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.
SoundCloud has had a few changes in management over the past five years, with Ljung being replaced by Kerry Trainor in 2017 and then Trainor being replaced by chairman Michael Weissman in 2020. The aim of both has been to increase SoundCloud’s earnings, which have accelerated in the past five years.
We have collected data and statistics on SoundCloud. Read on below to find out more.
SoundCloud key statistics
- SoundCloud generated $271 million revenue in 2021, higher than the $250 million it projected in 2020
- SoundCloud has 130 million registered users
- Over 30 million music creators have a SoundCloud account
- SoundCloud was most recently valued at $500 million
|Launch date||October 2008|
|People||Michael Weissman (CEO), Alexander Ljung (co-founder, chairman)|
SoundCloud made over $200 million revenue in 2020, its highest recorded annual revenue.
SoundCloud annual revenue 2011 to 2020 ($mm)
Note: Annual revenues published 12 months late. Source: Company data, Music App Report
SoundCloud has 130 million registered users. It had to delete over 70 million users between 2015 and 2018 due to inactivity.
SoundCloud users 2012 to 2022 (mm)
Source: Company data, Music App Report
SoundCloud music creators
Over 30 million creators use Soundcloud as a way to publish music.
SoundCloud music creators 2018 to 2021 (mm)
Source: Company data
SoundCloud number of tracks
There are over 150 million tracks available to listen to on SoundCloud.
SoundCloud number of tracks 2015 to 2021 (mm)
|Year||Number of tracks (mm)|
Source: Company data
SoundCloud traffic by country
More than a quarter of SoundCloud’s web traffic comes from the United States, its most popular market.
SoundCloud traffic by country 2021 (%)
|Country||Percentage of Traffic|
SoundCloud was valued at $500 million in 2017, a 28% decrease on its previous valuation in 2014.
SoundCloud valuation 2012 to 2017 ($mm)
SoundCloud has received $552 million in funding since it launched in 2009.
SoundCloud funding 2009 to 2022 ($mm)
SoundCloud users vs music streaming competitors
Want to learn more? Read our music streaming sector profile
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)