Spotify vs SoundCloud: Which is best? -2024

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Are you unsure whether you choose Spotify or SoundCloud for music listening? Both Spotify and SoundCloud are masters of their fields, offering a vast library and advanced features to their users.

Spotify is well known for its vast collection of mainstream songs from famous artists. SoundCloud is best for finding hidden musical gems, discovering new talent, and exploring new songs worldwide.

SoundCloud serves as a first step for new artists and provides them a stage to showcase their talent to the world. Both platforms cater to different audiences and work on different business models. 

But the question is, which platform is best for listening to music? Well, It depends upon your preferences. In this article, we’ll debate Spotify vs SoundCloud, which will help you understand the strengths of both platforms and make your decision. Also, read Spotify vs Apple Music.

Spotify vs SoundCloud Overview



Sound Cloud

Free PlanAvailableAvailable


100 Million

250 Million
Paid PlanStarts from $10.99Starts from $4.99
Music Quality320 kbps256 kbps
Offline ListeningFor Premium UsersFor Premium Users
Availability184 Countries193 Countries
Active Users602 Million176 Million
Lyrics FeatureAvailableNot Available

Spotify vs SoundCloud: In-Depth Comparison

Spotify vs SoundCloud Comparison
Spotify is on left side and SoundCloud is on the right side.

Spotify and SoundCloud are like looking at two different ways to listen to music offline. They both have their unique things. Spotify and SoundCloud comparisons help you understand the strengths of both platforms. So, let’s begin:

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Music Content

Both music streaming platforms offer a wide range of content. However, there is a difference in the approach of both of these platforms. Spotify always focuses on mainstream tracks from renowned artists and studios. In contrast, SoundCloud always welcomes emerging artists, providing them with a platform to showcase their talent.


Spotify is known in the music streaming industry for its extensive variety of content. It offers 100 million tracks and 5 million podcast titles of famous artists and personalities from all around the globe. But the story does not end here; it provides more than 350,000 audiobooks.

Spotify offers you high-quality content. You can also find tracks from new artists on Spotify, but uploading content on Spotify is not as easy as it is on SoundCloud. Spotify maintains its content quality and avoids showing its users unofficial tracks.


SoundCloud offers more than 250 Million tracks to its users in 193 countries, with over 30 Million artists. However, on SoundCloud, a significant portion of the content is of low quality, and you may find multiple versions of the same song and unofficial remixes of two different songs because SoundCloud provides an easy opportunity for everyone to upload their songs directly. 

SoundCloud can be a perfect place for you if you love discovering hidden music gems and like to listen to emerging artists.


Although SoundCloud offers a more significant number of songs than Spotify, Spotify’s content is more valuable than SoundCloud. So it depends upon your preferences. So, this round is a tie.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Sound Quality

A good sound quality plays a significant role in enhancing your music listening experience. In today’s music world, every music streaming platform is working hard to improve their sound quality.


Spotify always works hard to improve the listening experience of its users by offering high quality sound and other advanced functions. It offers sound quality that ranges from 128 Kbps to 320 Kbps, depending on your device and subscription plan.

Spotify’s free version offers a sound quality of 160 kbps on mobile and desktop apps and 128 kbps on the web. While in the premium tier, it provides 320 kbps sound quality using Ogg Vorbis format.


SoundCloud also provides its music streaming service with high quality, 128 kbps in the free version and 256 kbps in the premium version. Although it offers you lower sound quality than Spotify, this difference is negligible and ignorable if you’re using low-quality speakers for music listening.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify is the clear-cut winner in this round, offering you higher sound quality than SoundCloud.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Music Discovery

Music discovery is like finding new pearls in the ocean of music. It helps people listen to new music, engage with more artists, and broaden exposure.


Spotify offers different curated playlists, helping introduce new talent and enhance the music listening experience. It provides music discovery tools like Spotify AI DJ, which uses artificial intelligence to make personalized lists of songs depending on your activities on the platform.

It also has a radio feature that lists tracks based on your listening history. It also offers curated playlists like Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes, and Release Radar, each serving as a guide to finding something new that matches your mood.


SoundCloud doesn’t offer you advanced curated playlists like Spotify because its algorithms are less accurate than those of its competitor music streaming giant. It simply recommends songs based on what you listen to. It analyzes your listening habits and suggests songs accordingly.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify wins in this round.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: User Interface

The user interface is like a first impression of any music streaming app. A good interface leaves a good impact on you and also makes you want to stick around and explore. So, a good interface and design are very important in any music streaming app. Both platforms offer a beautiful interface.


Spotify’s interface is easy to use and visually appealing. Navigating through this music streaming app is like a cup of tea. You’ll find it easy even if you’re new to it. On Spotify, everything is well organized and is just a single click away.

It has three main sections: Home, Search, and Library, located at the bottom of mobile apps and on the left sidebar of desktop apps. The Home section features recently played songs and curated playlists. The Search tab helps to find any song, artist, album, or playlist through different genres and categories in no time. 

The Library tab organizes and accesses your downloadable content, playlists, and favorite tracks. In the desktop app, you can further organize your playlists by making folders.


SoundCloud also has an initiative and user-friendly interface. SoundCloud caters to emerging artists and music listeners, so its interface is designed accordingly. It allows its users to follow their favorite artists and make playlists. However, navigation through it can be a bit confusing for new users because of its cluttered design.

SoundCloud makes it easy for new artists to upload their content and allows artists to interact with their audience quickly. It has mobile apps for Android and iOS users, and luckily, it is now available for Windows users.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify is the winner because its navigation system is easy and visually appealing.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: For Artists

Both music streaming platforms serve as a stage for new artists to perform and show their musical talent to the world.


Spotify allows users to make an account on it, enabling the new singers to share their talent with a global audience and interact with the audience. New singers can upload songs on the platform through distributors.

Distributors act as a bridge between Spotify and the artists, and they’re responsible for delivering songs and other details to the Spotify content management system. In return, they charge fees to the artists. Spotify also pays the artists almost $0.003-$0.005 per stream on average.


SoundCloud has proved to be a boon for emerging artists, allowing them to upload their songs directly on the platform. Unlike Spotify, you don’t need third-party distributors to upload content; you can easily upload your music on the platform even if you’re a free user.

You can upload 3 hours of music and see limited stats if you’re a free user. However, if you upgrade your plan, you can interact with your audience, read comments, and access SoundCloud’s advanced analytics tools to analyze your performance.

Winner: SoundCloud

SoundCloud won this round because uploading music on SoundCloud is easier than Spotify.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Free Tiers

Each platform provides its free version but with certain limitations. You can access their entire library in the free version without paying any subscription fee.


Spotify’s free version comes with advertisements that often appear while listening to music. In the free version, you can skip limited times. You’re restricted to listening to music in the shuffle mode. Audio Quality is restricted to 160 kbps on the mobile and desktop apps and 128 kbps on the web player.


SoundCloud also offers its free version. In the free version, SoundCloud shows occasional ads while listening to music. You can’t enjoy offline streaming in the free version, and audio quality is limited to 128 kbps.

If you’re an artist on SoundCloud, you can only upload 3 hours of music and cannot see the advanced statistics about your music performance and audience engagement.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify leads in this round because it offers more features in the free version than SoundCloud.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Price and Plans

SoundCloud and Spotify also offer their premium tiers, which come with advanced features that are generally unavailable in the free version.


Spotify offers four different tiers for subscription. Using its free version, you can eliminate those pesky ads that appear while listening to music. You can enjoy music with a high audio quality of 320 kbps and skip songs as often as you want.

The price of these plans varies from region to region, so always check their official website to check prices according to your area and region.

  • Individual: $10.99
  • Duo: $14.99
  • Student: $5.99
  • Family: $16.99

It offers students discounted prices and a Duo plan, which is economical for a couple or two persons living at the same address. Moreover, it also provides mini-plans for one day or one week in some regions.

It also offers a one-month free trial, which will be very beneficial if you want to test their services before buying their subscription plan.


SoundCloud offers 2 premium plans to its users. In the premium version, you can enjoy ads-free music listening and download songs for offline listening. 

  • SoundCloud GO: $5.99
  • SoundCloud GO+: $9.99

SoundCloud offers you two tiers: SoundCloud GO and SoundCloud GO+. The significant difference between these two subscriptions is that you can download songs and enjoy a free music listening experience using SoundCloud GO.

While, SoundCloud GO+ offers you high-quality audio, access to full content on SoundCloud along with SoundCloud Go features.

Winner: Spotify

Although the Spotify plan’s price is slightly higher than SoundCloud, Spotify offers high audio quality and more advanced features than SoundCloud. So, Spotify is the winner in this round.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Popularity

Both music streaming platforms are popular and provide value to their users. Spotify was launched in 2006, while SoundCloud was launched in 2007.


Today, Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming platforms. Spotify has 602 million active users and 236 million monthly paying subscribers. The reason for the popularity of Spotify is its vast library, advanced algorithms, and social features like collaborative playlists, Spotify’s jam sessions and blend features, etc. Spotify is available in 184 countries.


SoundCloud is for independent artists, allowing them to prove themselves and create a fanbase. SoundCloud has 175 Million active users, including 76 Million paid users. SoundCloud is available in 193 countries.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify is the winner.

Spotify vs SoundCloud: Additional Features

Additional features are like unexpected gifts that delight you every time. These extra features help you make your music listening experience more memorable.


Spotify provides additional features like sleep mode, equalizer, and car mode. It also offers a crossfade feature that overlaps the ending of one song with the beginning of another, allowing you to enjoy a seamless experience by eliminating any break between the two tracks.

Swedish Music Company, Spotify, offers a connect feature that enables you to connect your Spotify account to your TV, smart speakers, Alexa, and game consoles.


SoundCloud also has additional features that help improve the user experience, but it is less advanced than Spotify. SoundCloud enables you to comment on tracks and repost them. You can interact directly with your favorite artist on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud is basically designed to cater to music listeners as well as new artists. For artists, it offers special analytics tools that analyze their performance on the platform. It allows artists to customize their profile with social media links, bio, and cover photos, enabling them to showcase their brand.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify leads in this round because it provides more advanced features.

Final Verdict

In short, both platforms are the best in their way. Selecting one of these depends upon your preferences and priorities. If you’re a music enthusiast like me, Spotify is your go-to option because of its advanced algorithms and high-quality music streaming.

But if you’re fond of singing and looking for a platform where you can prove yourself. In that case, you must choose SoundCloud because it allows you to upload music directly and grants you access to advanced analytics tools if you’re their premium user. So, the choice is yours; think about what you like and select a suitable platform.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Yes, you can find lesser-known and emerging artists on Spotify because Spotify allows emerging artists to upload their songs through distributors.

Yes, Spotify offers higher sound quality than SoundCloud. Spotify provides a sound quality of 320 kilobytes per second, while SoundCloud offers 256 kilobytes per second.

Spotify offers different features like crossfade, lyrics, radio, and equalizers. On the other hand, SoundCloud allows commenting on songs and direct interaction with the artists.

Spotify is more popular than SoundCloud. Spotify has 602M monthly active users, including 236M paid listeners, while SoundCloud has 175M active users.

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