13 Creative Ways To Make Money On SoundCloud

SoundCloud is one of the largest audio streaming platforms in the world. If you’re in the music and audio scene, you may want to look into how to make money on SoundCloud as a way to monetize your skills.

There are many ways you can make money on SoundCloud. This can be the stepping stone to launch your music career. And it can be a great foundation for building your business.

It’s made for indie artists, so if you’re an emerging artist on the music scene, you’ll be in good company and will feel at home.

In this article, we’re going to cover how SoundCloud works. You’ll learn about:

  • 13 ways how to make money on SoundCloud
  • How much you can earn per 1,000 views and per 1 million views
  • How many SoundCloud followers you need to get paid
  • And more…

Let’s go!

Soundcloud Overview

Soundcloud is home to hundreds of millions of soundtracks from artists around the world. They are the largest community of artists, bands, and music creators across the globe.

If you’re a music and audio creator, you can use SoundCloud to attract fans and distribute your work on a global scale.

SoundCloud Features

You can do things like:

  • Upload your music tracks to Soundcloud, available in various formats like MP3, WAV, AIFF, and FLAC
  • Create a personalized profile to showcase your music tracks
  • Get detailed insights about your plays like reposts, likes, and comments
  • Interact with other users socially on the platform, allowing artists to engage with their fans
  • Monetize your work through various programs like advertising, subscriptions, and more.

User-Generated Content

SoundCloud is built on user-generated content. Musicians can upload their original music tracks, songs, and audio directly onto the platform. 

Once it’s on SoundCloud, they can share it with fans, other creators, and the general public. It’s a great way for independent artists to get their music out there and be seen by the masses.

SoundCloud is used by recording artists, DJs, podcasts, and other audio creators.

Discovery And Sharing

SoundCloud users get on the platform to discover new, emerging music and audio content. They can browse SoundCloud by tracks, playlists, and genres to like, repost, and share tracks they like and support.  

Social Features

SoundCloud is a social network for independent artists.

Attracting an audience, building a fanbase, and growing your social media follower base are all built-in social features you’ll find.

Users can:

  • Like their favorite artists and music
  • Interact and engage with audio creators
  • Have conversations about music and audio content.

Monetization

SoundCloud’s monetization platform allows artists to monetize their audio content. Eligible artists can earn revenue from their content through advertising, subscriptions, and other sources.

Can You Earn Money On SoundCloud?

Yes, making money on SoundCloud is possible. Top SoundCloud creators earn up to hundreds to thousands (or more) per month.

  • This Redditor makes $120 to $160 per month with 12,000 followers
  • This creator gets $150/month with 50,000 plays per month and 500 followers.

These payments are through the SoundCloud For Artists Monetization program (formerly called Soundcloud Premier). This is available to you if you have a SoundCloud Next Pro account.

Let’s look at how you can enable SoundCloud monetization and start getting paid for your music.

13 Ways to Make Money On Soundcloud

There are many ways to earn as a SoundCloud artist, both directly and indirectly. Let’s get into it.

SoundCloud For Artists’ Monetization

SoundCloud has a built-in platform for monetizing music tracks and audio, paying creators for their work, called SoundCloud for Artists.

What Is SoundCloud For Artists?

This is SoundCloud’s monetization program. Once eligible, you’ll start earning based on the number of audio plays you receive.

Signing up is pretty easy. You can go to this page for step-by-step directions, but basically, you’ll:

  • Go to SoundCloud, log in, and visit the Tracks page
  • Choose the track you want to monetize
  • Enable monetization.

You can also enable monetization for multiple tracks at once.

Monetizing your SoundCloud content will allow you to:

  • Customize your track art: This is available to tracks that are monetized on SoundCloud and are on an approved Distribution release through SoundCloud for Artists with Apple and Spotify as release partners.
  • Featured profile: Utilize your SoundCloud banner space to showcase and support other SoundCloud creators.
  • Banner click-throughs: This feature turns your banner into a clickable link where you can connect your website or social media profile.

Join Sellfy

Sellfy is an e-commerce platform for creators. You open a store and can sell digital products and merchandise. You can also embed Sellfy onto your existing website.

Some of the products you can sell on Sellfy include:

  • Music
  • Audiobooks
  • Ebooks
  • PDFs
  • Photography
  • Tutorials.

For music creators, you can sell your songs, albums, or other audio files through your Sellfy store.

How to Set Up Sellfy

To start using Sellfy, go through this process:

  1. Sign up for your Sellfy account
  2. Upload your music
  3. Set up your payment settings
  4. Market your music and earn money when sales happen.

Sell Artist Merchandise

Sell merch to your loyal fans.

  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Sweatshirts
  • Posters.

Partner with a print-on-demand company like Printful or Printify, upload your designs, and set up your POD store.

When your fans want to buy your merchandise, they can visit your store and order. Then, the POD provider will create and fulfill the order for you.

Live Performances

Get paid for the live performances you book. Live performances are one of the best ways to get paid for your music!

This can be local gigs or booked shows at festivals, events, etc. You can also go on tour as an indie artist. There are tons of possibilities here.

How Do You Get Paid For Live Performances?

You or your manager will book the performance, and you can earn performance fees plus other money, depending on the agreement and the venue.

Here are some examples:

  • Performance fees: Make money for your live music performance. 
  • Payment guarantee: This is the minimum payment you’ll earn, called a guarantee, regardless of ticket sales or other factors.
  • Ticket sales: You may earn a percentage of ticket sales for the performance.
  • Sponsorships and endorsements: Making money from sponsorship deals or endorsements, like if you drink an energy drink on stage during a break in your performance or you wear a branded hat or t-shirt while performing.
  • Merchandise sales: This is income from the fan merch you sell at the event.

Platform Programs

If you’re an artist, you can monetize your social channels outside of SoundCloud, like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Take advantage of platform creator programs that pay creators.

For example, YouTube has the YouTube Partner Program. When you qualify, your YouTube channel can earn income based on the number of views your videos get. You might be surprised to learn that YouTubers can make a lot of money, around $68,000/year, on average, according to ZipRecruiter.

There’s also TikTok’s Creativity Beta program, which monetized long-form videos over 1 minute long. Creators can expect to earn up to $600 per one million views.

Licensing

Artists can license their music to appear in films, commercials, and other media. 

SoundCloud offers music licensing platform integrations with companies like Repost Network that you can take advantage of as an artist.

Networking

Collaborate with other artists and musicians. SoundCloud for Artists offers opportunities for artists to network and collaborate with others. This can include getting included on a feature or remix, leading to a fruitful relationship.

If you want to make the most money from your SoundCloud profile, there are some things you can do to get there.

Use Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to promote your work as an indie artist.

Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Tori Kelly, and The Weeknd. 

What do these musicians have in common?

They were discovered on social media!

YouTube, Vine, and SoundCloud were the social channels that connected these artists with a global audience and eventually took them to big names in the music industry.

Use social media to your advantage.

  • Choose one or a few platforms to focus on 
  • Create content regularly
  • Engage with your fans
  • Be active and support other creators
  • Be consistent.

Engage With Your Audience

One of the best ways to create a loyal audience of listeners is to engage with them. Ask questions, respond to comments, and really pull them into the conversation. 

This will create a memorable experience for your fans that will keep them loyal in the long run. It’s also an opportunity to sell and share upcoming releases and events you’re working on.

Create Discounts

Give your listeners a discount! You can offer one-time discounts or special deals. This can be a great way to entice your fans to take action. You can also use discounts as an opportunity to connect with and reward existing loyal fans.

Be Original And Unique

Your original music is what makes you stand out as an emerging artist. Embrace that originality, put out fresh, new music to keep your listeners happy, and have to come back for more.

Stand out from your competitors and showcase your work and style through your SoundCloud profile. 

Be Consistent

Consistency always pays off. Check in on SoundCloud often, upload new release music, engage with your fans, and monetize. 

Continue this for the long term to build your reputation in this space and stay in the music game, increasing your chances of potentially being seen by major figures in the music industry who may stumble upon your music.

Use SoundCloud’s Promotion Tools

SoundCloud’s self-serve promote tool helps you promote your tracks so more people can hear your music. 

  • Choose targeting options to align with who your fans are, like age, gender, location, device, etc.
  • Get more plays of your music, including boosting new releases to create more buzz
  • Drive more fans to your music and improve visibility over the long term.

They also offer a chance to promote unlimited tracks if you upgrade to the SoundCloud Next Pro plan for $99/year or $8.25/month.

You’ll get a chance to sign up to Repost by SoundCloud for free, which sends your music to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, and other places, allowing you to keep 80% of your revenue.

How Much Money Is 1,000 Views On SoundCloud?

On SoundCloud, creators earn between $0.0025 and $0.004 per stream, so 1,000 plays could earn between $2.50 and $4.00.

1,000 streams could earn between $2.50 and $4.00

Knowing this formula (number of audio plays X $0.0025 to $0.004), you could easily calculate potential earnings in a monetized country for 10,000 plays, 100,000 plays, etc.

For example, 10,000 audio plays could earn up to $40, and 100,000 audio plays could earn up to $400.

How Many SoundCloud Followers Do You Need To Get Paid?

You don’t need any set minimum number of followers to be eligible for the monetization service. But, the more followers you have, the potential for more audio plays and the opportunity to make more money.

But having a lot of SoundCloud followers doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn a lot of money.

In the above example, one creator had 12,000 followers, and the other creator had 500 followers, yet they made roughly about the same, $120 to $160/month.

It’s refreshing to know that a minimum follower count isn’t necessary to be monetized on SoundCloud. Garnering a social following is challenging enough.

How Much Does SoundCloud Pay For 1 Million Streams?

Using the formula shared above, one million streams on SoundCloud can pay $2,500 to $4,000.

So, if your music is getting one million audio plays per month, you have the potential of making up to $4,000/month from SoundCloud’s monetization program.

  • 10 million audio plays/month = $40,000/month
  • 100 million audio plays/month = $400,000/month.

Bottom Line on Making Money on SoundCloud

Earning revenue from SoundCloud is totally possible as an emerging artist. There are plenty of monetization opportunities available, as you can see. 

If you’re not an artist, maybe this article inspires you to finally begin monetizing your skills, whether you’re a natural singer or you want to start a podcast.

Today, it’s easier than ever to make money as an independent artist, from royalties to licensing and music distribution, merchandise, and more. The sky’s the limit on your earning potential as an indie artist! 

Tran Danh

Tran Danh

I'm Tran Danh, the author behind Smart Passive Income (SPI), a blog dedicated to online business and entrepreneurship. I started this blog in 2008, following in the footsteps of Pat Flynn, the founder. Being one of the leading business blogs globally, SPI attracts over 2 million readers each month. Through my content, I aim to assist individuals in generating passive income from various online sources. Join me on this transformative journey as we delve into the world of online business and uncover the strategies and tactics that have led to tremendous success for myself and countless others.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Smart Passive Income
Logo