SoundCloud is one of the largest open music streaming platforms available, known for its massive list of independent music creators who upload hundreds of hours of music to the site every week.
The platform was founded by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss in 2007, who met at university and bonded over their love of music. Originally, SoundCloud was built for professional musicians, but the pair quickly saw the value of opening it to all sorts of content creators.
Millions of creators use SoundCloud as a way to distribute music, demos and beats, with producers, singers and everything in-between collaborating on the platform. Many artists used the platform as a first step in their career, including Post Malone who uploaded White Iverson in 2015, which became a viral hit.
SoundCloud grew at a impressive rate for the first few years, rising from 15 to 150 million registered users from 2012 to 2015. However, the platform struggled to generate income for it or its creators, many of whom did not receive anything for their streams.
Twitter and Spotify both looked into acquiring SoundCloud in the mid-2010s, however both pulled out after reviewing the financials. It was reported that Twitter planned to offer SoundCloud $2 billion.
In 2015, Sony Music decided to pull several artists of the platform, deeming the collaboration unprofitable. The artists were added back at a later date, after SoundCloud reached an agreement. Several other top artists have removed songs from the platform in the past for similar reasons, although most can be found on SoundCloud’s premium Go+ service.
This battle, between its independent creators and music industry, has led to tension. Radio hosts, DJs and independent artists have had their content removed because of copyright infringement, which some say goes against SoundCloud’s open, collaborative beginnings.
SoundCloud has seemingly deemed it worth working with the music industry to become profitable, even if it harms the website’s creative independent users. The rate of new music being uploaded to SoundCloud has increased every year, so it’s clear a lot of independent creators are still happy with the platform.
In 2017, Ljung was replaced as CEO by Kerry Trainor, after a series of layoffs and poor financial reports. It has seen its revenues grow every year since the replacement, from $25 million in 2016 to $166 million in 2019. SoundCloud also reported its first profitable quarter in Q3 2020.
We have collected data and statistics on SoundCloud. Read on below to find out more.
SoundCloud key statistics
- SoundCloud generated $166 million revenue in 2019, a 53 percent increase year-on-year and the second year SoundCloud hit over $100 million
- It also had its first profitable quarter in Q3 2020
- SoundCloud has 76 million registered users
- 175 million people access SoundCloud once a month
|Launch date||October 2008|
|People||Kerry Trainor (CEO), Alexander Ljung (co-founder, chairman)|
Note: SoundCloud publishes financial information late in year. We estimate the company has generated over $200 million in 2020
Note: This is for registered users. Many users do not have accounts
SoundCloud monthly listeners
Note: SoundCloud has not updated its monthly active listeners since 2017
SoundCloud music creators
SoundCloud number of tracks
|Year||Number of tracks|
SoundCloud traffic by country (%)
|Country||Percentage of Traffic|
SoundCloud funding (total)
How many countries is SoundCloud available in?
SoundCloud is available in 190 countries
What companies have tried to acquire SoundCloud?
How much music is uploaded to SoundCloud?
Users upload 12 hours of music and audio every minute (TechCrunch)