SoundCloud was established in 2008 and is the world’s largest online music and audio platform. The fact that Soundcloud is so popular means that it allows people to discover and enjoy music from the most diverse community of music creators in the world. The Soundcloud platform allows creators and their fans to connect directly to each other from across the globe. It’s free to create an account at Soundcloud, which often makes people wonder exactly how Soundcloud makes money.
How does Soundcloud make Money?
The fact that it’s completely free to join Soundcloud is actually one of the main reasons why it is able to make so much money. When Soundcloud was founded in 2008 it was created as a business venture, for which it received funding from investors. Investors were attracted by the fact that Soundcloud already had an impressive subscriber base, even in the early stages. This was where the original money came from to create the platform and promote it across the internet. After Soundcloud had been around for a while and had increased even more in popularity, the creators decided to introduce a paid subscription alongside the free subscription. This meant that it was still possible to join Soundcloud for free (and still is today), but members who paid for their ‘Pro’ subscription had access to premium features. Such features include:
- Double upload time
- Additional statistics (including number of plays by country)
- The ability to highlight tracks and playlists by pinning them to the top of your profile
The Soundcloud Pro subscription costs £45 per year, or 25% more at £5 per month if paid annually. There is also the addition of the ‘Pro Unlimited’ subscription, which offers even more features for £72 per year, or £8 per month. It is the Pro and Pro Unlimited subscriptions that allow Soundcloud to make money. The free signup is a great way to increase the number of subscribers at the same time.
Other ways that Soundcloud makes Money
Now that Soundcloud has such a huge subscriber base (over 175 million people), there are other ways that Soundcloud are able to make money from its users. One of the main ways that Soundcloud makes money outside the offer of paid subscriptions is via online advertising. Soundcloud get paid thousands to insert advertisements both on their website and at the beginning, middle and end of artist’s videos. Despite ads only being introduced fairly recently, they have already generated vast amounts of money for Soundcloud, and the management is keen to carry on with online advertising, despite receiving a large amount of criticism from its features artists.
The fact that Soundcloud are so popular and make so much money means that the ball is in their court when it comes to running the website. Artists have little choice but to put up with the management decisions of Soundcloud because there is no popular alternative at present. That’s not to say that there will not be a rival to Soundcloud in the future, but given the fact that Soundcloud is already extremely popular and is increasing in popularity by the year, it will probably be quite a while before the general public begin to use something else. In the near future, Soundcloud may well be able to make even more money with a paid subscription that removes the ads that they introduced!