If you're considering starting a podcast or looking for a new hosting platform, you've come to the right place. In today's digital landscape, there are numerous options available for podcast hosting, and it's crucial to find the one that best suits your needs.
One such platform that you might have stumbled upon is SoundCloud. Renowned for its music streaming services, SoundCloud has made strides in recent years to become a popular choice for podcast hosting as well.
But what makes it stand out among other hosting platforms, and is it the right fit for you?
In this blog post, I'll provide you with a detailed review of SoundCloud as a podcast hosting platform, examining its features, pros and cons, pricing, and how it compares to other hosting options.
We'll begin by exploring SoundCloud's background and how it differs from traditional podcasting platforms. Then, we'll dive into the key features that make SoundCloud an attractive choice for podcasters.
We'll also discuss the platform's pros and cons to help you understand what to expect when using SoundCloud for podcasting.
Finally, I'll share my personal take on the platform and wrap up with the platform's advantages and disadvantages.
So, without further ado, let's embark on this journey to find out if SoundCloud is the best podcast hosting platform for your needs!
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation at no additional cost to you to support this site that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my 10+ years of online business experience consulting for clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that offer the best return for your investment (for more details, read my Affiliate Disclosure).
What Is SoundCloud?
SoundCloud is a global online audio distribution platform that originated in Berlin, Germany, and has since made waves in the audio content world.
Launched in 2007, it initially catered to musicians, allowing them to upload, record, promote, and share their original music with a worldwide audience.
Over the years, however, SoundCloud has evolved and expanded its offerings to accommodate podcast hosting, making it an attractive option for podcasters like you.
The platform has become particularly popular among indie musicians, DJs, and audio enthusiasts, boasting a vast user base that creates a diverse and lively community.
As a podcaster, you can leverage SoundCloud's extensive network to reach a broader audience and make your voice heard.
How Is It Different From Traditional Podcasting Platforms?
While traditional podcasting platforms typically focus on hosting and distributing shows, SoundCloud brings something unique to the table with its music-oriented community.
This diverse audience is not only passionate about music but is also receptive to other forms of audio content, such as podcasts.
By hosting your show on SoundCloud, you can tap into this existing user base and potentially attract a whole new group of listeners.
Moreover, SoundCloud is designed with social media-like features that enable greater interaction and engagement between you and your audience.
Likes, comments, reposts, and the ability to share your podcast episodes across various social media platforms are just a few of the ways you can interact with your listeners.
These features make it easier for your podcast to gain traction, as your audience can actively participate in the conversation and share your content with their networks.
In addition, SoundCloud's user interface resembles that of a social media platform, making it visually appealing and easy to navigate.
This user-friendly design is not only beneficial for you as a podcaster but also makes it simpler for listeners to discover, stream, and engage with your content.
By offering a unique, music-centric community and social media-like features, SoundCloud sets itself apart from traditional podcast hosting platforms, providing you with a distinctive opportunity to grow your audience and create meaningful connections with your listeners.
SoundCloud's Key Features
SoundCloud offers a range of features that make it an attractive choice for podcast hosting. Let's take a closer look at some of the key features that you can benefit from when using SoundCloud for podcasting:
- Unlimited uploads: With the paid Next Pro plan, you can upload as many podcast episodes as you'd like without worrying about running out of space. This is particularly beneficial for podcasters who release episodes frequently or have long-form content.
- Customizable podcast pages: SoundCloud allows you to create a personalized podcast page, complete with your logo, cover art, and episode descriptions. This customizable page not only helps you establish a consistent brand image but also makes it easier for listeners to navigate through your episodes and learn more about your podcast.
- SoundCloud RSS for easy distribution to other platforms: One of the essential aspects of podcasting is ensuring your content reaches as many listeners as possible. SoundCloud provides an RSS feed that makes it simple to distribute your podcast episodes to other platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. This way, you can expand your reach and attract a broader audience.
- Detailed analytics for tracking your podcast's performance: Understanding how your podcast is performing is crucial for growth and improvement. SoundCloud offers analytics tools that provide insights into your podcast's performance, such as the number of plays, likes, comments, reposts, and downloads. These metrics can help you determine what resonates with your audience, allowing you to tailor your content accordingly.
- Embeddable players for sharing your podcast on websites and social media: To further increase your podcast's visibility, SoundCloud offers embeddable players that can be easily integrated into your website or shared on social media platforms. These customizable players not only make it simple for your audience to listen to your episodes but also encourage sharing, as your listeners can easily embed your podcast on their own websites or social media profiles.
SoundCloud Pros & Cons
- User-friendly interface
- Access to a large, engaged community
- Built-in promotion tools
- Seamless integration with other platforms
- Limited analytics compared to other podcast hosting platforms
- Free accounts have upload restrictions
- Less podcast-specific features than dedicated platforms
SoundCloud caters to podcasters with various needs and budgets by offering three distinct pricing tiers.
Each tier comes with its own set of features and upload limits, allowing you to choose the one that best aligns with your podcasting goals.
Here's a breakdown of SoundCloud's pricing options for podcasters:
The free Next plan is ideal for beginners or those with limited content, as it provides up to 3 hours of total upload time.
This plan allows you to get started with SoundCloud without any financial commitment, making it an excellent choice for podcasters who want to test the platform before investing in a paid plan.
However, this plan comes with fewer features and is limited in terms of upload capacity.
Priced at $2.50 per month, the Pro plan offers 6 hours of total upload time, doubling the capacity of the Next plan.
In addition to the increased upload time, the Next Plus plan also provides access to additional features such as enhanced statistics, the ability to schedule releases, and the option to replace tracks without bad analytics.
This plan is suitable for podcasters who require more upload time and are looking for extra features to help manage and grow their podcasts.
For podcasters seeking the utmost freedom and flexibility, the Next Pro plan is priced at $12 per month and offers unlimited upload time.
This means you can upload as many episodes as you want without worrying about hitting a limit.
The Next Pro plan also includes advanced features such as unlimited access to SoundCloud's analytics, the Spotlight feature for promoting your content, and the option to enable or disable public stats.
This plan is perfect for seasoned podcasters or those with frequent, long-form content who need the most comprehensive set of features and unlimited upload capacity.
As you grow and develop your podcast, you can easily upgrade your plan to access additional features and upload capacity, making SoundCloud a scalable solution for your podcast hosting needs.
How to Get Started With SoundCloud
Starting your podcasting journey with SoundCloud is a straightforward process.
By following these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to hosting and distributing your podcast using SoundCloud:
- Sign up for a SoundCloud account: First, head over to SoundCloud's website and create an account. You can sign up using your email address, Facebook, Google, or Apple credentials. Once you've signed up, you'll have access to your SoundCloud dashboard, where you can manage your podcast.
- Choose your desired plan (Next, Next Plus, or Next Pro): Based on your podcasting needs and budget, select the plan that's right for you. Keep in mind that you can start with the free Next plan first and then upgrade later as your audience grows.
- Upload your podcast episodes: Click on the "Upload" button in the top right corner of your SoundCloud dashboard to start uploading your podcast episodes. You can upload audio files in various formats, such as MP3, WAV, and AIFF. Remember to add relevant information for each episode, including titles, descriptions, and tags, to help listeners find your content.
- Customize your podcast page: Make your podcast page stand out by customizing it with your podcast's logo, cover art, and a compelling description. This will help you establish a consistent brand image and make it easier for listeners to discover and engage with your podcast.
- Submit your SoundCloud RSS feed to podcast directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify: To ensure your podcast reaches as many listeners as possible, you'll need to submit your SoundCloud RSS feed to popular podcast directories. SoundCloud provides a unique RSS feed for your podcast, which you can find in your account settings under the "Content" tab. Copy this RSS feed URL and submit it to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, following their respective submission guidelines.
By completing these steps, you'll have successfully set up your podcast on SoundCloud and begun the process of distributing your content to other platforms.
With your podcast now live, you can focus on creating engaging episodes, interacting with your audience, and growing your podcast using SoundCloud's features and tools.
My Take on SoundCloud
In my opinion, SoundCloud is a solid choice for podcasters who want to tap into a diverse, music-loving audience.
While it may lack some podcast-specific features found in competitors' offerings, its unique community and user-friendly interface make it an appealing option.
Plus, with SoundCloud Next Pro, you'll have no limits on your podcast's growth.
SoundCloud is certainly starting to make a name for itself in the world of podcasting. By offering a unique and music-centered community, it stands out from other traditional podcast hosting platforms.
Their user-friendly interface and social media-like features make it an attractive option for podcasters who want to engage with their audience on a deeper level.
While SoundCloud may not be a perfect fit for every podcaster, it undoubtedly offers unique advantages that can help you stand out in an increasingly crowded podcasting landscape.