Here’s a quick list of strategies that will help you get your SoundCloud music heard:
- Contact 10 new producers via DM daily, with meaningful, non copy & paste messages.
- Use Repost Chains & Repost trading.
- Contact blogs & YouTube promotion channels.
- Send your music to labels.
- Start building an email list of fans.
- Submit to Repost Network playlists.
- Post in ‘Self Promo’ channels.
- Create good, appealing artwork.
- Use tags, to label your music correctly for search engines.
You landed here because you’re fed up of getting a measly amount of plays on Soundcloud. You see your favourite artists getting thousands of plays & fans and you’re wondering “how the f*ck do they get so many plays & fans?”
In this article we’re gonna show you exactly how to get more plays on Soundcloud.
Don’t worry, we’re not gonna sell you some sh*t that doesn’t work & we’re not gonna give you unrealistic strategies that take up all your time.
Before we start, just so you know. If you’re serious about getting success as an artist, then you need to check the definitive guide to generating success as a music producer.
It’s helped artists get their first label releases, blog placements, get in huge Spotify playlists & start getting them the plays & fans they deserve.
A Quick Note Before We Start…
Soundcloud is one of the biggest players in the music streaming industry but, if you’ve been on the platform long enough, you’ll know there were talks of it going bust.
That was back in 2017, before it got a new investor who saved it. Although it has been running & growing steadily since, we wanted to mention this because you need to be aware that putting all your power into 1 thing, isn’t always the best idea.
It’s ideal to use the strategies in this list, alongside Spotify promotion plans, so that you can diversify your fanbase & still have something left over if one of them does go.
Spotify & Apple Music is where you’ll find the majority of your listeners, but they aren’t as diehard as the Soundcloud ones.
In our experience, Soundcloud followers are far more likely to purchase your sample packs, synth packs & music related merch, because a lot of them are also producers.
It’s also much easier to market your merch & give away free stuff to build potential leads on Soundcloud.
So it’s still an extremely important platform for indie artists looking to generate success in 2020.
The 5 Most Crucial Things You Should Do
- Make great music.
- This goes without saying, but we thought it worth mentioning. To get new fans, you need to have great music. Simple as. If your music isn’t good enough, none of these strategies will save it.
- You don’t have to be Mozart just yet, but if you’re having poor mix, timing & composition issues, the marketing is not the problem – your music is.
- Release consistently.
- To create any kind of success, you need to keep the wheel moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, just keep f*cking going dude. Imagine you eat 12 donuts/day for a month – you’re gonna be juicy, round and fat – you wanna feed your music like this. Keep putting in fuel and you’ll get results.
- It doesn’t have to be your best work, but aim for 1 track per month.
- Have a release plan & release date.
- You need a release date & a plan.
- Knowing when you are going to release, gives you time to build momentum behind the track.
- This plan can contain things like:
- Contacting blogs.
- Contacting labels.
- Contacting playlist curators.
- Contacting YouTube promo channels.
- Gaining support from your real family & producer family.
- Build a network of producer friends, fans etc.
- Join Facebook groups, Sub-Reddit’s & discord communities. Being active in them & making friends will push you further than you think. (I personally got a collaboration with a guy with a 200k monthly listener base from this).
- You can run into people who will share your music with their fanbase & get you more listeners & fans.
- Plan for success.
- There’s a famous quote: by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
- Creating an in-depth plan of what you want to achieve, with numerical, measurable goals is vital to succeeding. Not only does it make your vision more real, but gives you purpose & something to shoot for.
- When you begin to cross these off 1 by 1, you become addicted to crossing off more & more!
Btw you can get wicked, done for you, music plan below for free!
Repost Trading & Chains
If you’ve been on Soundcloud for a while, you’ll know that repost trading & chains are probably one of the best (but also worst) things about Soundcloud.
So what is a repost chain and how is it going to get your more Souncloud plays?
Repost chains are networks of like-minded producers who help each other out by reposting when a new track of yours drops.
They’re usually run through a site called scplanner.
By joining a chain, you grant the chain owner access to your account’s repost, like & comment functions. And, in return, they will push your music to thousands, if not millions of users.
From repost chains & repost trading alone you’re able to get a huge increase in Soundcloud plays!
Just take a look at how it helped to promote my music ?
Also, using reposts chains alongside trades, I have been able to gather over 10.8k plays on one of my other tracks.
That’s no paid promotion, just pure repost chain.
This is real engagement as well! From people who are actually interested in your music.
Before using the repost chains & trading, I was getting around 400 plays a track & getting almost 0 followers from each release.
Using them on my last release, I gained over 100 new follows. That’s pretty awesome from a couple minutes work!
But, like with everything, there is a downside and you need to know about it.
Some chains are just plain awful.
They repost all kinds of genres of music, they repost loads/day, they ruin your feed and scare off potential followers of you in the future.
You need to be really careful when using repost chains to build your Soundcloud plays.
I recommend auditing the chain before joining.
Make sure you ask how many times they repost/day & what genres they repost. Ask to see the artists in the chain – listen to their music & make a decision yourself.
I’ve left countless chains because they repost trash music that isn’t aligned with my genre.
So I made my own chain (which you can also do)!
To join chains:
- Head over to Discord, join communities and ask people in them what chains are about and how you can join.
- Check Facebook for Soundcloud repost chain groups or chats that you can join.
- Try googling “repost chains”. You’ll see a load of results show up, consisting of chains you can join.
- Make your own. Get your producer friends together and form your own little collective. This way you can be really regulated and always have great quality music on your feeds.
What Does A Quality Chain Have?
Like I said above, it’s essential to get in a quality repost chain to maximise your Soundcloud plays and follows.
But how do you know if a repost chain is high quality?
There are a few things to look out for and I’m going to list them below ?
Here’s what a quality repost chain will be:
- Be made up of fewer, higher follower accounts
- Only repost 3/day maximum
- Have quality music
- Be genre specific
Repost trading is another essential strategy for increasing Soundcloud plays. Not only will it increase your plays, but it’ll also get you more Soundcloud followers.
It works by agreeing with another artist to repost each other’s music, comment & like to expose your music to the other person’s fan base.
And, is kinda similar to repost chains, but instead you have full control of what your repost on your profile.
This is a huge bonus, as it means you can regulate it to fit your profile’s theme & style, while also benefiting from the power of reposting.
But with that new power, comes great responsibility…
If you choose to repost trade, you’ll have to go out and get each trade manually.
This takes a whole lot longer than using repost chains, but is worth it if you’re willing to invest the time.
“Where do I find trades?” I hear you cry!
You can find trades by messaging new artists you like on Soundcloud, asking if they want to trade with you. You can also expand this by asking people on discord.
If you’re still stuck & want to supercharge your growth, check out the definitive guide to generating success as a DIY musician for everything you need to know.
In it you’ll find, done for you message templates, a list of dedicated Soundcloud trading servers & chats, how to build your own chain, make use current ones effectively & repost trade like a boss.
I’d recommend using both a mixture of repost chains and repost trading to get your music heard by the right people.
This will get your music the most reach, your profile the most Soundcloud followers & will begin to move the ball forward.
Make Use of Other’s Audiences
There are thousands of channels, playlists, blogs and other promotional services you can contact to help get your music out there.
And, you should really be using them if you want to increase your Soundcloud plays.
Channels like these consistently look for incredible, new music to share with their audiences & yours could be their next.
I’m talking about:
- YouTube Channels
- Influencers (insta, tiktok or youtube)
- Soundcloud Labels that repost music
- Soundcloud & Spotify Playlisters
- Artists who have similar music taste & a bigger following
Some people are better at music marketing than you are, and a lot of them repost your tracks for free!
Use this to your advantage & contact these people asking for features, playlist placements etc.
Besides repost trading, this strategy is going to propel your music to new audiences & gain you a tonne of fans in the process.
But, something to note is:
Blogs, YouTube channels & playlisters look for very specific genre based music.
The mix has to be awesome & it has to be your best work to get accepted.
It’s also worth noting that you want to make sure you’re submitting to a channel that covers your style of music.
Sending a future bass track to a dubstep promo channel just simply won’t work & is a waste of time.
Here’s what you should include in your message:
- Address by first name. This adds a personal touch to your message, and shows that you’ve put in the effort to find out their name, rather than just using their @ or channel name to contact.
- Write a unique and genuine message. You wanna write a message that’s personal to the promo channel. You’re far more likely to get a response if you make the effort to show interest in what the channel does.
- Include information about the track. Where does each section start? What’s the meaning behind the track? How does it fit in with their channel?
- Make it easy for them to listen. Insert a plain SoundCloud link that tells them to “click here to listen to [insert track name]”. You’ll also want to include a download link in case they want to use it.
Just copy & paste our tried, tested and proven message templates and get the results you deserve.
If your music is already great, then contacting already built communities is a brilliant way to expose your music to other artists & new fans.
I personally got put in a playlist recently, and subsequently landed a collaboration with an artist who has over 200k monthly listeners on Spotify.
(ngl I couldn’t stop smiling when I got that message)
But, the point is – don’t dismiss the power of this.
It’s harder to get this strategy to work, but when it does, it pushes you into realms you never thought possible.
If you’re struggling to find blogs & other music marketing channels, then here are a couple places you can look to find them:
- Submithub. Submithub gives you a platform where you can find genre specific blogs, YouTube channels, Soundcloud profiles & more.
- Your favourite artists profile. Look through their releases – where have they been released, written about and reposted?
- Groover. Almost the exact same as Submithub, but offers more variety of options to choose from.
Releasing on labels is a great way to get noticed, as it puts your music in front of a large follower base who have respect for the label’s choice of music & are also likely to also enjoy yours (if you get accepted).
You’ll want to:
- Find a label that is dedicated to your style of music. If you just randomly send messages to labels that don’t cover your genre of music, you won’t get anywhere. It just clogs up their inboxes & pisses people off.
- Send a message that is unique and genuine. If you write a message that is personal to the label & shows that you’re actually interested in what they do, you’re far more likely to get responses. Would you respond to: “here’s some new music, I think it would fit in with your channel [link]”? I wouldn’t.
- Address the person by first name. Try and find out who owns the label, or who does the A&R. Email them and address by first name. It shows you have put effort in & will add personalisation to the email.
- Include information about the track. Where does each section start? What’s the meaning behind the track? How does it fit in with their channel?
- Make it easy for them to listen. Insert a plain, private SoundCloud link that tells them to “click here to listen to [insert track name]”. You’ll also want to include a download link in case they want to use it.
However there is a downside to releasing your music on labels and I thought it would be worth noting here.
You give away the rights to your music to be used by the label for whatever.
Most labels I’ve personally released on have done 50/50 splits in revenue.
And, every time you get your music on a label, you’ve got to remember that you are benefitting the label more than they are benefiting you.
The new followers, likes and plays they are getting are off the back of your track (alongside their incredible marketing) and often, even with large labels, the return in form of new fans for your music is little to none.
They wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have the music in the first place. Granted neither would the artists, but in this day and age it’s easy to learn music marketing & do it yourself.
My experience with labels has been disappointing.
I got more from being clever about my music marketing, doing stuff like:
- Utilising music forums, communities & groups to promote.
- Connecting with potential fans through message.
- Connecting with new artists to collab with.
- Giving away freebies with music releases.
- Repost trading & joining chains.
The percentage of follows you get are much higher when the music is actually being released on your profile. If you can make it work, then releasing your music independently is much better.
If you are going to release on a label, I recommend shooting for the bigger ones. Labels with under 5k follows on Soundcloud simply aren’t worth it in my opinion.
It’s 2020 and self-releasing is possible.
It’s much, much more work. But, if you are willing to do it, the pay off is far greater than releasing with a label.
Build an Email List of Fans
Building an email list of fans, is a great way to promote your Soundcloud and music.
By building an email list effectively & using download gates to entice people to join – even if Soundcloud goes down – you’ll a database of your followers information to keep.
That means, every release, you can email & get these people to listen to your new music or tell them about your new sample pack, live shows etc.
But how can you build one & what can you offer people to join?
Using Download Gates
If you’ve ever been on your favourite Soundcloud users profile, you’ll have noticed that a large majority of them offer track downloads or free sample downloads in return for a like, comment, share or something else.
You can use these download gates to grab people’s emails as well.
Here are some tools you can use to grab emails or follows:
- Toneden (all, including social networks)
- Bandcamp (email at checkout. Great for giving away free stuff)
Personally we think the best way to grow your Soundcloud by using download gates, is to use Toneden.
You ask the user to do almost anything in return for their download.
Follow, like your Soundcloud music, comment & even stuff like following social media pages.
Here’s a video that shows you exactly how to set up Toneden campaigns!
What Are The Best Email Platforms To Use?
Once you’ve got the emails, you need some kind of software to mass send messages to your newly acquired, target audience.
There are a lot of email platforms out there. They all pretty much do the same thing, but some are a little better than others.
And luckily for us, Symphonic have written an article about the best email marketing services for musicians.
Personally I use Mailchimp for all my email campaigns. They offer you up to 2000 contacts & a great deal of monthly send credits all for free.
They’re definitely the best service I’ve used for email marketing so far. But I may switch to Active Campaign soon, as I’ve heard it’s much better.
How To Email Your Fanbase
When you’re emailing your fanbase, you want to make stuff interesting & write subject lines that will make people open your emails.
Offer free content, tell a story about your music, or offer teachings about how you made your music & the process.
The idea is to keep an active list & make your fanbase’s brain light up when they see a new email from you.
Sending: “new track check it out” is not gonna get you anywhere.
Tell a story, & build up to the release with a proper plan.
Build A Database For Promoting Your Music
Building a database of promotional channels for your music is also an extremely useful tool when trying to increase Soundcloud plays.
When promoting your music, it’s important to have a list of people to contact, that may be able to repost your music, or feature it on their social networks.
We recommend using Google Sheets to build this, and to include things like:
- Company Name
- Actual Name
- Social Media Accounts
- Amount of Followers
This way, when you’ve got a new track out (or are building to a release), you can contact these people for features.
Doing this will up your chances of getting more exposure &, as a result, will make your music perform far better in terms of stats.
When contacting this list of people, you do not want to send the same message over and over.
Spend 10-15 minutes crafting exclusive, personal messages to each. This will greatly increase your chance of getting a response.
You can also check out this Hubspot extension to track email opens.
These places get thousands of emails/day, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get featured or reposted.
Emails can also get lost, so make sure to follow up if they haven’t responded in a while.
Submit To Repost Network Playlists
Repost Network is a fairly new addition from Soundcloud & opens a lot of doors to artists.
It costs $10/month & you get access to Repost Network + all Soundcloud Premium features.
You’ll also get access to stuff like SCPlanner, included in that price & will be able to use Soundcloud’s state of the art analytics system, which can really help you pinpoint your audience.
Repost Network is essentially Soundcloud’s answer to music distribution. That means you can push your music to Spotify & Apple Music all from a simple Soundcloud upload.
But, one of the things people don’t tend to explain about Repost Network, is the option to submit to Soundcloud’s very own playlists.
Submitting your music doesn’t guarantee it placement, but it’s definitely something worth doing if you’re looking to grow your soundcloud followers.
Post in ‘Self Promo’ Channels Everywhere You Can Find
If you’re in any kind of music community, you’ll know that most of them have self-promo channels.
Posting in self-promo channels is the least important Soundcloud promotion strategy, but if you’re looking to squeeze a few extra plays out of your new track, then it’s definitely something you should be doing.
You can expect to see around an increase of anywhere between 25-100 new plays on your track.
Believe it or not, people do go through the self-promo channels to listen to new music.
At this stage in your music production journey, every little helps, and racking up an extra 25-100 plays is not to be scoffed at.
You are on this page because you want to increase your soundcloud follows & plays.
Self-promo threads can be found on:
- FB Groups
Make Your Music Marketable
Besides making your music sound great & sending it to the right places, it’s important for your music to look the part.
It’s also important that your tracks have the right metadata to be found by Soundcloud’s algorithms.
This section will cover Album Art & tagging your awesome music the right way.
When scrolling through Soundcloud for music, I hate to admit it, but I click on the tracks with the most appealing artwork.
Having great album art is something that should not be dismissed.
But I know that not everyone is a graphic design wizard & might find it hard to create a great album cover.
If you’re not a graphic design wizard, you can grab some awesome royalty free pictures from places like:
The one above was found on Pexels, but you need to make sure you credit the page. Also, you’re not allowed to release it for commercial purposes.
Labelling Your Music Right
When uploading to Soundcloud, you’ll also want to make sure you’re making use of the description & tags.
This will help Soundcloud to pick your track up in the search bar & also put it in the relevant users’ ‘Discover’ tab, as well as ‘Soundcloud Radio’ stations.
Here’s how you can do this:
- Add genre specific tags
- Use similar tracks in your tags
- If it’s a remix, tag the original track & labels it was on
You’ll also want to utilise the description to say what your track is & what it’s about.
I’d recommend also putting all your social media links, free download link & other channels you’d like to push people through in there.
20 Minute Strategy Guaranteed To Get You Results
So now you got a tonne of info, what should you do to actually get you results?
Other than promoting in the usual ways like, posting to social media platforms & letting your friends and family know, there’s more you can be doing.
Here’s my daily, 20 minute, 4 point strategy:
- Contact 10 new producers, artists and potential fans through DM
- Join in on 1 conversation in a music community/day
- Find 3 new promo channels to submit to
- Find 1 new Spotify playlist/day
This shouldn’t take you longer than 20 minutes/day. At first, you may be a little slow, but you’ll get into the swing of things & it’ll be a breeze.
By doing these consistently, I have managed to land myself:
- Multiple live shows, festivals and even been booked abroad
- A collaboration with a much bigger artist who has 200k monthly listens
- Thousands of plays, likes, comments & new fans on my original music
- Music industry jobs as a loop editor & music production teacher
- And more!
The importance is to stay consistent with it. If it’s not working, your messages might be wrong, or you could be struggling to find the right audience.
If that’s the case, then the definitive guide to music marketing will teach you everything you need to know to help you build a swiss army knife of music marketing tools that last.
Should I Buy Soundcloud Plays?
When you go searching the web for tips on how you can increase your Soundcloud plays, you may come across dodgy sites that sell plays, followers etc.
Most claim these to be real but, as you can guess, they are not.
Short answer is no, don’t buy Soundcloud plays.
All it does is inflate a number. You don’t get any value from it. You actually lose money from spending it on pointless vanity metrics to stroke your ego.
And, even worse…
You know when someone has bought plays, comments or likes.
People are smarter than you think & these services don’t do very well at hiding what they are.
Trust me, I’ll be open – I’ve bought a Fiverr promotion service before, & I was just plain disappointed.
Some people may think that, if you have bigger stats, people give you more credibility.
And, while I think that’s slightly true, it’s definitely not worth it.
If your music sucks, you’ll still have no credibility & you’ll have even less if people can see you bought plays.
Are Fiverr Music Promotion Services Good?
Like I mentioned above, when buying a Fiverr promotion service myself, I was ridiculously disappointed.
Although there are some legitimate services on Fiverr, most of the cheaper ones (that I know you’ve been eyeballing you cheapskate!) are trash.
It’s basically the same as buying Soundcloud plays, but you’re doing it on Fiverr and not a dedicated Soundcloud stats site.
This time they’ll have fake, inflated reviews that will push you that bit further to basically burning your money.
Most of the services are too good to be true.
If someone on Fiverr was offering you thousands of plays for a small fee, & they had some secret promotional techniques that no one else knew – do you think they’d be selling their services on Fiverr?
Don’t do it.
Getting more plays on Soundcloud is hard, & it’s difficult to know where to put your effort in the music industry. There’s a lot of just plain terrible information out that that won’t help to get you the results you want & deserve.
In this guide we tried to skip all the bullsh*t and show you what works & has been working for us for over 2 years.
Whatever you do, the main thing you’ll need is consistency. Without that, everything will fail.