Are you looking to be a music producer? It may surprise you to learn that making good music isn’t going to automatically guarantee you success. Marketing and promotion are two very important factors that all musicians need to consider before publishing their work. One of the first and most important decisions that producers need to make is which platform they want to focus on establishing their name through. The two most popular options are SoundCloud and YouTube. Both are great platforms, however, one is clearly better.
SoundCloud is the better network for many reasons. It provides better audio quality, it is preferred by labels, it makes sharing your music easier than ever, and profiles are more concise than those on YouTube. Furthermore, you are provided with precise analytics, streams are more straightforward, and finally, SoundCloud is a music first service. While it may still be beneficial to start a YouTube channel, these reasons should convince any new music producer to focus their efforts on successfully promoting their SoundCloud. It is not very hard to see why the majority of amateur, novice, up and coming, as well as, many professional musicians prefer SoundCloud to YouTube.
1. Audio Quality
While both SoundCloud and YouTube stream audio at 128 kbps, SoundCloud utilizes a better compression algorithm that allows compressed files to sound more accurate in comparison to their original lossless format. I have found that low frequencies sound less distorted and higher ones sound clearer, creating a better listening experience. Audio quality is obviously a very important factor to consider, as you want fans to hear your tracks the way you intended them to sound; SoundCloud allows you to do just that.
SoundCloud is also the preferred format of demo submissions by many major Electronic Music labels. While many labels will accept private YouTube links, some big labels, such as Protocol, require a private SoundCloud link. The ultimate goal for producers is to get released on big labels, and having a well-established SoundCloud page will get you one step closer to that dream.
SoundCloud offers users the option to enable direct downloads on their tracks. This makes sharing music with fans easier than ever, as the track can be downloaded directly from SoundCloud rather than making fans follow external links to download a track. While saving one step may not seem like a big deal, many people, myself included, often will not download a song if we have to go through multiple steps to do so. Furthermore, SoundCloud is also better integrated with many follow gates, such as ToneDen, further simplifying the process of sharing music.
On SoundCloud, profiles are more concise than those on YouTube. “About Me” info, external links, uploads, likes, following, and followers all appear on one page. On YouTube, profiles are split up into multiple tabs, making it less convenient to find anything on a profile. This is a big deal when artists are trying to appeal to labels and talent agencies, as talent scouts do not have the time to spend more than a minute, sometimes less, checking out a prospective artists profiles online.
Both SoundCloud and YouTube offer in-depth analytics, providing users with information on views and plays per timed period and the geographical location of viewers and listeners. However, SoundCloud also provides users with statistics regarding which cities, as well as what platforms and sites (ex. Twitter, Hypem) that people are accessing their music from. Although these features are only available to pro and pro unlimited users. This information allows users to know which platforms to focus their future promotions on, a valuable tool for amateur and up-and-coming producers.
SoundCloud simplifies streams by displaying all posts by users you follow into one chronological stream. This makes finding new music simpler than ever by having it all in one place. On YouTube, you are presented with recommended videos and a few of the new uploads posted by channels you are subscribed to. In order to view a full list of new posts, you have to go to the subscriptions tab; yet another added step by YouTube to get to the information you want. While not a big deal to some, the simplicity and efficiency of SoundCloud is a welcome change from YouTube.
7. Music First
SoundCloud is a music first service, whereas YouTube is a general media site, not particularly focused on one form of media. This makes finding content on SoundCloud easier than ever as it is almost all music (with the occasional podcast). This is also very beneficial as new producers are surrounded by an environment that is devoted to music, opening up endless possibilities to reach out to other producers for assistance and advice.
These 7 reasons should be enough to convince any new producer of the advantages SoundCloud offers over YouTube in promoting and marketing the name of new and up-and-coming artists. If you are not convinced, I suggest you ask some rising artists what platform they prefer; don’t be surprised when the answer comes back as SoundCloud.