What's the difference between Soundcloud and Spotify?

By The IFTTT Team

June 13, 2024

What's the difference between Soundcloud and Spotify?
  • What’s the difference between SoundCloud and Spotify?

    Soundcloud and Spotify are two popular music streaming platforms that offer a wide range of features and options for music lovers. While they share the same goal of providing access to millions of songs, there are significant differences between the two services. In this article, we will compare various aspects of SoundCloud and Spotify to help you make an informed decision about which platform is right for you.

    Spoiler alert; IFTTT can help make both SoundCloud and Spotify even better by integrating them with over 1000 services. Learn how to automate your favorite music, click the join now button to get started today.

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    Comparing sound quality and streaming options

    One of the key factors to consider when choosing a music streaming service is the sound quality it offers. Both SoundCloud and Spotify provide high-quality audio streaming, but there are some notable differences.

    For starters, SoundCloud is primarily known for its user-generated content, meaning that the sound quality can vary depending on the source and the original recording. Users may come across raw, unpolished gems from emerging artists, as well as professionally produced tracks from established musicians. This eclectic mix adds a unique charm to the platform, offering listeners a diverse range of sonic experiences.

    On the other hand, Spotify has a vast library of music from major labels and artists, ensuring consistent and excellent sound quality. With its focus on mainstream music, Spotify delivers a polished and refined listening experience across its extensive collection of songs, albums, and playlists. The platform's algorithm also tailors recommendations based on users' listening habits, making it easy to discover new music that aligns with individual preferences.

    When it comes to streaming options, SoundCloud allows users to upload and share their music, making it a platform that is focused on supporting independent artists. This feature empowers musicians to showcase their work directly to a global audience, fostering a sense of community and collaboration within the music industry. Listeners can explore a wide array of genres and styles, uncovering hidden talents and emerging trends in the ever-evolving landscape of music.

    Spotify, on the other hand, is an established streaming platform that offers a comprehensive catalog of music. Whether you prefer to listen to popular artists or discover new music, Spotify has you covered. In addition to its vast music library, Spotify also features podcasts, audiobooks, and exclusive content from top creators, expanding its offerings beyond traditional music streaming. The platform's user-friendly interface and personalized playlists enhance the listening experience, catering to a diverse audience with varying tastes and preferences.

    Exploring music discovery features

    Another crucial aspect to consider is the music discovery features offered by SoundCloud and Spotify. Both platforms offer personalized recommendations based on your listening habits, but they differ in terms of how they approach music discovery.

    SoundCloud promotes a more democratic approach to music discovery, with a strong emphasis on enabling independent artists to showcase their work. The platform's algorithm takes into account user interactions, allowing users to discover niche genres and emerging artists.

    Spotify, on the other hand, employs a combination of human curation and machine learning algorithms to curate playlists and recommend music to its users. With features like "Discover Weekly" and personalized "Daily Mixes," Spotify offers a more refined and tailored music discovery experience.

    Delving deeper into SoundCloud's music discovery features, users can explore a vast array of user-generated content, from remixes to original tracks. The platform's "Related Tracks" feature suggests songs based on the track you are currently listening to, fostering a serendipitous discovery experience.

    Furthermore, SoundCloud's "Charts" section showcases trending tracks across different genres, providing users with insights into the latest music trends and up-and-coming artists. This dynamic environment encourages music exploration and supports artists at various stages of their careers.

    Understanding User Interface and experience

    The user interface and overall experience of a music streaming platform play a significant role in the overall enjoyment of the service. Both SoundCloud and Spotify have user-friendly interfaces, but there are some notable differences in terms of design and functionality.

    SoundCloud has a minimalistic and straightforward interface, making it easy for users to navigate and find the music they love. The platform offers a clean and intuitive player, allowing users to easily control playback and explore related tracks.

    Spotify, on the other hand, has a more feature-rich interface with a plethora of options. It offers advanced features like crossfade, gapless playback, and collaborative playlists, providing a more immersive and interactive experience for users.

    Analyzing subscription plans and pricing

    The pricing and subscription plans offered by SoundCloud and Spotify are essential factors to consider when choosing a music streaming service.

    SoundCloud offers a free tier that allows users to access a limited catalog of music and listen to ads. They also offer two paid subscription plans: SoundCloud Go and Soundcloud Go+. These plans provide an ad-free listening experience, offline listening, and access to a more extensive catalog of music.

    Spotify, on the other hand, offers a free ad-supported tier, but their premium subscription, Spotify Premium, offers a seamless and ad-free listening experience, offline playback, higher quality audio, and the ability to skip tracks. Spotify also offers family and student plans at discounted rates.

    Examining artist promotion and engagement

    For artists, the ability to promote their music and engage with their fans is crucial. Soundcloud is known for its strong artist community, allowing musicians to upload their tracks, connect with fans, and receive feedback on their work. It is a platform that fosters creativity and independent music promotion.

    Spotify, on the other hand, offers advanced artist tools and features that allow artists to reach a broader audience. Verified artists on Spotify can access analytics, customize their artist profile, and pitch their music to playlists, increasing their visibility and engagement.

    Delving into offline listening capabilities

    Offline listening is a valuable feature for music streaming platforms, especially for users on the go or with limited internet access. Both SoundCloud and Spotify offer offline listening capabilities, but there are some differences.

    SoundCloud Go and Soundcloud Go+ allow users to download their favorite tracks and playlists for offline listening. However, it's important to note that not all tracks on SoundCloud are available for offline listening, as it depends on the permissions set by the artists.

    Spotify Premium, on the other hand, allows users to download tracks, albums, and playlists for offline listening. With Spotify Premium, you can enjoy your music anywhere, even without an internet connection.

    Investigating social sharing and community interaction

    Social sharing and community interaction are integral parts of the music streaming experience. SoundCloud has a strong focus on community interaction, allowing users to comment on tracks, follow artists, and join groups.

    Spotify, while not as heavily focused on community interaction, offers social sharing features that allow users to share their favorite tracks, albums, and playlists with friends and followers on various platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

    Evaluating podcast and audio content offerings

    Beyond music, both Soundcloud and Spotify offer a variety of podcast and audio content. SoundCloud has become a popular platform for podcasters and hosts an extensive library of podcasts on various topics.

    Spotify has also made significant strides in the podcasting space, acquiring exclusive podcast content and partnering with major podcast networks. With Spotify, you can enjoy a wide range of podcasts alongside your favorite music.

    Unpacking data usage and offline storage options

    Data usage and offline storage options are crucial considerations, especially for users with limited data plans or slow internet connections. SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+ offer offline listening, which allows you to save on data consumption when listening to music.

    Spotify Premium also provides offline listening options, allowing you to download your favorite tracks, albums, and playlists to your device. Additionally, Spotify offers a "Data Saver" mode, which reduces data usage without compromising on sound quality

    Summarizing pros and cons of Soundcloud and Spotify

    After analyzing different aspects of SoundCloud and Spotify, let's summarize the pros and cons of each platform:

    SoundCloud Pros:

    1. Supports independent artists and user-generated content
    2. Excellent music discovery for niche genres and emerging artists
    3. Free tier and affordable subscription plans
    4. Strong artist community and engagement

    SoundCloud Cons:

    1. Sound quality can vary depending on the source
    2. Content availability for offline listening can be limited

    Spotify Pros:

    1. Extensive catalog of music from major labels and artists
    2. Advanced music discovery features and personalized recommendations
    3. Seamless user experience with various playback options
    4. Premium subscription offers higher sound quality and exclusive content

    Spotify Cons:

    1. Less focus on independent artists and user-generated content
    2. Ad-supported free tier can be disruptive to the listening experience

    Integration with IFTTT

    One last aspect worth mentioning is the integration of Soundcloud and Spotify with IFTTT (If This Then That). Both platforms offer integration with IFTTT, allowing users to automate certain actions based on triggers.

    For example, you can create an IFTTT Applet that automatically adds your liked SoundCloud tracks to a Spotify playlist. These integrations provide added convenience and flexibility for users who want to streamline their music listening experience.


    SoundCloud and Spotify are two popular music streaming platforms that offer unique features and cater to different needs. Soundcloud excels in supporting independent artists and providing a platform for user-generated content, while Spotify offers a comprehensive catalog and advanced music discovery features.

    When choosing between SoundCloud and Spotify, consider your preferences regarding sound quality, music discovery, user interface, subscription plans, artist promotion, offline listening, community interaction, and podcast offerings. Assessing these factors will help you determine which platform aligns better with your needs and preferences.

    Whether you prefer to dive into the diverse world of independent music or enjoy a seamless and curated music streaming experience, choosing between SoundCloud and Spotify ultimately depends on your personal taste and requirements.

    Check out some simple SoundCloud and Spotify automations below:

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