Updated: Jan 14, 2020
If you make music, chances are, you've uploaded a song or two to Soundcloud. Soundcloud is a major platform for underground artists looking to put their music out for free to get an initial reaction. The basic site is free and allows artists all over the world to upload their work, network with other musicians, and grow an audience. Due to Soundcloud's popular presence in the rap industry, it begs the question: what are the benefits of Soundcloud Pro?
Starting with the basics, there are three different options for using Soundcloud. The basic version is free and includes three hours of upload time, basic stats such as plays, likes, comments, and reposts, and simple user-friendly controls. The other two options include Soundcloud Pro and Soundcloud Pro Unlimited.
Soundcloud Pro offers six hours of upload time, which is double that of the free version for only $6 per month. The stats include information such as the countries and regions that your listeners usually tune in from and more advanced controls. Pro allows you to highlight your top five tracks or playlists at the top of your page for viewers' convenience, whereas the basic subscription only displays tracks in the order they were uploaded. Soundcloud Pro also offers the ability to monetize your tracks and recently, it began offering distribution to other major streaming platforms. With Soundcloud Pro, you can turn off public statistics and comments, and replace tracks without losing your stats.
Soundcloud Pro Unlimited
Soundcloud Pro Unlimited runs for $12 per month and offers just what the title insists: unlimited upload time, a real perk for artists who release often. Pro Unlimited has everything Pro has with the added bonus of Soundcloud Go for only $4.99 extra per month (normal price is $9.99 per month). For those who aren't aware, Soundcloud Go allows ad-free listening, higher quality audio, and offline listening on the Soundcloud app.
Making the Decision
Soundcloud Pro and Unlimited sound great, but there are some setbacks that might stop you from jumping on board. For example, only artists who quality for Soundcloud Premier can monetize their tracks. In order to qualify, you must get over 5,000 streams per month. With other distributors, you are paid per stream even if the streams are low, and there is no minimum to join. Artists who are not yet well known may be put off by this rule, which applies to a great deal of artists who use the platform.
Something that might sweeten the pot a bit is the distribution that Soundcloud currently has in Beta that sends music to Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and more. This is automatically available for any artist who pays for Soundcloud Pro or Pro Unlimited. Because of this, you may want to weigh the cost benefits to decide whether Soundcloud is the best way to go to for distribution depending on your personal needs.
Speaking simply, you have to decide if $6 or $12 per month to upload all your songs to streaming platforms is a better deal than Tunecore's rate of $10 per song per year, or CD Baby's rate of $9.95 per song with no yearly cost. These factors, coupled with how important the above-mentioned benefits of Soundcloud Pro is for you, will help make that decision.
Boosting Your Popularity
No matter what direction you decide to go, the most important thing about releasing music is gaining fans. This music marketing classroom offers five cheat sheets on non-traditional ways to gain popularity all over the world as well as other tips and tricks to turn your music hobby into a legitimate business. If you need some music marketing information, it might be helpful to take a look.
This previous article will give you more information about different distribution sites.
When it comes down to it, the decision to get Soundcloud Pro depends on your personal career, but I hope this article has given you the information you need to weigh the options.
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I will get a small commission if you purchase from my link with no extra cost to you :)*