On previous editions of our “How to make money with your music” series we have told you about some of the most popular DSPs but, in today’s post, we want to give you some guidelines on how to monetize SoundCloud.
Therefore, in this article we will explain how the platform works, how to get a verified profile and most importantly: how to benefit from the royalties of your music on SoundCloud.
What is SoundCloud?
SoundCloud is a space dedicated to emerging musicians in order to facilitate them a digital platform where they can promote their music.
It should be noted that, in recent years, SoundCloud not only hosts music on its platform, but many content creators use the advantages of this social network to promote, for example, podcasts.
As SoundCloud describes its own app, “SoundCloud empowers the world’s audio creators with the best tools, services and resources to build and grow their careers.”
Can you monetize SoundCloud for free?
Yes, you can monetize music on SoundCloud for free, which we will explain later. Still, one of SoundCloud’s standout features is that there are subscriptions for artists.
These subscriptions offer different services and advantages to artists and some of them have to do with monetization.
Thus, the types of subscription on SoundCloud are:
1. SoundCloud Basic
As you can imagine, this is the free version of SoundCloud. This subscription allows you to upload up to 3 hours of music content, store your music in the highest quality within the platform and access basic statistics of your performance.
2. Repost by SoundCloud
With this option you will have the possibility to distribute your music in the main DSPs, access to a large number of music promotion tools and, in addition, services that will assist you in monetizing your content and sharing it with your collaborators in case there are any.
3. SoundCloud Pro
Having this subscription will allow you to upload up to 6 hours of content, highlight the songs you are most interested in and modify the reproduction order of your music. On the other hand, you will be able to activate what is known as Quiet Mode, a tool to see and manage the comments and statistics of your creations.
4. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited
Pro Unlimited is the most expensive version within the platform. It will allow you to have access to the functionalities already mentioned in the other levels. But, also, you will be able to upload unlimited music content, replace your tracks without losing statistics and access more technical and advanced performance analysis.
Did you know that you can also upload your music directly to Apple Music? Check out how to make money with your music on Apple Music to learn more.
Get an artist profile on SoundCloud
Before start explaining how to monetize SoundCloud, we recommend that you don’t forget to apply for an artist profile.
The requirements to apply are as follows:
When you ensure that you meet all the requirements, go from a computer to your SoundCloud profile and then select “settings”. If you meet the requirements, the option to “request verification” will appear, which is how an artist channel is identified on the platform.
If you feel that your response takes a while to arrive, don’t despair. SoundCloud can take between a week and a month to process your request for an artist profile.
If you’d like to know a little more about how royalties work to better understand how payments are done on SoundCloud, you can always read the first part of our guide on royalties and how to make money with your music.
How to monetize music on SoundCloud?
Surprisingly, this is one of the most common questions you may encounter on the Internet, as the platform only added payment methods relatively recently.
To make money with SoundCloud you have to participate in some monetization method. These methods are based on listeners’ subscriptions and advertisements.
1. How to monetize music on SoundCloud?
In SoundCloud you will be able to monetize your music song by song, being independent of each other.
To do this, go to the “monetization” tab when you add the audio file data. When you activate it, you will be asked for the metadata necessary to receive your royalties, don’t forget the ISRC code!
2. Fan-powered royalties
Another way to earn money with SoundCloud is a royalty payment method created by the platform itself and known as “fan-powered royalties”.
These royalties are paid according to the amount of time fans listen to each artist. In other words, the more fans listen to your creations on the platform, the more revenue you will receive.
By doing so, SoundCloud wants to support emerging artists as this way of paying royalties is more equitable and fair for those industry professionals who want to monetize on SoundCloud.
Fan-powered royalty payments depend on:
Before we continue, we offer you to take a look at how to make money with your music on TikTok in case you are interested in discovering how royalties are paid on some social networks.
How do you qualify for monetization on SoundCloud?
There are other monetization methods depending on the artist’s subscription. For this, one of these requirements must be met:
1. SoundCloud Premier
By having a Pro Unlimited subscription, artists will be able to get the benefits of this monetization program. In this case, no application is required.
On the contrary, when you are eligible to participate in this monetization program, a notification will appear in your profile for you to sign the royalty payment agreement.
2. Repost by SoundCloud
We have previously mentioned Repost by SoundCloud as a subscription for artists on SoundCloud.
Even so, the platform also mentions that with this subscription both artists and record labels can distribute music, get more followers and earn revenue with their works on SoundCloud and other platforms.
Therefore, they add that “for any of the functions related to distribution or monetization, you keep 80% of the revenue.”
To better understand how the division of payments into royalties works, we recommend you to read the second part of our guide on how to make money with your music: royalties.
3. Repost Select
This is arguably the highest level for artists within the platform. In order to enjoy Repost Select to monetize on SoundCloud, you must be a selected subscriber of Repost by SoundCloud.
If they send you an invitation that you have been admitted:
If you are planning to upload your music to platforms other than SoundCloud, you can start, for example, with some tips on how to make money with your music on Amazon Music.
On the other hand, if what you want is a much more in-depth explanation of how SoundCloud works and its monetization, take a look at this video!
Now you know a little more about the different possibilities you have to monetize your music on SoundCloud. What are you waiting for to share your work?