Name: SoundCloud (Visit SoundCloud)
Type: Free Music Platform
Best Website For: Free Electronic Music
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
SoundCloud is a trendsetter. The free music service offers a place for artists to offer their music for free. The app boasts a industry-best user interface. SoundCloud's signature design implementation is their Fourier-transform based frequency diagram which is splashed behind their music widgets.
Since Claptone burst onto the scene, SoundCloud has been a consistent part of the journey. “My first upload was in 2011 and was one of the original Claptone DJ sets that was live recorded. It’s amazing to see how many people have commented on it over the years,” he told us. Always decked out in his trademark golden bird mask, Claptone’s position as one of the biggest names in the German house music scene is no accident. The superstar DJ grew up on classical music and has spent his career combining his favorite styles in order to create a layered and powerful sonic picture. He puts it simply: “Words can’t describe my music.”
The list of artists Claptone has remixed reads like a quintessential who’s who of the industry: from the Pet Shop Boys to Gorillaz to New Order. Yet despite an extensive discography, he remains incredibly selective and won’t take on a project unless there’s something he can do to amplify it and truly bring a track to the dance floor. Aside from working the worldwide festival circuit this summer, Claptone just dropped his latest album Fantast.
As the career trajectory of this global force keeps rising, he always recognizes the opportunities SoundCloud has provided him and other up-and-coming producers. “People can just produce something and if they think it’s good enough, they can upload it and see what the reaction is. Where else can you do that?”
Listen to the latest music from Claptone on SoundCloud now.
Few know the power of creating their own opportunities quite like Lotic. Growing up in Houston, they focused on developing a sound that married the experimental and the accessible, all while sharing abstract vocal arrangements and early beats on SoundCloud. After graduating from college in the midst of a recession and an uncertain political climate in 2012, moving to Berlin seemed like the best option. Since then, they have become a resident artist of Janus, a Berlin-based event and label collective that put Lotic at the forefront of Berlin’s music scene (which ultimately led to gigs at famed super-club Berghain and a not-so-casual DM from Björk, who they produced two remixes for and supported on tour).
Without SoundCloud, the path to success would have been far less clear. “It’s still the best and one of the only ways to share music. It’s easy, quick and straightforward and that just did not exist before SoundCloud. It was needed for so long,” Lotic says. Since being signed to Tri-Angle Records, Lotic’s star has certainly taken off and their sound has evolved massively. Their debut album, Power, drops next month and is bound to turn a cult favorite into a household name. But for Lotic, it’s all about being true to their art and figuring out the next move.
Listen to the latest music from Lotic on SoundCloud now.
We all start somewhere — and for Peggy Gou, that place was SoundCloud. “The first track I ever uploaded was an hour-and-twenty-minute long mix,” the Korean-born, Berlin-based DJ said. “I hide it now because it’s quite embarrassing. I listened back and it’s not bad, but still!”
Before Gou’s latest EP Once dropped in March and became a summer staple, she fine-tuned her skills while the SoundCloud community eagerly listened in and fed back. “My favorite part of SoundCloud is the comments,” she says. “Usually they’re pretty positive and I like reading them because you can write on specific minutes and seconds within the song – it’s a good platform for people who want to break through.”
And break through she definitely has. With over 170 worldwide gigs under her belt, the accolades are stacking up for Gou. At a recent lecture she gave back in Korea, the event was packed full of fans obsessed with the country’s rising house and techno scene. Her biggest piece of advice? “Don’t be afraid to ask around. I bother a lot of people to get what I want,” she explains.
Gou’s accomplished quite a bit already, and she’s just getting started. With the support of her 37K beloved SoundCloud followers, it’s only up from here.
Listen to the latest music from Peggy Gou on SoundCloud now.
Today, we’re excited to announce the European expansion of “First On SoundCloud,” our campaign to celebrate the inspiring stories and raw energy of creators who got their start on SoundCloud.
The expanded campaign spotlights emerging artists within the dance/electronic and hip hop communities and features Claptone, Jan Blomqvist, Jay Prince, Little Simz, Lotic and Peggy Gou throughout the SoundCloud app, social media, newsletters, paid media, and out of home advertising.
Creators everywhere can continue to upload original tracks to SoundCloud and tag it #SCFIRST for a chance to be promoted across SoundCloud playlists, social media, newsletters and blog, plus fast track consideration for monetization in SoundCloud Premier and partnership opportunities.
“First On SoundCloud” began in the US in March 2018 spotlighting 10 groundbreaking artists from across SoundCloud’s global community. From their first SoundCloud upload, to their first album, festival appearance or Grammy nomination, all of us at SoundCloud are excited to continue to support emerging artists on their creative journey!
Host your podcast on SoundCloud to reach your target audience, make new fans, interact with listeners, and keep the overheads low. A few simple steps can get you started and launch your podcast into the world.
Create a SoundCloud account for your podcast
If you haven’t yet created a SoundCloud account, go to SoundCloud:
- Use an active email address to create an account.
- Use the name of your podcast for your Display Name
- Check your inbox for a confirmation email to activate your account
Complete your profile information
Go to your profile and click the Edit button:
- Upload a profile image that is at least 1400 x 1400 pixels.
- Add a description of your podcast to your profile’s bio. This is important because the description will be used as your RSS feed description.
- In the Your Links section, add links to your podcast website and any podcast social media accounts.
To optimize your profile further, refer to the Set up your profile page.
Adjust the content settings
On the Settings page, click the Content tab:
- Choose a category for your podcast.
- Select the language of your podcast.
- Check the “Contains explicit content” box if your podcast contains what might be explicit content.
- Select the Upload default settings that you want. You can override these settings on the edit page of any track. If you intend to primarily upload podcasts, enable the RSS feed setting.
Adjust more content settings (optional)
- Custom feed title: display a longer podcast title in your RSS feed. If you leave the custom feed title blank, your SoundCloud display name will be used.
- Custom author name: add a byline to your podcast, such as “StartUp podcast by Gimlet Media” (if you are the StartUp podcast produced by Gimlet Media). Your SoundCloud display name will be used if you leave the author name blank.
- If you are using a third-party stats-tracking service insert its URL in the Stats service prefix URL. If you are using Podtrac, enter http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3. If you are using Blubrry, copy and paste your custom redirect URL displayed in Powerpress under the Services and Stats section.
- Email address displayed: some podcast apps require an email address to be displayed in your RSS feed. This is where you enter yours.
- Add your first track to your RSS feed by uploading or editing an existing recording.
- On the Permissions tab, check the box next to where it says Include in RSS feed.
Submit your SoundCloud podcast feed to other distribution platforms
You can reach new audiences for your podcast through distribution platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn through an RSS feed on SoundCloud.
Add your SoundCloud RSS feed to your social media networks:
- From the Content tab, copy your RSS feed URL.
- Submit your feed to Stitcher.
- Submit your feed to TuneIn.
- In iTunes, submit your podcast’s RSS feed URL to the iTunes store. If you don’t have iTunes installed, download and install it. Paste your RSS feed URL where it says Podcast Feed URL and follow the subsequent onscreen prompts.
Pro tip: to encourage listeners to follow your SoundCloud profile and leave comments on your podcast, you should promote your SoundCloud URL in the introduction or credits of your podcast. That way, fans who discover your content via iTunes or other distribution platforms will know you’re on SoundCloud.
Once you have uploaded some tracks you can use SoundCloud Stats to understand who your audience is, where they are located, how they listen, and what tracks they like.
You can download the Pulse app to your mobile device to monitor your numbers or alternatively access Stats through the SoundCloud website. You can also upgrade your account to get deeper stats if you plan on getting really serious about your numbers and data.
Stats helps you measure the success of your tracks. You can review your play counts, likes, comments, reposts and downloads, discover which of your tracks are performing best and what countries and cities they’re most popular in. This can help with promo campaigns and give you insight on planning tours, if that’s on your to-do list.
How to take a deep dive on your SoundCloud stats
When viewing Stats for your account, you’ll see a bar chart showing activity over a specific period of time. The chart highlights your five most-popular tracks for the selected period of time.
Hovering over the bar chart provides more detailed information and gives you totals for each day. You can filter your view so that only stats for a specific track are displayed: click on a track title and you’ll see a line graph plotting activity over time.
Use the calendar feature at the top right hand of the page to review your account and see activity over a designated time period. You can customize a time period to coincide with your release or a campaign cycle to see how a track or artist has performed on SoundCloud.Click on a track and select the Overall option for a detailed look at a track’s stats over its lifetime. Analyzing a track – especially around key moments in a campaign – is a great way to help you make informed decisions for future campaigns.
Not gonna lie. SoundCloud can get mighty crowded. How can you make your humble tracks stand out and get the attention they deserve? It just so happens we have some excellent suggestions.
Make sure your profile is up to date
- Keep your profile pic current – unless your seventh grade school photo is the kind of look you’re going for.
- Use your top banner image as a shout out for whatever you’re currently promoting – a new album, tour dates, new track, etc.
- List your social media accounts and contact information in your profile description.
- Link your tour dates to Songkick and Bandpage.
- Highlight your top tracks using our Spotlight feature (you will need a Pro & Pro Unlimited account for this).
Drill down into SoundCloud stats and learn about top-listening countries, cities, what websites are playing your tracks, and where your listeners are located.
- Study your stats to help with radio, brand, touring and advertising opportunities AKA know where you should go.
- “Top country” data can be used to help pitch a new artist to a bigger name act on tour.
- “Top city” data can be used as leverage for radio stations to play a new developing artist.
- “Top listeners” can be your digital street team and used to help promote contests and network with fans.
- “Top Websites” can be used to evaluate online reach as well as advertising plans.
Engage with people you collaborate with as well as other users
- Follow the artists that you have worked with on a track. They are now your family. Get to know them.
- Repost or Like tracks by other artists that you’re featured on. The feeling could get mutual.
- Create playlists to help fans learn about your catalog and hook them into other artists you like.
Some SoundCloud Marketing Basics
Use these ideas to kickstart your own marketing campaign and get your SoundCloud tracks in front of the widest audience possible.
Record an audio announcement about a tour or new music and upload it to your SoundCloud account. Make sure to encourage fans to follow your profile for updates.
SoundCloud’s stats mean that you have information on which of your fans stream your tracks the most. Run a contest where the person who streams a new track on SoundCloud the most in a week wins a prize. Make sure the prize is legitimate and it can actually get to the winner.
Upload a sample of a track and later replace the audio with the full version. Fan engagement on the original upload will stick since only the audio is being replaced.
Twitter Q&A/Ask Me Anything
Engage with fans on social media and get them to ask questions. Provide the answers on SoundCloud as an audio recording.
Direct message fans or record private audio tracks to send to them
Use the SoundCloud direct message feature to directly communicate with fans. You can also use real time comments on tracks as a way to be engage with fans individually.
The post How to stand out from the SoundCloud crowd and win fans appeared first on SoundCloud.
If you want your tracks to be heard by the widest possible audience it’s important to make them easy to find on SoundCloud as well as the wider web. Read on for pro tips on how to get your tracks in front of the right people.
Keep your track, album, and playlist titles clean
We’re not talking about censorship here. We’re talking about all those time you were told as a kid to tidy your room. The same principle applies. A tidy track title helps fans know exactly what they’re listening to.
Avoid duplicating information that’s displayed elsewhere. There’s no need to add track numbers to your title when uploading an album.
Bad title: AllxxThexStars051418vfinal
Good tile: All The Stars
When uploading to an editorial or label account, title your tracks as “Artist Name – Track Title” to ensure the artist is identified and a track isn’t attributed just to the SoundCloud account.
If you’re a podcaster or a journalist who is sharing audio on SoundCloud include important information such as the names of guests and discussion topics in the title. This helps with searches and discoverability.
Make the most of images and descriptions
Your music shouldn’t just sound good, it should also look good. Upload artwork for your tracks and albums. The higher resolution – the better. You can zoom and reposition your artwork or images during the upload process to get the perfect fit.
The descriptions of your tracks and albums are the perfect place to share extra information: include a track’s backstory, add credits, lyrics, gear lists, or guest lists. To give a shout out to collaborators and feature artists, add links to their SoundCloud profiles.
The bottom line: be consistent with your information and your writing style whatever way you choose to present your tracks. It will look more professional.
SoundCloud genre and mood tags are important
SoundCloud uses an algorithm to recommend tracks to users so it’s important to tag your tracks with accurate genre information.
In addition to selecting a main genre, tag your tracks with a few relevant sub-genres and any moods that you think describe the track. It’s better to add a handful of relevant tags rather than go crazy and add as many as you can.
If you’re an audio creator, make sure that your first tag corresponds to one of the main audio categories in Charts. Next, work your way from general terms such as “podcast” to more specific ones such as “NPR” (if, for example, NPR is your thing). It also helps to include the names of guests or geographical places that are discussed.
Build your own SoundCloud discography
Playlists marked as an album, EP, single, or compilation will be displayed in the albums section of your profile. They will be listed in order of release date to make it easier for your fans to find what they’re looking for and save it to their own collection.
If you want to dig into your own archive and upload some old tracks they will be displayed in your discography without taking attention away from your most-recent tracks.
How to edit multiple tracks at once
We have good news if you think updating tracks one at a time seems like a drag (Narrator: It is). You can make changes – update settings, tags, and artwork – to multiple tracks at once and also create a new playlist from a selection of uploads. To update multiple tracks go to soundcloud.com/you/tracks. Select the tracks you want to change and then click Edit or Add to playlist to make your changes.
Use your bio to get the attention of SoundCloud users
Consider your bio as your five-second chance to convince SoundCloud users why they should care about your tracks and listen to them. Tell them something about you in two (or three) short sentences. Seriously. That’s all the space and time you have got. Don’t mess around here.
It’s good to share: add links to your SoundCloud profile
It’s OK – we know you’re not cheating on SoundCloud if you use other social media accounts. The idea is to get your tracks to as many people as possible and for as many people as possible to know about what you have created.
Click on Links to add websites and social media accounts associated with your tracks. This can be your band or podcast homepage or maybe a venue or festival you’re performing at. Don’t be shy. This is a chance for fans to find you and stay up-to-date on what you are doing. Bonus: If you add a link to a Songkick or Bandpage URL to your profile we will automatically display your upcoming shows on your SoundCloud profile.
How to showcase your best work on SoundCloud
If you’re a Pro or Pro Unlimited user, use the Spotlight function to list up to five tracks or playlists at the top of your profile. Tracks listed on Spotlight will be highlighted on your profile. Other tracks will be displayed – with most recent at the top – underneath spotlighted tracks.
This article is part of an on-going series featuring tips and advice aimed at helping you promote yourself as an artist, build a loyal audience, and make the most of your presence on SoundCloud.
From day one, Galimatias was on SoundCloud. The Danish producer joined SoundCloud as a teenager and uploaded his first track within a month. He used the platform as a sounding board, tapping into the unique, ever-present community of creators for inspiration and motivation. “I met guys from all over the world,” Galimatias says. “We were arranging online beat battles with the comments. I had 0 followers but built my initial community through it.”
Yet there was one SoundCloud connection that impacted Galimatias’ career more than any other. In 2013, Cleveland singer Alina Baraz discovered Galimatias’ page and immediately responded to his hazy, bass-heavy instrumentals. She recorded her own melodies and lyrics over his beats and uploaded the results to her own SoundCloud. Despite the thousands of miles dividing them (Ohio is quite a ways away from Denmark), the two artists began to collaborate, eventually releasing an eight-song EP, Urban Flora, in 2015. Galimatias and Baraz’ unique blend of dreamy vocals and sultry R&B beats drew massive critical acclaim and received over 120 million plays on SoundCloud.
Galimatias is currently working on his next solo release, experimenting with new ways to use his own voice and push the boundaries of electronic music and R&B. Wherever Galimatias’ journey takes him, we’re proud of where it all started – right here, on SoundCloud.
The post First beat to first break: Galimatias’ First on SoundCloud story appeared first on SoundCloud.