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SoundCloud vs Spotify: Which Has A Better Music Experience?

Estimated Read Time: 14 min.
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When speaking of music platforms, two that come to mind are SoundCloud and Spotify. Although both have the same function in principle, they are quite different. In this article we are going to talk about these similarities, differences, and ultimately which one offers a better music experience.

So, what exactly is a music experience? It’s more than just listening to your favorite tunes. A music experience encompasses the entire journey of using an app and all of its perks – from how easy and enjoyable it is to navigate, to the vastness of its music library, to the level of interaction with other users and artists, and of course, the value of their subscription plans.

We will break down the key aspects of SoundCloud vs Spotify comparing what they have to offer as music platforms. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which platform offers the better music experience for your needs. Let’s get started!

Which one is easier?

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about an app experience usually is how easy it is to navigate it. Right off the bet, both SoundCloud and Spotify have smooth, user-friendly interfaces that make exploring music enjoyable.They offer a pretty similar experience also. You’ve got your playlists, which are either personally curated by sophisticated algorithms or created by users. Both apps showcase general playlists, a “Recently Played” and “Likes” section, all of which you can find on your Library, making it super easy to dive back into your favorite tracks.

But here’s where SoundCloud takes a unique spin vs Spotify: SoundCloud has a feed. This feature lets you see all the latest releases and reposts from the users and artists you follow. It adds a social layer to the experience, something Spotify doesn’t offer.

illustration of a room background with the spotify logo and souncloud logo in the middle

Music Library Showdown

This question is very interesting because when it comes to numbers, SoundCloud, vs Spotify, has a much bigger number of tracks. Why? Because any user can upload their music to SoundCloud. This open platform gives emerging artists a chance to be discovered without the hassle of going through a distributor, which is necessary for getting your music on Spotify.

This means that you can find hidden and fresh talents on SoundCloud exclusively, giving it an advantage. But it also means that the quality can vary greatly, with some tracks not meeting professional standards.

On the other hand, uploading music on Spotify is a bit harder. Tracks need to be distributed officially. This can generally mean a higher quality throughout all the music in Spotify, removing the possibility of low unprofessional quality being uploaded in the platform.

One other thing worth mentioning is Spotify’s strict copyright policies, that mean you’ll mostly find official versions of songs, as any unofficial tracks are swiftly removed.

SoundCloud, while also having copyright rules, often allows unofficial remixes, mashups, and techno edits to slip through. This can be a paradise for fans of unique, unofficial versions and DJ sets, especially in the electronic music scene. DJs frequently use SoundCloud to share their sets and unreleased tracks, something you won’t find on Spotify.

If you are an artist who is struggling to get some exposure and wants to be noticed and create a fanbase on SoundCloud (or Spotify but we will get to that later), we are happy to let you know that we offer services that will give you the boost that you need to get more plays, likes, reposts, followers, comments or downloads on SoundCloud! You can give it a shot and use it as a tool for a good kickstart! Anyways, back to the article now.

Which Delivers the Best Audio Quality?

Speaking of audio quality, both SoundCloud and Spotify have impressive offerings. SoundCloud streams at 256kbps AAC, similar to a 320kbps MP3, especially for SoundCloud GO+ users. Spotify, on the other hand, can reach up to 320kbps, adjusting based on your network and device. Now that we got them specs covered, lets jump into what that really means for you?

To be honest, not much! Both platforms deliver high-quality audio that sounds fantastic. While listeners can be divided on thinking that one is better than the other, most people won’t notice a difference.

illustration of a phone showing soundclound vs spotify

Community and Social Features

On the social aspect of these apps, SoundCloud truly stands out vs Spotify! SoundCloud is not just a simple music app, but also a diverse hub for artists, labels, and users making interaction super easy. You can send messages, like, comment, and repost content, fostering a lively community where connections are made, and feedback is shared.

On the contrary, Spotify falls short in the social department. While you can follow friends and artists and like songs to add them to your favorites, that’s about it. There’s also the option to create “blended” playlists, but many users find it easier to share songs through other social media platforms.

However Spotify has something under its sleeve that SoundCloud doesn’t: the ability to check concert dates for your favorite artists directly within the app. This makes it easy to stay updated on upcoming live performances.

Speaking of Spotify, whether you are an artist and want more people to listen to your music or just a music aficionado that wants their playlist heard and discovered, we also offer services to introduce your music or playlists to more users.

Soundcloud Go+ vs Spotify Premium

Both SoundCloud and Spotify offer subscription services for its users, allowing them a smoother experience in the app, with more features. But before we dive into those, we need to have a general understanding of what the free versions of these apps offer us. SoundCloud’s free version offers a lot more flexibility, which makes sense given its close ties with artists. Limiting users too much would push them away. SoundCloud Go+ offers perks like ad-free, offline streaming and some additional features, but the main draw is ditching the ads and listening offline. The Go+ library isn’t nearly as expansive as Spotify’s, though. Most SoundCloud users are there for underground artists and unique tracks not found on other platforms, and much of this music is free to listen to, so paying for Go+ isn’t a must in our opinion.

Spotify’s free version, however, is very limited, often making it frustrating to use. It sometimes feels like the free version isn’t even a real option due to its many restrictions. But upgrading to Spotify Premium is worth it for many, as it unlocks a vast catalog of albums and well-known artists, offering a really good music experience.

two hand holding phones and the phones show soundcloud go+ and spotify premium service

Final Thoughts: SoundCloud vs Spotify

In the end both SoundCloud and Spotify are amazing streaming services, each offering their unique take on user experience. Your choice really does come down to a personal preference. If you are into underground artists and unofficial remixes, edits, DJ podcasts, and bootlegs, SoundCloud is your go-to. It’s also great for staying up-to-date with your favorite artists thanks to its chronological feed where you can see everything they post in real-time.

On the other hand, Spotify excels with its curated music selection and expertly managed playlists. It offers a more polished and streamlined music experience, perfect for those who prefer official releases and well-organized content.
So to sum it up:The difference between SoundCloud and Spotify is that SoundCloud is a social network for musicians where they can share their music with other artists and fans in a very open way meanwhile Spotify, is a more traditional music streaming service with a focus on established artists and high-quality playlists. The choice is yours whether you go with SoundCloud vs Spotify, it all depends on what kind of music experience you’re looking for.

If you enjoyed this article and you want to read more about SoundCloud, Spotify or a variety of other social media apps, you can always check our blog page for helpful tips and tricks and so much more!