Soundcloud vs Spotify: The Ultimate Music Streaming Battle

Soundcloud Vs Spotify
by Daniel Randwick

Soundcloud and Spotify have been in a battle for your ears for a long time now. They force music lovers to pick a side. Are you with Soundcloud or Spotify? This choice depends on what you like to hear. Soundcloud and Spotify each have their cool features and different vibes. Which is best for you? This answer depends on if you want to pay or listen for free. People try to find the best fit for their music style on each.

Soundcloud Vs Spotify

Key Takeaways

  • Spotify Premium is priced at $11.99/month, while Soundcloud offers two premium plans: Soundcloud Go at $4.99/month and Soundcloud Go+ at $9.99/month.
  • Spotify provides a library of over 100 million tracks, whereas Soundcloud boasts over 250 million songs.
  • Spotify offers superior audio quality with streaming options up to 320 kbps, compared to Soundcloud’s standard 64 kbps.
  • Spotify has a larger and more diverse audience, with over 600 million users worldwide and 239 million subscribers.
  • Soundcloud is known for allowing startup artists and rappers to showcase their work, making it a unique platform for discovering new music.

Introduction to Music Streaming Platforms

Music streaming platforms have changed how we listen to music. They offer a smooth way to listen to a wide variety of songs. Now, with platforms like Soundcloud vs Spotify, it’s easier to find new and different music. These platforms help us explore a huge world of tracks, making them essential for music lovers.

Overview of Music Streaming Services

Soundcloud and Spotify have changed how we listen to music. They’ve moved us from CDs to digital streams. Now, they meet the needs of all sorts of listeners, making music more friendly. While Spotify has great audio and many users, Soundcloud is different. It focuses on new artists and unique music styles, with millions of songs by indie artists.

The Rise of Soundcloud and Spotify

Soundcloud is a great place for new musicians, with millions sharing their work. It has plans like Next plus for $2.50$ a month, perfect for new artists to get noticed. Then, there’s Spotify, with over 230 million subscribers. Its success comes from technology that suggests music you might love. The battle between Soundcloud and Spotify shows their unique ways of promoting music discovery when it comes to music streaming platforms.

Key Differences Between Soundcloud and Spotify

Soundcloud and Spotify differ mainly in how easy they are to use and the size of their song collections. Each platform offers unique benefits that shape how people enjoy music. These differences affect the user’s music journey.

Platform Usability

Spotify shines with its simple design, making it easy to find music and create playlists. Users can move through its vast database of songs effortlessly. On the other hand, Soundcloud feels more like a community, where you’re likely to discover new and niche artists. Its layout is less streamlined, but it offers an adventure in music exploration.

Spotify is praised for its polished look and ease of navigation. It’s perfect for those who want to quickly find and organize their favorite music. Soundcloud’s design is more varied, giving a sense of discovery and community. This appeals to people who love exploring new sounds and finding hidden gems.

Music Library Size

Spotify hosts over 100 million songs, offering something for every taste. Its vast collection includes the latest hits and timeless classics. Meanwhile, Soundcloud has more than 250 million tracks, known for housing music from new and independent artists. This means you might find rare remixes and fresh sounds not found on Spotify.

Feature Soundcloud Spotify
Artists 30 million 11 million
Songs 250 million 100 million
Users 175 million 615 million
Subscription Cost $9.99/month for Go+ $11.99/month for Premium
Audio Quality 64 kbps (standard) 320 kbps (Premium)


Both platforms, Soundcloud and Spotify, offer something special. Spotify is great for its convenience and vast music selection. Soundcloud stands out for its support of new artists and diverse music. Depending on your preferences, either platform provides a unique and enriching listening experience.

Target Audiences: Who Uses Each Platform?

Both Spotify and SoundCloud have their own special group of fans. It’s important to know who likes what, to help us understand these popular music apps.

Casual Listeners

There are about 204 million people in the U.S. who love digital audio. Many of them are casual listeners. Spotify is perfect for them with its easy-to-use features and vast music library. It attracts those aged 18-34 most.

For these fans, features like Discover Weekly are a big plus. They help find new songs with just a click.

Music Enthusiasts

SoundCloud is a paradise for music enthusiasts looking for new and unique sounds. It has a strong community vibe with a focus on indie and experimental music. With 175 million users worldwide, it’s a place where edgy music rules.

Unlike Spotify, SoundCloud puts indie and emerging artists front and center. This is why it’s loved by people who enjoy discovering hidden musical gems.

Musicians and Creators

For musicians, SoundCloud is a game-changer. It’s known as the largest audio platform globally. Here, artists can connect directly with fans and share their work easily.

For those into podcasting, SoundCloud is great for reaching potential customers. Musicians aiming for a big global audience come to Spotify. It has strong connections to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. These connections help musicians reach fans all over the world.

In short, Spotify is great for those who love mainstream music and want an easy interface. SoundCloud is the place to find new, diverse music. Musicians and creators find benefits in both platforms, depending on their needs.

Soundcloud vs Spotify: Music Discovery Features

Spotify and Soundcloud each offer unique ways to find new music. They both work hard to show users different music types. This helps make the music experience better for everyone.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly

Spotify’s Discover Weekly is perfect for those into finding new tunes. It looks at what you like to listen to. Then, it suggests new songs every Monday in a special playlist.

With lots of users, like 600+ million, it reaches many people. This makes the music experience better for all Spotify fans.

about Spotify

Spotify’s clever system helps you find songs you’ll probably like. This means you can keep finding new music you love. This is a plus point that helps Spotify be a top choice for music fans.

Soundcloud’s Trending Tracks

Soundcloud does things differently. It looks at what 175 million people like right now. This community picks popular songs by sharing, liking, and commenting.

So, it’s not just about famous songs. It’s also about helping new artists. Soundcloud gives these new talents a chance to be heard.

about soundcloud

Soundcloud makes sure you always find fresh music. It curates the best music trending right now. This has helped many artists start their music journey on Soundcloud.

The Spotify vs Soundcloud debate is interesting. They each have strong points. Whether you love Spotify’s Discover Weekly or Soundcloud’s Trending Tracks, you’ll find great music just for you.

Subscription Plans and Pricing

Spotify and Soundcloud have different subscription plans for users. They match everyone’s needs well.

Spotify Premium

Spotify Premium offers great audio quality, ad-free listening, and offline downloads. Starting at $11.99/month in the US, it also has a student deal at $5.99/month. There’s a Duo plan for $16.99/month and a Premium Family option at $19.99/month for six accounts. This range of choices fits many user scenarios.

Soundcloud Go and Soundcloud Go+

Soundcloud Go and Soundcloud Go+ give ad-free experiences and downloads too. Go costs $4.99/month, and Go+ offers more music at $9.99/month. Yet, Soundcloud lacks a family option, limiting its use for many.

Free Versions Comparison

Spotify and Soundcloud also have free versions, each with its limits. Spotify Free has ads and shuffle play only on mobiles. Soundcloud Free limits upload time and track skipping. Trying both free versions is good to see what suits your habits best.

Feature Spotify Premium Soundcloud Go Soundcloud Go+
Monthly Cost $11.99 $4.99 $9.99
Ad-Free Yes Yes Yes
Offline Listening Yes Yes Yes
Audio Quality Up to 320 kbps (app) Standard 256kbps AAC
Extended Library No No Yes
Family Plan $19.99/month (6 accounts) No No

Spotify Premium and Soundcloud Go/Go+ offer unique benefits to users. They help people choose based on cost, features, and experience.

Audio Quality Comparison

The audio quality comparison between Spotify and Soundcloud is significant. It affects how we enjoy music. Knowing the audio features of each platform is key for those wanting a top-notch listening experience.

Spotify’s Streaming Quality

Spotify’s streaming quality shines bright. Users with Spotify Premium get to enjoy high-quality audio reaching up to 320 kbps. This high sound quality brings music to life. It makes every track clear and rich, leading to an excellent music listening experience.

Soundcloud’s Audio Standards

Soundcloud’s free and go plans ‘audio standards are a bit different. It offers music at 64 kbps, which is lower than Spotify. Only Soundcloud Go+ plan has HQ streaming format encoded in 256kbps AAC. (equivalent to an mp3 encoded in 320kbps).Despite this, Soundcloud shines with its immense library of over 200 million songs. This rich variety includes a lot of unique tunes. It’s a great place for finding new and underground artists.

audio quality comparison

In the end, whether you prefer Spotify or Soundcloud depends on your needs. For the best sound quality, Spotify is the way to go. But if you love discovering new music and being part of a vast community, Soundcloud is the perfect match.

User Experience and Interface

Spotify and Soundcloud have very different looks and feels for their users. These differences greatly influence how easy or hard it is for people to use them. To pick the better design, you need to understand the special features of each service.

Spotify’s Layout

Spotify is known for being simple and easy to use, with more than 600+ million users enjoying its features. It has a sleek, simple design that keeps users coming back. The “Discover Weekly” is a hit, showing off Spotify’s smart suggestions for new music. Its neat menus and quick access to playlists make it a top choice for many. This setup has helped Spotify become one of the most used music platforms around the world.

Soundcloud’s Layout

Soundcloud is all about the artists and their fans, offering a more casual vibe. It’s perfect for new musicians and fans of unique music styles. But its design, while creating a community feel, can be a lot to handle. It often feels cluttered, making it tough to find new songs quickly, especially if you’re used to tidier apps. Still, Soundcloud is vital for independent musicians and diverse music tastes.

Deciding between Spotify and Soundcloud really comes down to what you prefer in a music platform. Spotify is great for relaxed listening due to its simplicity. On the other hand, Soundcloud offers a one-of-a-kind space for emerging artists.

App Availability and Integration

Spotify and SoundCloud are well-known music apps. They are loved for their reach across many systems. This makes it easy for a lot of people to enjoy them.

Spotify shines in app availability and integration. It works smoothly with smart devices. This means you can listen to music anywhere, on any device. This is not something every music streaming platform can offer.

Now, let’s talk about the SoundCloud app. It’s a top pick among creators. It lets them easily share their stuff on social media. This feature is great for artists wanting to grow their fan base. While SoundCloud is not as global as Spotify, it still stands out. Its focus on the community and sharing makes it unique in the music streaming platform world.

Both apps give an enjoyable music app experience. Spotify connects well with all your gadgets. SoundCloud is perfect for artists to spread their work. It’s all about what you’re looking for in a music app.

Music Upload and Sharing

Music upload and sharing are key for artists to find a wider audience. Soundcloud and Spotify both have features for different kinds of creators.

music upload and sharing

Soundcloud for Creators

Soundcloud is a hub for boosting creators. It gives musicians an easy place to upload and share their songs. This is why it’s popular with indie and underground artists. It has more than 30+ million creators and over 250 million songs. The cost for its Next Plus versions is 2.50$ per month and Next Pro version is  $12 a month. The Next Pro plan allows unlimited uploads and detailed stats. Many on Reddit say Soundcloud is great for music beginners.

Spotify for Artists

Contrary, Spotify is about using data and growing your audience. It’s ideal for artists aiming to make money and reach more fans. Although it has fewer tracks than Soundcloud, it boasts a large user base. This includes 254 million paying customers and over 615 million total users. Spotify helps users find new music with its algorithm. This makes it perfect for those wanting a bigger audience through personal playlists and Release Radar.

The table below sums up the main features of Soundcloud and Spotify for musicians:

Features Soundcloud Spotify
Number of Creators Over 30 million 11 million
Catalog Size Over 250 million songs Over 100 million tracks
Subscription Plans for artists Next plus  ($2.50/month), Next Pro ($12/month) Spotify for artist is Free
User Base 140 million 615  million users overall
Audience Reach & Growth Insights Soundcloud for Artists Available via Spotify for Artists


Both platforms have great tools for musicians to share their work. Soundcloud is best for indie and underground music. Meanwhile, Spotify offers wide promotion and a bigger listener base.

Popularity and Market Reach

Spotify and SoundCloud have their own unique strengths that attract different groups of music fans. As of 2023, Spotify boasts a massive 230+ million paid subscribers worldwide. It also has over 615 million users in total. This shows Spotify’s huge role in the music streaming world, offering over 100 million songs to a wide range of listeners.

SoundCloud, on the other hand, draws a specific fan base. It’s known for supporting independent and new artists. Even though it targets a smaller group, SoundCloud still holds its own. It has 140 million active users and over 40 million creators. This platform supports quick and easy music uploads, creating a community of over 30 million musicians.

The difference in the number of songs on each platform shows their unique appeal. SoundCloud provides more than 250 million tracks, mostly independent and innovative music. Spotify, in comparison, offers over 100 million songs, more aligned with popular music.

Spotify stands out with its quality audio streaming, up to 320 kbps, for paid users. This impressive quality keeps Spotify at the top of the streaming world. SoundCloud, however, finds success with a mix of revenue, with almost 30% from ads, which is more than Spotify. Their diverse ways to make money show how well they’ve targeted their specific fans.

In 2018, Spotify’s public listing was a big step in its journey to become a leading music platform. Since then, it has solidified its position among popular streaming services. SoundCloud, known for its support of new artists, has faced financial issues but is working on a strong comeback. They’re still a big name in music streaming.

Both platforms have found their own niche in the music streaming world. SoundCloud supports creativity and new sounds. Spotify offers top-quality, global streaming service. This shows the wide range of choices within the music streaming market, for all kinds of music fans.

Advertising on Soundcloud and Spotify

During advertising on Soundcloud or advertising on Spotify, each has unique strengths. Over 615 million folks globally use Spotify, with 239 million as subscribers. This makes Spotify a top choice for audio ads and reaching a diverse crowd.

Advertising on Soundcloud is great for brands wanting to connect deeply with a specific group. Soundcloud helps new and indie music get noticed, which attracts music lovers wanting to explore new sounds. This makes it perfect for audio ads streaming services that can wow listeners with unique tunes.

Soundcloud for brands is perfect for engaging with adventurous music lovers through targeted ads. This can really connect your brand with people excited about new music and upcoming artists. On the other hand, Spotify’s marketing uses cutting-edge tech, like “Discover Weekly,” to match ads to user tastes.

The decision to use Soundcloud or Spotify for ads depends on your target audience and goals. Think about whether you want to reach a wide variety of people or a select group. This is key for successfully marketing on music streams.


The choice between Spotify and Soundcloud often comes down to personal taste. What do you like in a music streaming service? Spotify is known for its huge library and It offers clear sound quality up to 320 kbps. People love Spotify for its ease of use and variety, making it great for all types of music lovers.

But if you’re into finding new and indie music, Soundcloud may be for you. It has millions songs and is a community for independent musicians. Here, you can discover something unique and support new artists.

So, which is better? It depends on what you enjoy. Spotify for a big, well-organized collection, or Soundcloud for a chance to find new, underground sounds? Both have their strengths, highlighting the real debate in music streaming.

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What are the main differences between Spotify and SoundCloud?

The main difference between Spotify and SoundCloud is their focus. Spotify offers a vast range of music and is one of the most popular music streaming platforms, whereas SoundCloud is more about enabling artists to upload and share their music directly with fans.

Which is better for discovering new music: Spotify vs SoundCloud?

It depends on your music preferences. Spotify’s personalized playlists and recommendations are fantastic for discovering new popular music, while SoundCloud is great for finding indie and emerging artists before they hit the mainstream.

How does the music streaming experience on Apple Music compare to Spotify and SoundCloud?

Apple Music offers a similar experience to Spotify with a robust library and curated playlists, but Spotify is often considered the better choice for its user interface and music discovery features. SoundCloud stands out if you’re looking for unique, user-generated content.

Can you download music for offline listening on both Spotify and SoundCloud?

Yes, both platforms offer music downloads for offline listening. However, therefore the downloaded Spotify music can only play within the Spotify app, while on SoundCloud, this feature is usually available to SoundCloud Pro users.

What do Spotify and SoundCloud offer in terms of subscription plans?

Spotify offers several tiers, including a free ad-supported version and a premium subscription with added benefits like offline listening and no ads. SoundCloud also has a free version and two paid plans: SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Pro, offering additional features.

Why do some artists prefer SoundCloud over Spotify?

Artists might prefer SoundCloud because it allows them to upload and share their music instantly without the need for a record label, giving them more control and a direct line to their fans. SoundCloud also fosters a community vibe that’s great for emerging artists.

Does Spotify or SoundCloud have a better audio quality?

Spotify Premium users can listen to music at 320kbps, which is pretty high quality. SoundCloud’s audio quality varies depending on whether you are a free or paid user, but in general, Spotify takes the edge in this department.

Are there any social features on these streaming music platforms?

 Yes, both platforms have social features. Spotify allows you to follow friends and see what music they’re listening to, while SoundCloud fosters community interaction by letting users comment on tracks and easily share their music.

Can I play my own tracks on Spotify and SoundCloud?

SoundCloud allows any user to upload and share their tracks, making it great for budding artists. Spotify also lets artists upload their music but typically requires going through a distributor or record label first.

Which streaming music platform should I choose if I want a broad range of music?

 If you’re looking for a broad range of music from mainstream to indie, Spotify is the better choice. It’s one of the most popular music streaming platforms with a vast library that caters to a variety of music tastes. SoundCloud is fantastic for niche genres and discovering new artists.

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