SoundCloud and Mixcloud are two similar yet distinct music streaming services that allow users to upload and share tracks. Which you use relies on intent.
The good ol’ days of a simple upload to MySpace being all you had to do to get your music out on the Internet are long gone. Various websites catering to musicians, DJs, and producers have since emerged. While many are fans of SoundCloud and Mixcloud, there are also many musicians and music lovers who cannot quite distinguish the differences between these two services.
Who Is SoundCloud?
SoundCloud is a Germany-based music streaming service founded in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss.
Available in 190 countries, SoundCloud has more than 76 million active monthly users and over 200 million audio tracks on it.
SoundCloud’s platform is simple and powerful. It allows musicians, producers, DJs, and remixers to upload their music. Uploaders can make their tracks private or public, enable or disable each track for download, and showcase their sounds to the world either by embedding them on their own websites or by sharing them through a variety of social media networks.
In return, listeners can enjoy, like, and comment on tracks, as well as share this music. Listeners get to repost tracks of other users on their own SoundCloud page. In turn, this gives those tracks and their composers, songwriters, and creators more exposure. Reposting a track circulates it across the SoundCloud network.
SoundCloud has made it easier for record labels to receive tracks through their share & upload feature. Rather than receiving chunky 20 MB emails, record labels can receive and listen to tracks by clicking on a simple link!
Basic SoundCloud is free and made for any music listener or producer. However, producers looking to upload their music on this platform have a couple more subscription-based publishing options.
- The first is Soundcloud Repost, which, in a nutshell, allows artists to monetize their tracks and promotes them on weekly discovery playlists with a maximum upload time of 3 hours for a fixed monthly price of $29.99.
- The second option is Soundcloud Next Pro. This $12.49 subscription allows artists unlimited access to SoundCloud’s potential with boundless upload times, scheduled releases, monetization of tracks, and advanced listener insights.
- Listeners also get a choice of paid subscriptions, i.e. Soundcloud Go ($4.99/month) where you can save unlimited tracks ad-free, and Soundcloud Go+ ($9.99/month) where the latter features are included with added access to the full “Go+” catalog with premium audio quality.
Who Is Mixcloud?
Mixcloud is a British-based music streaming service founded a year after SoundCloud in 2008 by Nikhil Shah, Nico Perez, Mat Clayton, and Sam Cooke.
Mixcloud serves quite a different purpose than SoundCloud. Mixcloud is aimed more at exposing mixes and shows by DJs, podcasters, announcers, radio stations, and even dance club promoters or festival organizers.
Mixcloud users can upload their mix, time-stamp them (identify the tracks within that mix), and share them on their websites and across social networks. Mixcloud identifies most tracks featured in any mix and, if applicable, provides the listener with a direct ‘buy link’.
This platform offers multiple unique subscription options including a basic free plan that only allows you to seek forwards and play an individual show up to 3 times every 2 weeks. The basic Mixcloud plan includes ads, of course.
Another option is the “Select” subscription where fans can directly support an individual creator for a monthly price set by the creator, starting at $2.99/month. This allows you to provide an ad-free experience and the ability to watch shows offline for a select artist only.
For $7.99 a month, Mixcloud offers fans a “Premium” option that allows unlimited adless replays of public shows without seeking restrictions, though the offline listening option is solely offered in the “Select” subscription.
There also is a “Pro” option for a $15 monthly fee, which allows creators to monetize their content, see engagement statistics, schedule uploads, broadcast live, and more.
Soundcloud Or Mixcloud: Which Do You Choose?
Now that the main differences between SoundCloud and Mixcloud have been explained, why do most musicians, DJ artists, bands, and podcasters feature their mixes on SoundCloud only?
SoundCloud is certainly better known on a worldwide stage. It tends to feature more genres. It also is very much the Facebook of social media-esque music streaming services. Spotify isn’t like SoundCloud. Spotify’s very corporate-minded and does not include the social aspect that SoundCloud has. SoundCloud is extremely easy to use.
There are also many similar services beyond Spotify that one could say is similar to SoundCloud. Mixcrate, Pandora, PLAY.FM, Rdio, and Rhapsody all have their market share or have all influenced SoundCloud in some way. Simply put, SoundCloud is the biggest of these, has the most eyes, and has the largest share of the market.
It also might be the fact that it is more convenient for producers and podcasters to feature their work in one place. If you host a song or performance on SoundCloud, that can be embedded on every social media platform, your website, and anywhere.
There are also factors such as reposting or even the statistic chart that SoundCloud provides that may attract more podcasters to solely use this service as opposed to investing their time in multiple platforms.
Mixcloud is for a very specific market. Radio shows. DJ mixes. Podcasts. That’s their specialty.
Whatever the case may be, the hope is that everyone uses these sites to their full potential and for the right reasons.