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How To Make Money on Soundcloud

With more than 78 million users, Soundcloud can be an excellent launchpad to showcase your talent and build a loyal fanbase but can you really profit from people listening to your music?

100%! SoundCloud isn’t just a place to share and discover new music, but it also provides monetization opportunities for talented musicians like yourself.

Let’s figure out how:

First, Do The Free Stuff on Soundcloud

Make Your Profile Picture Stand Out

They always say, it’s the small things that matter most. When it comes to marketing your Soundcloud you can’t skip out on all the preliminary stuff you should do in the beginning. Your profile’s visual elements are your audience’s first impression, so make them count. A visually captivating avatar and profile header can be worth a thousand plays!

Try to incorporate your profile name into your artwork for instant recognition. And remember, your avatar will appear as a smaller version in your followers’ Streams, so simplicity is key. A simple, eye-catching, and memorable design will help you stand out in the crowd.

Boost Your Sound: Share Everywhere

The more your SoundCloud profile resonates across your online social networks, the wider your fan base will grow. So, don’t be shy – highlight your SoundCloud presence on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Use your profile and track descriptions to tell your story, introduce your work, and invite people to repost your tracks if they enjoy your music. It’s simple – the more you encourage shares, the more shares you’ll get, leading to more followers.

Master the Google Search Game

Google has a thing for space. So, ditch the ‘User123’ format of the Soundcloud username and go for ‘User 123’ instead. Google also loves repetition. Repeating your Display Name in your Profile URL and linking to your other social networks can help you rank higher in Google search results.

Make Strategic Moves with Insights

Creator Insights can help you plan your next steps by showing your top plays by city. Seeing Rio high up in the ranks? Time to pack your mic and your beach hat. See who’s checking you out and potentially find your next collaborator with Plays by SoundCloud profile.

Soundcloud Creator Insights

Identify where your fanbase is growing with Plays by App and discover if a sudden surge in plays is due to a blog feature with Plays by Website.

Build Meaningful Connections

Remember, networking and collaboration is a two-way street. To grow your following, you need to be a thoughtful follower yourself. Use the Search and Charts features to find and engage with like-minded creators. Be sincere, listen closely, and provide meaningful feedback. Tailored suggestions, constructive criticism, and genuine praise can lead to reciprocal interactions and a stronger network.

Promote Consistently

Even the best profiles can fade into silence without consistent activity. Regular online presence and frequent uploads keep your profile vibrant and relevant. Consistency builds accountability, fosters a solid reputation, and enhances your discoverability. So, keep those fresh beats coming!

Next, let’s monetize this sucker:

Soundcloud Next Pro

soundcloud plans

This is a toolbelt for artists, packed with everything needed to share your music with the world, grow your listener base, and make some money from your music, not just on SoundCloud, but far beyond. The SoundCloud for Artists dashboard is pretty packed with benefits, here’s a sneak peek:

  • Digital Distribution: Share your music far and wide, across more than 25 stores including big names like Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, and many more.
  • SoundCloud Monetization: Cash in on your plays on SoundCloud. More plays, more pay.
  • YouTube Content ID: Get paid when others use your music on YouTube. Nice, right?
  • Streaming and Revenue Analytics: All the stats and facts you need, all in one place, thanks to our custom analytics dashboard.
  • Exclusive SoundCloud Features: Play around with custom waveform art, featured profiles, banner click-throughs, and loads more.

How much does Soundcloud Next Pro?

Now, let’s talk costs. A Next Pro subscription will set you back just $30 a year, and that gets you access to every single feature they’ve designed to help you up your game and increase your earnings. Oh, and for all those monetization and distribution features, you pocket a solid 80% of the revenue.

Four Ways to Make Money on SoundCloud

Now that you’re set-up, how can you maximize your SoundCloud revenue?

  1. Monetization: Enable your tracks for monetization as part of the SoundCloud Premier program.
  2. Merchandise: If you have merchandise to sell, link it on your profile or in the track descriptions.
  3. Live Performances: Utilize your SoundCloud profile to promote your live shows.
  4. Crowdfunding: Consider platforms like Patreon or Kickstarter to generate additional funds.

How to Monetize a Track on SoundCloud

Once you’ve signed a SoundCloud Next Pro agreement, you can submit a request to monetize your tracks on the platform.

When you’ve got your account approved, you can monetize multiple tracks on your SoundCloud account at once by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Go to your Soundcloud Next Pro profile at Soundcloud for Artists and if you’re already on Next Pro. If not you must sign up for Next pro.
  • Step 2: Click “Earnings” in the left hand side and apply for monetization.
  • Step 3: Double-check your metadata is correct and then press the “Enable Monetization” button. You want to make sure your meta data is fully optimized and also has the correct moentization information.
  • Step 4: Press “Save,” and you’ll be notified in 24 hours whether your monetization request has been approved.

Enter Fan-Powered Royalties!

The bulk of your SoundCloud income will come from streams and ads, thanks to something Soundcloud refers to as fan-powered royalties. The simple logic is – the more your fans jam to your tunes and listen to those pesky ads, the fatter your paycheck gets. Sweet deal, right?

Now, fan-powered royalties are pretty darn awesome. They’re a fair and transparent way for us independent musicians to cash in on our creativity. You see, in the old days, the bucks from your die-hard fans would end up in a humongous pot, which would then get distributed to artists based on their share of total streams. Sounds cool, but it mostly favored the big fish in the pond.

Now, your earnings are tied to how your fans engage with your music. Basically, the more your loyal fans vibe with your tracks, the more dough you’re likely to rake in. So, investing in building a strong bond with your listeners is a clever move if you want to really take advantage of SoundCloud’s monetization system.

Now, to be eligible for fan-powered royalties, you need to be a Next Pro subscriber in the Premier Program, or a Next Plus or Next Pro member who’s monetizing directly with SoundCloud. If you tick these boxes, then congratulations! You’re on your way to potentially turning those beats into bucks!

Adding Proper Buy Links

This is a no-brainer, but don’t forget to add your buy links (iTunes, Beatport, Juno, Bandcamp, etc.) to your track descriptions. Every click could be money in the bank.

Getting Paid from SoundCloud

SoundCloud pays out monthly, directly to your PayPal account. So if you’re racking up the plays, you’ll be seeing a nice little deposit in your account each month!

Bear in mind that SoundCloud operates on a net 60 basis, meaning there’s typically a two-month delay in payments. This lag is largely due to the time it takes for music platforms to process a specific period’s earnings, this is usually around 30-45 days. After receiving the funds, they need a little extra time to distribute these royalties to their partners.

So that’s it. SoundCloud can be a great platform to not only express your musical genius but also earn some good money along the way.


What percentage of revenue does SoundCloud take from artists?

SoundCloud operates on a straightforward 80/20 revenue split, where they retain 20% of your earnings. This arrangement is firm, with no exceptions or hidden fees layered atop the split. This comes over and above the monthly fee you’re already paying for their service.

How many plays do you need on SoundCloud to start earning money?

For the money to start flowing from SoundCloud, you’ll have to join the SoundCloud Next Plus club. To grab your Next Plus pass, you’ll need 5000 plays from any of the SoundCloud-approved countries mentioned below.

As of now, the countries that qualify include the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

Can I make money on SoundCloud without being part of the SoundCloud Next Plus program?

Yes, there are other ways to earn money on SoundCloud the Next Plus program but they all include things OFF of Soundcloud like merch, crowdfunding and doing shows.

Does SoundCloud offer any promotional assistance to emerging artists?

While SoundCloud doesn’t directly offer promotional assistance, it does let you buy ads. I will cover that in another article.

What’s The Real Deal on Purchasing SoundCloud Plays?

We always advise working on methods to get more Soundcloud plays because buying SoundCloud plays might raise some eyebrows, but when done through reliable sources, it can offer a notable increase in exposure, particularly for emerging artists. The costs can differ between providers, generally falling between $1 and $3 for every 1000 plays. Just ensure you’re investing in genuine plays that have a lasting impact.

DJ Rede Beats
DJ Rede Beats
DJ Rede Beats is a DJ from Los Angeles who also specializes in making beats and music production. He's worked as an artist, producer, and beat maker for over 30 years and now is a contributor an author for My Music Viral.