could lead to significant exposure.
You may have seen the ads on SoundCloud before: “$50 for a repost, will blast to 150K followers”. It’s an increasingly common phenomenon, and an appealing offer for most smaller artists.
Yet if you’ve secured reposts with large SoundCloud channels, either by trading (exchanging reposts with equally sized accounts) or via paid promotion, you’ve probably noticed that the resulting plays don’t match the expectations.
You’d expect a channel with 10 times more followers than you to reach 10 times as many people with a repost. Reality however, paints us a different picture.
We set out to investigate this issue and paired up with a reader, Tim (Moomimurr), to look at the data. The goal was to establish the value of a repost, by analyzing the play-to-follower (how many followers actually listen to a repost) ratios of different channels and defining the variables that affect this ratio.
Contents1 The repost bubble2 Methodology3 Results4 The secret behiind strong reposts5 Improving your channel’s engagement
The repost bubble
SoundCloud has become a thriving ecosystem that hosts not just artists, but also record labels, artist collectives, promotional channels and networks. We covered these in our SoundCloud marketing & repost trading guide.
For beginning artists, the SoundCloud scene and ‘repost trading game’ may be hard to penetrate. Big channels prefer trading with big channels. At the same time, the offering of paid promotion is increasing, making it easy for artists to resort to paying for their reposts.
It’s a trend we’re seeing with record labels too. As the importance of SoundCloud expands beyond electronic music, labels of all sizes are catching on to the importance of having their SoundCloud plays on point. Their marketing efforts are now also directed to SoundCloud, including repost trading and sometimes paid campaigns.
While the research methodology of this article was initially intended to address just paid repost marketing, the findings apply to reposting in general. We were shocked by the results, even as they affirmed the belief that we had already formed by intuition — that the value of reposts was being diluted.
It turns out that followers are not the best indicator for how many plays you can expect to get from a repost.
The value of a repost is directly linked to the nature and behavior of the reposting SoundCloud channel. How often they upload, repost and who their audience comprises of are all impacting factors.
As the SoundCloud trading atmosphere is like the Wild West, these findings can help you better choose your repost partners, as well as better estimate the value of a paid promotional offer.
For this research, we paired up with someone with experience in statistics and coding, as we needed to mine data from the SoundCloud API.
Enter Tim.
By day Tim works for a notable management consulting firm, where he crunches data to find where businesses can improve efficiency and save money. By night, he’s something that you can likely relate to: a music producer.
Tim reached out to us following a statement by Budi, who said that there isn’t a reason to pay for reposts as the market is “completely non-transparent” and that reposts can be acquired by networking with influencers. Tim took it upon himself to analyze the data and to estimate the real efficiency of paid SoundCloud promotion.
The research question that Tim set out to answer is one that many SoundClouders may have asked themselves at some point: “How efficient is paid SoundCloud promotion? ”. The answer to this question would also have implications for traditional (non-paid) reposts, as the mechanics are identical in nature.
To answer this question, we had to pull a huge amount of data on individual tracks. Not just total plays and hearts, but detailed information such as plays gained from reposts, who reposted what tracks, and how many followers those channels had.
We were able to extract this from SoundCloud’s API, which is short for Application Programming Interface. This is what applications and websites such as Hype Machine and Artist Union use to access upload information and incorporate embeds from.
Tim wrote a script that crunched the numbers on 8. 000 tracks reposted by a selection of SoundCloud (promotional) channels; stats like who reposted what track, how many followers the reposted channels had, how often the channel reposted, while also collecting the stated prices for reposts to include into his analysis.
To avoid outliers messing up the data, such as a #1 Hype Machine charting position or a track with several strong YouTube uploads (that would draw traffic back to the SoundCloud upload), we picked tracks with minimal outside exposure. We limited the age to less than two months old, as we assumed that after that period, the track would be at the end of its promotional cycle and any additional plays would be unlikely to result from active repost promotion.
The average price charged for a repost was about $0, 30 per thousand followers. For example, a 50K follower channel might charge $15 for a repost. This is a realistic market price from what we’ve seen offered.
How we established the contribution of a repost by a specific SoundCloud channel to an upload, is best explained as follows. Let’s say channel X reposts one of your tracks, netting you 50 plays. Then, channels X and Y repost another track, leading to 150 plays and another track reposted by channels X and Z earned 250 plays. With some simple algebra you can find each channel’s direct contribution.
The findings are shocking.
The average repost only generates plays equal to 3-4% of that channel’s following.
In other words, if a 100. 000 follower channel reposted your track, it would probably only generate 3. 000 – 4. 000 plays. You, like us, had likely expected this number to be much higher.
At the 100. 000 follower scale, 3-4% is not that bad, but in realizing that the majority of SoundCloud users have less than 1. 000 followers, it becomes questionable whether all that time spent repost-trading is actually put to good use.
The bulk of channels had scarily low play-to-follower ratios, between 1-5%. Some were even as low as 1%, whereas a small portion of channels ranged between 10-18%.
Most of the low-ratio accounts were the repost channels, who reposted frequently throughout the day and had few original uploads on their account. By contrast, the high-ratio accounts were the labels and artists, who reposted significantly less and uploaded more often.
These varying play-to-follower ratios support our initial fear; that the value of reposts is diminishing.
A repost by a highly engaged 50. 000 follower channel may do more for you than one from a poorly engaged 100. 000 channel. The difference is significant, and reinforces the notion that you need to be careful in who you team up with.
The secret behiind strong reposts
So why do labels and artists have higher engagement ratios?
Labels and artists tend to curate more when it comes to reposts and uploads, favouring quality over quantity, allowing them to develop dedicated superfans. The opposite is true of promotional channels, who prioritize quantity over quality in a pursuit for more followers and scaling their networks.
The trend on SoundCloud, particularly with promotional channels, is to pair consistent reposts with like-to-download gate inclusion in order to accelerate follower growth. A channel might incorporate another channel in the download gate of their track, which then gives them an incentive to consistently repost that upload. That other channel might then do the same, and receive consistent uploads as well.
The result is a perpetuating cycle, where the increase in followers leads to more exposure (but not per se more plays). Also it creates an overlap of followers, which is common with SoundCloud networks that grow through daily repost and mutual gate-inclusion.
From a fan’s perspective the lack of engagement makes sense. If multiple channels repost the same song each day, you’re unlikely to click it. Eventually they end up ignoring the channels, or unfollowing them.
That’s not to say that all repost networks have poor engagement rates. The outliers are the ones that repost less frequently and upload more, acting more like labels.
The highest ratios are found with artist channels, who not only repost less often and upload more than promotional channels, but also exhume a personality that fans can connect with. It’s easier to love an artist than a repost channel or label, as there’s little personality you can connect with there.
The more a channel reposted per day, the less engaged their audience. Repost frequency had the strongest correlation to a channel’s play-to-follower ratio.
The graph illustrates it beautifully. Most channels that reposted fewer than 4 times maintained play-to-follower ratios as high as 15%. Audience engagement falls significantly at 5 daily reposts and beyond, with the bulk of the analyzed channels reposting between 6 and 17 times a day.
One can argue that artists are most cautious about what they repost, as they want to make sure they only repost material that resonates with their audience and is as good (or better) than what they’d make and upload themselves. They see the value in saving their audience and are rewarded by out-of-the-ordinary response whenever they do upload or repost something.
Improving your channel’s engagement
The biggest take-away is that you need to be careful not to exhaust your audience.
Both the frequency with which you repost (and upload), the quality of the material you repost and the degree with which it aligns with your audience’s tastes, impact your audience’s engagement.
There’s a significant tipping point in engagement with reposts exceeding four a day, which everyone should take to heart as their daily limit.
Reposting more often to overcompensate for the lack of plays is actually counter-productive and decreases engagement further. There’s a lot more to be said for reposting 4 times a day consistently and optimizing for ideal repost (or upload) times, leaving ample time in between each repost.
One way to do this is by using SoundCloud repost scheduling tools, which we cover in-depth in the new edition of The SoundCloud Bible.
In respect to the paid-promotion market on SoundCloud, the average price charged by promotional channels isn’t far off from the results you can expect to get from their poorly engaged audiences.
As mentioned, the average price charged for a repost was $0, 30 per thousand followers, whereas we found that the average cost per play was $0, 013 USD.
An average repost channel with 50. 000 followers might thus charge $15 USD for a repost, which at a 3% engagement ratio would lead to 1. 500 plays. The average value of those plays is $19, 50, meaning that you’d technically get more than you paid for.
The trick then, in maximizing results from paid promotion, is analyzing which channels have higher play-to-follower ratios, by looking at the frequency with which they repost and the quality of that music. Another optimization strategy could be to demand your paid repost is scheduled at that channel’s optimum engagement time, which is usually when the bulk of their audience has arrived at the office or school. For most electronic music promoters, the lion’s share of their audience is in the West Coast of the USA, for whom 10:00 AM PST would be perfect.
Now, truthfully, we have yet to experiment with paid SoundCloud promotion over at Heroic. We may attempt it at some point, just to see whether we could get a positive ROI, but as of now, we’re blessed to be working with a network of influential partners.
If you’re an artist with money to spend, it may be worth considering as a way to get your tracks early traction. Just make sure you scan your partners as carefully as you now (having read this article) will do for repost trades.
And don’t believe in the buy-in fallacy. Paying to getting your music heard is not required to succeed in today’s industry.
Want to learn more about SoundCloud? Check out The SoundCloud Bible. The Third Edition has just come out and includes over 400 pages on growing your audience, SoundCloud trading, copyright and monetizing your music on SoundCloud, YouTube and elsewhere.
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Frequently Asked Questions about soundcloud promoters

Where can I promote my SoundCloud?

Instagram plays a crucial role in establishing your brand and getting your fans to put a face to your name. Besides that, Instagram stories and Instagram Live are perhaps the best places to share your new songs with your following and get some traffic flowing to your SoundCloud page.Oct 1, 2019

Does SoundCloud promote your music?

Promote on SoundCloud is a self-service promotional tool that allows you to put your music in front of SoundCloud’s enormous community to help you get more exposure for your music and drive more interactions with your listeners. … Select your start and end date for the promotion.

Who owns music on SoundCloud?

SoundCloudshow ScreenshotOwnerSoundCloud LimitedFounder(s)Alexander Ljung Eric WahlforssKey peopleMike Weissman (CEO), Eliah Seton (President), Drew Wilson (COO, CFO), Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood (CCO, CMO), Antonious Porch (CDO), Alexander Ljung (Chairman and Co-Founder)IndustryMusic, Social/Internet Community11 more rows

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