Bandcamp vs. SoundCloud – Which Service is Better?
With so many apps available to stream music and upload your original content, the choices can be overwhelming. There are plenty of options where users can download or stream songs and musicians can upload their latest tune in hopes that it goes viral. Two of the most popular platforms are Bandcamp and SoundCloud.
If you’re an enthusiastic music lover and live, eat, and breathe music, you may be wondering which one is better. The same can be said for musicians who are looking to have their voices heard. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between Bandcamp and SoundCloud, from both a listener’s and musician’s perspective.
Bandcamp vs. SoundCloud
Bandcamp and SoundCloud are both unquestionably popular for streaming and uploading music. They benefit both the listener and the creator with easy to navigate apps that tie in the global music community. If you are uncertain which one best suits your needs as a listener, keep reading. We’ll let you know what’s special about each of them so you can make an educated decision about which one is right for you.
Bandcamp Listener’s Guide
Bandcamp has lots to offer and is a good source for listening to and finding new music, especially if you are looking for something outside of the mainstream. If you’re searching for something unique and different, Bandcamp is a good place to start your search. Here’s what to expect from the platform as a listener.
Bandcamp offers a free version of the app. All that’s required to open an account is a valid email address. You can sign up using your Android, iPhone, PC, or Mac. Simply supply your email address, select a password and screen name, and you’re ready to search for new music. Your free account gives you access to thousands of bands and even more songs.
Easy to Navigate
Bandcamp’s user interface is easy to use. Using the search window on the top of the screen, you can quickly narrow down your hunt for new music. You can search by musical genre, album, or track, or you can scroll through the lists of featured or recommended artists. Navigating the site is straightforward.
Opportunity to Either Stream or Buy
You won’t have to immediately buy a track that you know nothing about. With Bandcamp, you can stream all the music you want without paying a cent. If you fall in love with a track and want it for offline listening, you can purchase and download it to your favorite device. With Bandcamp, you have the option to stream all the tracks you want for free or purchase music to download.
SoundCloud Guide for Listeners
SoundCloud is a great option for discovering new music, especially music that is beyond the mainstream. With its endless choices, you can easily fall into the musical rabbit hole and get lost in new sounds and artists. Read on to see what to expect from the platform as a SoundCloud listener.
Opening an Account Is Free
SoundCloud offers a free version that’s available for iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC. Creating an account is quick and easy with a few different options. You can simply log in using your Apple ID, Facebook, or Google credentials, or you can create an account. Each method will produce the same result.
Simple User Interface
With your free account, you can browse and listen to thousands of different bands and artists. Just type in a genre, and you’ll be shown an endless list of available music. You can even try using keywords to find something more specific, or, of course, you can also search by a band’s name or track listing.
To Stream or to Buy
With SoundCloud, you’ll have the choice to either stream tracks or purchase them for offline listening. You’ll have the ability to stream as many tracks as you’d like at no cost to you.
Bandcamp vs. SoundCloud for Artists
Both Bandcamp and SoundCloud allow artists to upload their music to the platform to get their voices heard. But which one is better for artists? We’ll highlight some of the selling points for artists and content creators on both platforms. If you’re thinking of uploading your tracks to share with the world, you’ll find this information useful.
Bandcamp for Artists
As a musician or content creator, you’re probably looking for the best platform to showcase your talents. This may be solely for fun or to generate an income stream. Bandcamp is a wonderful platform for both. You can test the waters on a new track or monetize your music and get paid for your efforts. Let’s see what Bandcamp has to offer for an artist.
With Bandcamp for artists, you’ll have full control of the pricing for digital downloads. You can set your price, or offer them for free in exchange for an email address that you can add to your promotional email list. For each digital download, 85% of the sale goes directly to the artist. And for those who don’t download your track for offline listening, Bandcamp has an option for listeners to tip the artist. This “virtual tip jar” is a nice benefit.
However, with a free account, artists must either list all of their tracks available for purchase or entirely for free. You can’t mix and match.
Bandcamp offers an online store for downloads, selling merchandise, and even concert tickets for your events. Not only can you sell digital downloads of your music, but you also have the opportunity to sell your merchandise; things like t-shirts and vinyl records. This is a wonderful feature for those artists looking to generate an income.
With Bandcamp, you have the ability to live-stream concerts. Using the “Live” feature, you can host real-time concerts on their platform. This feature also includes a chatroom for fans and a digital merch table.
Your paid monthly subscription allows for a customized domain name and great demographic stats at your fingertips. With a paid membership, you can mix and match between free music and paid downloads.
SoundCloud for Artists
Whether you’re looking to simply have fun with a musical project or if you’re a music professional, SoundCloud has lots to offer. You have the option of sharing your tracks just for the fun of it, or with monetization, you can try to earn some cash. If you are considering uploading some content to a music streaming platform, we’ve got information to help you decide if SoundCloud is for you.
Different Plans to Suit Your Needs as an Artist
SoundCloud offers three different plans for artists. If you don’t have a lot of content to upload, the free plan is perfect. With a free plan, a creator can upload up to 3 hours of content. If you want to upload more than that, you’ll have to pay for one of their other two plans. With a Pro User subscription, you can upload up to 6 hours of original content. Pro Unlimited users have no restrictions on how many hours of content they can list.
Monetize Your Music
The free version of SoundCloud does not allow for the monetization of your streams. To monetize, a user must subscribe to one of its paid subscription plans. Your content will need to be 100% original. SoundCloud doesn’t allow for the monetization of mixes or podcasts. You’ll also have to have a minimum of 500 streams available in the past month. However, to have a recurring passive income using monetization, you’ll need thousands of listeners each month.
A nice feature of SoundCloud is the “Fan Support Button” that allows fans of your tracks to show their appreciation for your music. They can send a monetary contribution by tapping the button that links to your PayPal, Patreon, or other platform that you’ve set up. You’ll receive 100% of the funds. SoundCloud doesn’t take a cut from any donations made to the artist.
Analytics and Stats
Pro User and Pro Unlimited subscribers will have access to great statistical information that will give artists insight into which tracks are performing best, who their top fans are, and how many plays are coming from links embedded in other sites. This information can assist you in many different ways and can help to show if you’re marketing your projects effectively.
Two Platforms With Different Options
Bandcamp and SoundCloud are both popular platforms for streaming music. For the average listener, both offer similar experiences. The bigger differences between the two are for artists and creators who are looking to earn money with their creations. You can generate income with SoundCloud with the monetization of your streams, but with Bandcamp, income is generated by selling digital downloads.
Do you use Bandcamp or SoundCloud? What have your experiences been with these streaming platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.