Spotify vs SoundCloud – comparison of features, catalog and price of the two music streaming services

We compare the features, cost, and catalog of the two streaming services to help you decide where to spend your subscription money.

SoundCloud is probably one of the most different music streaming services out there today. Launched in 2007, SoundCloud allows anyone to download and share music directly on the platform. Without the need for labels or distributors, and a somewhat lax copyright system, this has led SoundCloud to amass a large number of tracks largely from the artists themselves. Today, they offer creators various subscriptions for download, analysis, promotion and distribution tools. In addition to independent creators, SoundCloud now works with licensed music labels from major artists. SoundCloud Go unlocks ad-free and offline listening, while SoundCloud Go + unlocks licensed music.

In the United States, for individuals, Spotify is available in two versions: Free Spotify and Spotify Premium. Free Spotify is the ad-supported music streaming model of the audio company, while for a monthly subscription Spotify Premium gives listeners all the features they need.

For this comparison, we will examine SoundCloud Go + and Spotify Premium because they most accurately represent the features that users today look for in a typical music streaming service.


Both streaming services offer the same basic features like ad-free listening, offline and on-demand playback, letting you listen to any song, anywhere, with unlimited skips.

Artists can upload to SoundCloud in just about any audio format, but it will be compressed to 256 kbps AAC for SoundCloud Go + subscribers. Spotify Premium currently achieves a comparable 320 kbps MP3. Spotify has announced a level of HiFi streaming, but we are still awaiting the launch of the feature and have no word yet on the maximum bit rate available or the potential price increase above Premium subscriptions. With the competition to stream hi-fi music from streaming services like Amazon Music and Apple Music, it’s likely that Spotify will abandon any initial plans they had to include a price hike for the feature. We would like to see a lossless option from SoundCloud soon.


Spotify currently hosts over 70 million tracks. With the platform opening up to downloads, SoundCloud crushes the number of other music streaming services with over 250 million tracks from over 30 million creators.


For individual subscriptions in the US, Spotify Premium and SoundCloud Go + both cost $ 9.99 per month.

Both services offer various discounts for students and packages with other subscription services.


If you listen to a lot of music from independent artists on SoundCloud who are not on Spotify, SoundCloud Go + is a great option as it gives you access to both sides of the industry. With their next lossless option, Spotify is the best choice for hi-fi music streamers.

If you are a musical artist, you are in luck. RouteNote can help you monetize your music on SoundCloud, as well as stream your music for free on Spotify and many other music streaming services. Just sign up for RouteNote, upload your leads, select which stores to distribute to and we’ll do the rest.

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Victor L. Jones