SoundCloud is an essential part of a music creator’s social media strategy. And contrary to what popular belief dictates, it is not a dying platform. In fact, with approximately 80 million monthly users, it is second only to Spotify.

Musicians of all sorts can benefit from more SoundCloud plays. This is because the platform is the steppingstone to popularity. Various famous artists started their journey here and after they were able to increase engagement on SoundCloud, their career blossomed. Sometimes, record companies or music industry executives contact artists directly if they find the music worth it. Therefore, you must build your brand and strive for maximum engagement.

Before you dive in, you must know how SoundCloud counts the plays on a track. Each time a user presses play, and music successfully blares from the speaker, a play is recorded. Note that if you are playing your own content, the algorithm will not consider it and the count will not increment.

Make it interesting

You have less than milliseconds to make an impact on the audience. Thus, if your title track, album name, album art, etc. are not interesting and catchy enough, you will not receive much engagement. A low-resolution artwork turns people off, just like a boring or incomplete title. 

Remember that you will share your artwork everywhere. Thus, a lack of quality here is the first step to losing followers. Make sure the album art is engaging. 

Further, when you create an album, its description must stand out and invite people. Take a look at the following examples and decide which feels more engaging.

  • I was bored so I made an album. Press Play.
  • My experiments with an acoustic guitar led me to several enthralling tracks. Now, let me share it with the world. Enjoy and send it to your friends so their day is as good as yours.

Tag it

Every popular track on SoundCloud connects directly or indirectly with every other track. This is all possible thanks to the platform’s powerful tagging mechanism. These tags send out your track in the “Recommended”, “Related”, and “Search” section of SoundCloud.

After selecting the proper genre for your track at the time of upload, add the mood, bpm, location, etc in the tags section. Keep them concise and targeted. Try to use as many popular tags as possible and not create your own. Also, adding multiple genres does not make much of a difference. Stick to one main genre and add extra information through tags only. You can search for popular hashtags on the internet and use them to get more engagement.

Manage your other platforms with equal diligence

Others will not promote your music for you. At least not for free. Thus, you must always keep your social media channels updated with the latest info about your tracks. Each time you create a track, post about it. Bonus points if you have a website where you can blog about it as well. If you do not have one, WordPress is a great place to start.

While strangers will not promote your music, those in your social media circles might share it if they can resonate with it. Thus, social media, combined with an active website is a great way to go viral.

Use that Waveform

Funny story, this point had completely slipped my mind until I visited SoundCloud and saw the waveform that is present near the play button. Your audience commenting on that waveform is well and good, but do not miss out. You should comment as well.

Tell them a story about why a particular moment in the song is important to you. Or maybe tell them why you placed that particular high/low note there. People like a story to go along with the music. You can also put in a few call-to-actions in between these comments.

A quick tip: Select a moment in your track about which opinion is most likely to be divided and comment on that. Ask your audience what they think and watch the comments emerge.

Pro Tip: You can change a previously uploaded track

But what about your plays, likes, comments, you ask? They are going to stay.

The catch is that you need a SoundCloud Pro subscription to use this feature. However, if your account is large enough, then a pro subscription will prove immensely beneficial to you, so fret not.

This “Change Audio” feature comes in handy when you have an unfinished song that you need to release by a deadline. Later on, you can remaster it, make a few tweaks, and then change the audio without losing your likes and comments. I know it sounds like something you will rarely use but when you require it one day, you will be glad that you know about it.


For rappers, musicians, DJs, and other artists of a musical nature, SoundCloud is an essential platform to gain traction and receive a career boost. Enough publicity here greatly increases your chances of getting noticed by a record producer.

There are hundreds of ways by which one can get SoundCloud plays. Several tips of the trade are obtainable only by talking to those who are long-time connoisseurs of the platform. If you have such tricks to share, leave them in the comments below.

Written by Stop The Breaks
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.