You love discovering new music and streaming the latest hits, right? Of course you do – what music lover doesn’t? If you’re like most people, you probably bounce between YouTube and SoundCloud to get your music fix. But have you ever wondered which platform might dominate music streaming in the coming years? The battle for music streaming supremacy is heating up.
While YouTube reigns supreme right now, SoundCloud is nipping at its heels. Both platforms have huge music libraries and massive audiences, but they also have some key differences that could determine which one comes out on top. The future of music streaming is up for grabs. Let’s explore what YouTube and SoundCloud have to offer and which one might rule the streaming world.
YouTube Music: The Video Giant Takes on Streaming
YouTube Music has come a long way from just being a place to watch music videos. Now, YouTube Music is Google’s dedicated music streaming service with over 70 million songs, albums, and high-quality audio.
YouTube Music has a few advantages over other streaming services. First, it has an enormous catalog of remixes, live performances, and user-uploaded content you won’t find anywhere else. Second, the service creates personalized playlists based on your tastes and listening habits. It will suggest new releases, throwback hits, and undiscovered songs suited for any mood or genre you’re into.
YouTube Music’s biggest selling point is obviously the music videos. While other services focus primarily on audio, YouTube Music lets you find the official music video or live performance for nearly every song. Music videos are a great way to discover new artists through visuals and enhance your listening experience.
The service does have some downsides, though. The audio quality isn’t quite as high as Tidal or Deezer for audiophiles. YouTube Music’s interface can also feel cluttered at times with so much video content. And while the music catalog is huge, some artists or albums may be missing due to licensing issues.
SoundCloud: The Place for New & Emerging Artists
If you’re an up and coming music artist, SoundCloud should be your platform of choice. Here’s why:
- Exposure: SoundCloud has over 175 million monthly listeners. Getting your music in front of that huge audience is key to building your fan base.
- Creative freedom: You have complete control over your content. Upload demos, podcasts, DJ sets – the possibilities are endless. SoundCloud embraces experimentation and fresh ideas.
- Connections: SoundCloud makes it easy to connect with your followers and other artists. Engage with comments, repost other music you like, join groups to collaborate – all of which can lead to new opportunities.
- Data insights: SoundCloud provides detailed stats to help you understand your audience. See who’s listening, where they live, what they’re engaging with and more. Use those insights to shape your content and promotion strategy.
Content & Music Discovery: YouTube vs. SoundCloud
When it comes to discovering new music, YouTube and SoundCloud offer different strengths. On YouTube, you’ll find a mix of official music videos, live performances, covers, and remixes. SoundCloud focuses specifically on new songs, podcasts, and other audio. Both platforms have huge catalogs of content and ways to uncover up-and-coming artists.
YouTube: Visual Discovery
YouTube is all about visual discovery. You can fall down a rabbit hole of related music videos and live clips, each one leading you to new songs and artists. The platform also has curated video playlists to help you find trending new releases in every genre. Many artists premiere their music videos on YouTube first, so you can be among the first to see the latest from your favorite singers and bands.
SoundCloud: Audio Curation
On SoundCloud, the focus is on audio. They have a huge catalog of songs, remixes, podcasts, and other tracks. SoundCloud’s curated playlists highlight up-and-coming artists and the latest buzzworthy songs. They also have genre stations to help you find new music. Many newer or independent artists release their music on SoundCloud first before other platforms. You may discover an artist on SoundCloud long before they break out into mainstream success.
Both YouTube and SoundCloud use algorithms to recommend new music based on your listening history and likes. The more you use each platform, the more tailored their suggestions become. YouTube may suggest a live performance from an artist similar to one you recently watched. SoundCloud is likely to recommend an indie artist with a style reminiscent of other songs you’ve liked. Just like we said earlier, both platforms are quite incredible but you need a solid fan base. You can easily get quality followers on Soundcloud and subscribers/viewers on YouTube from Subscriberz at competitive prices.
Monetization & Revenue Opportunities for Artists
As an artist, making money from your music is essential to your success and longevity. YouTube and SoundCloud offer different ways for you to earn revenue and support your craft.
YouTube Partner Program
Once you’ve built up a loyal following on YouTube and have over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year, you can monetize your channel by joining the YouTube Partner Program. This allows you to run ads on your music videos and live streams, earning money from the ads viewers watch and click. The more views and engagements you get, the more you can make. Some music channels are earning thousands per month this way.
SoundCloud also offers monetization through ads and subscriptions. With SoundCloud Premier, you can run video and audio ads on your tracks to earn money from the impressions and clicks. You’ll get paid based on your number of plays and engagements. Many popular creators on SoundCloud are making a living from these ads and sponsorships alone.
Fan Support Options
Both platforms give fans ways to directly support you through donations, tipping, and subscriptions. On YouTube, fans can support you through Super Chats during live streams, channel memberships, and Patreon. SoundCloud lets fans tip you or subscribe to your channel for ad-free listening and exclusive perks. These fan support options are an excellent source of recurring revenue.
So where does that leave you, the everyday music lover who just wants to discover new tunes without breaking the bank? While YouTube and SoundCloud both have their pros and cons, overall YouTube edges out the win here with its huge catalog, official music videos, and that free, ad-supported tier. That said, SoundCloud is still a great option if you’re really into finding up and coming artists and producers in electronic music scenes.