SoundCloud is notoriously popular among independent artists. The platform helps indie artists upload, stream, and make money on their original music. Savvy users can even connect distributors and online stores to their SoundCloud to make more money.
Every musician’s dream is to make money from their craft, and SoundCloud helps independent artists on their way to do just that. This article gives a full breakdown of the best ways to optimise your earning potential on SoundCloud.
Can you make money on SoundCloud?
Independent artists across the board have been able to make money on SoundCloud since 2018; when SoundCloud Premier was re-launched with a revised set of rules.
The monetisation programme existed before 2018 but was an invite-only beta until the programme was changed a couple of years ago. The new, revamped SoundCloud Premier has become much more inclusive and allows any indie artists who self-upload tracks to make money on SoundCloud.
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How do you qualify for monetisation on SoundCloud?
You’ll have to tick a few boxes to qualify for monetisation on SoundCloud. To start with, you need to be signed up to SoundCloud Premier to start making money from your music.
To be eligible for SoundCloud Premier, you need to be:
- 18 years old or above
- An independent, original creator
- A Pro or Pro Account SoundCloud member
- An artist who has at least 5,000 plays in the past month from SoundCloud monetised countries
- An account holder with no copyright strikes
How to monetise a track on SoundCloud
Once you’ve signed a SoundCloud Premier agreement, you can submit a request to monetise your tracks on the platform. If you’re approved, a blue icon will appear beside your content.
When you’ve got your account approved, you can monetise multiple tracks on your SoundCloud account at once by following these steps:
Go to your tracks page and select all the tracks you want to monetise.
Press the “Edit tracks” button and click “Monetisation.”
Double-check your metadata is correct and then press the “Enable Monetisation” button.
Press “Save,” and you’ll be notified in 24 hours whether your monetisation request has been approved.
How many plays do you need on SoundCloud to get paid?
You’ll need to be signed up to SoundCloud Premier to get paid on SoundCloud. To go Premier, you need 5000 plays in the SoundCloud approved countries listed below.
SoundCloud monetisation countries
To sign up for SoundCloud Premier, your tracks need to be streamed in SoundCloud’s recognised monetised countries. These are currently the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.
Where SoundCloud monetised tracks are available to stream
Once you monetise your track on SoundCloud, your song will be made available to stream in all countries. Just double-check your SoundCloud track settings and ensure you haven’t enabled geo-blocking if you want your tracks to be streamed everywhere.
SoundCloud monetisation free
If you want to make money on SoundCloud, you’ll have to part with some of your own money first. Sadly, there’s no way to access their monetisation for free – subscribing to a Pro account alone comes with a monthly charge.
Like with a lot of audio streaming platforms, selling your music on SoundCloud has a catch: the platform will keep a share of the revenues from your sales. Singers and musicians who monetise with SoundCloud Premier receive a 55% net revenue. This means that for every song you upload or own the rights to, you will earn a 55% share of the profit, while SoundCloud will keep a 45% cut.
Your income on SoundCloud is also affected by the platform’s revenue. How much you get paid will depend on how much SoundCloud makes from advertising and subscriptions, as it’s these schemes that fund the SoundCloud Premier programme. If SoundCloud doesn’t perform well and their income dips, so will yours.
How does Soundcloud make money?
As SoundCloud’s performance and revenue will directly affect your income, it’s worth knowing how the platform makes its money. SoundCloud operates a freemium basis, meaning its core streaming is available free of charge to its users.
If people can listen to your music for free, you might wonder how you can make any money on your tracks. The SoundCloud Premier programme is funded largely by premium features and advertising, meaning that – although fans can access your music for free – the platform can still make a profit and pay you revenue on your songs.
Premium features like SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Pro Unlimited require a subscription fee. The income from this, and from collaborations with big companies and brands to run ad campaigns, turn over a profit for SoundCloud and allow them to pay artists who upload tracks to the site.
How much money do you make on SoundCloud per play?
The revenue you make on SoundCloud depends on more than just your plays, so it’s hard to determine how much money you’ll make based on streams alone.
Your income will actually depend on SoundCloud’s performance each month in terms of advertising and membership subscription, rather than how many times your track is played. Whether people engage with the ads on SoundCloud (which they won’t if they have an ad blocker on) will affect how much you earn, and this means your revenue can fluctuate.
A rough ball-park figure for how much existing artists have been paid per play on SoundCloud is in the region of $2.50 – $4.00 for every 1000 streams.