Spotify vs SoundCloud

The SoundCloud vs Spotify Battle – Pros & Cons of Each Music Service

If you are an upcoming music artist, you may find that it is extremely difficult to know where it is that you should be putting your songs.  There are tons of different online platforms that each have their pros and cons, but each of the potential online platforms also usually caters to a specific type of genre, scene, or even particular types of singers.  Two of the very best of these online platforms are going to be Spotify and SoundCloud. They are both websites that publish music and they both try to help the up and coming singers to get the exposure that they need to announce that they are here, and this is the type of music that they make. 

On top of that, both of the platforms are extremely simple to use, but the way that each function is going to be very different. As mentioned above, each of these particular platforms is going to have their own advantages and their own disadvantages. With that being said, if you are an artist looking to get some exposure online, it would be in your best interest to know what the pros and cons of each of these particular platforms and services really are, which will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best for you.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to both Spotify and SoundCloud.

#1 – Which Platform Costs More?

Both Spotify and SoundCloud both have services that are going to be free (also referred to as unpaid), and services that are going to cost you money (more commonly referred to as premium services).  With that being said, no matter which of these particular platforms you decide to go with, their free and paid services are going to differ from each other more than you would imagine.


For Spotify, most of its profits are going to be made through its subscription services, as most of the unauthorized songs they have available will be free to all of their unpaid customers.  Spotify’s premium service will run you $9.99 per month, giving you a ‘family plan’, which allows multiple users to be signed in to the same account at the same time, which will cost you $14.99 per month and is good for up to 6 different individuals.

Also included with a Spotify premium account, you can expect to receive:

  1. Ability to listen to music even if you are offline
  2. Great standard audio that is equivalent to 320kbit/s
  3. No ads when you are listening to your songs


When it comes to SoundCloud, they do have a free option that allows you to listen to some of the songs that they do have to offer.  However, with SoundCloud, people are also able to upload some of their recorded music and sounds, as long as they are shorter than two hours in total length.

As for SoundCloud’s premium subscription, it is going to cost you $9.99 per month but will allow you unlimited access to many more songs and they will all be ad-free.  

On a side note, if you are interested in purchasing an Apple Store subscription to SoundCloud, you will more than likely have to pay an additional $3 per month, as Apple is going to need to make some money off you when it comes to all of the in-app buying possibilities.  What this means, is that it will simply be cheaper to get your subscription to SoundCloud, from SoundCloud.

#2 – Music Quality

One of the main deciding factors when it comes to which online platform that you are going to choose is more than likely going to be the music quality that they have to offer.  With that being said, here are the pros and cons of both Spotify and SoundCloud when it comes to their individual music qualities.


Spotify is currently able to support two different types of streaming.  Those two types are either the premium service, which streams at 320Kbps and faster, or the free service that streams at 160Kbps or faster.  Besides those two, if you are more of a ‘listen to music on your mobile device’ type of person, you can expect to enjoy speeds up to 96Kbps. Also, all of the song files that Spotify has to offer are going to have their very own OGG Vorbis file format.


All of the songs that you will listen to on SoundCloud are going to be in 128Kbps but will have the ever-popular MP3 format.  However, the normal standard of all the songs that you will listen to on SoundCloud is only going to be 64Kbps Opus, and unfortunately, there is absolutely no explanation for why that is.

#3 – Downloading

When it comes to the music that you listen too, streaming is only half the problem.  What happens if you are in an area that doesn’t have any service and you are offline?  This is the exact reason that many people enjoy downloading the songs that hey love right to their mobile device.  It is not only very easy to do, but it also allows you to listen to your favorite songs whenever you are without the service that would normally allow you to do that.  Here are the benefits of Spotify and SoundCloud in regard to downloading songs.


When it comes to the Spotify platform, it will be just the premium members who are able to download any song that they want.  However, all of the downloaded content will not be available to any of the other customers due to the DRM protection that Spotify has on their downloaded songs.  Or, a Spotify customer may potentially be required to share a special DRM removal, that would remove any of the DRM limitations that may be in place. In order to accomplish that feat, you will need to inquire with something such as TuneFab Spotify Music Converter or some other type of similar app.


SoundCloud is one of the few services that will allow you to download their songs for free, but keep in mind that there are many of these free to download songs that have been changed by their individual authors.  However, if you are to download the SoundCloud downloader app, it can easily fix this issue.

#5 – Playlist

Your playlist is essentially your lifeblood of the music that you listen too.  Your playlist is going to be a list of all your favorite songs that you enjoy listening too.  While some streaming services do not allow you to choose what the playlist that you listen to is, there are others that will allow you to customize it to your individual liking.  Here are the pros and cons of playlists when it comes to Spotify and SoundCloud.


With Spotify, you are going to get a list of songs that will be in a very random order and essentially make no sense at all.  Some of the features that Spotify will give you include:

  1. An introduction to the singer of the song, as well as the album that it is on
  2. Similar music that is suggested for you to listen too
  3. Your own personal playlist

If you decide that you are tired of listening to a particular playlist, you do have the power to modify the mood and genre to a different one, if you so desire.  On top of that, there are also many different cool tricks that are available to you. In fact, there are many different times that Spotify is going to give you famous music, as well as mainspring with very specific publicity.


The main highlight when it comes to SoundCloud’s playlists is the fact that it will combine both style music, with similar unknown and very interesting musicians who are in the same genre of music.  SoundCloud users are able to both upload and distribute different audio tracks, which means that they are going to find several different artists who are simply amazing, but who have very little fame.  What this means, is that if you love listening to new and undiscovered musical talent, SoundCloud will give you everything that you could ever want.

There is a very big disadvantage, however.  That disadvantage being that when you do decide to purchase a SoundCloud premium subscription, you are not going to get access to many more songs than if you have the free subscription.  The SoundCloud playlist is not going to provide you with any type of personalized album that you will be able to listen too, which only means that you will be able to find some of the other lesser known musicians so much easier.  Essentially, you are not going to be able to create a personalized playlist but will need to do a little bit of work to discover the up and coming musicians that you do enjoy listening too.

No matter which streaming audio service that you decide to go with, you can rest assured that they will be able to satisfy any and all of your musical needs, no matter what those may be.

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