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Bandcamp vs Soundcloud

Bandcamp and Soundcloud are both popular services for artists that are independent as they provide them a medium where those independent artists can promote and sell their music. Talking about some of the pros and cons of Bandcamp and Soundcloud, let’s take a look at them:

Pros 

Bandcamp:

  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly interface
  • Provides a neat portfolio to artists
  • Allows artists to upload music safely
  • Also allows the artists to independently sell their music 
  • Prioritizes albums rather than single releases
  • Offers no distraction from music

Soundcloud:

  • Excellent portfolio platform
  • Embeds efficiently into website
  • Consists of a volume slider built into the engine
  • Best place for hip-hop

Cons:

Bandcamp:

  • Does not have a lot of community functions
  • Awful for new music exploration

Soundcloud:

  • Cannot be monetized
  • Messed up interface
  • Detection of copyright
  • No control over presentation

Let us take a look at some of the important points that have to be considered while comparing Soundcloud and Bandcamp:

  • Selling the Music

Bandcamp is essentially a music eCommerce platform where people can explore, discover and purchase music directly from the artists who produce it. Bandcamp is free to use generally although it does take 15% commission on digital sales and 10% commission on merch. Once you make more than $5000 USD, the 15% commission drops to 10% on digital sales. It also offers a service called Bandcamp Pro at the rate of $10 USD per month and another one called Bandcamp for Labels at the rate of $20 per month for up to 15 artists. Bandcamp for Labels is at the rate of $50 per month for unlimited number of artists.

On a whole, Bandcamp is designed in such a way to help artists sell their music and get it streamed. On SoundCloud, you can upload, share and insert any of your music. It is free to use up to a limit of 180 minutes. A user who wants unlimited usage without any upload limit is billed $15 per month annually. Or $19.95 per month which is billed monthly.

To earn money through your soundtracks on Soundcloud, there are two ways:

  • Add a Buy-Link to your sound tracks.
  • Or monetize your tracks, but this requires that you sign an agreement called the Premier agreement which is reviewed within 24 hours and when you will be eligible, you will be notified. You can enable monetization option for a soundtrack when you click on the pen icon, then edit it and choose the proper options present under the Monetization tab.

When you want to sell your music and merch, then Bandcamp is the best. But if you are getting a lot of clicks on play, then the monetization option on Soundcloud is better. So basically, Bandcamp is expert in selling your songs and Soundcloud is expert in getting your sound track listened to.

  • Social networking features

Coming to the aspect of Social networking, it definitely is a crucial factor when it comes to services like Bandcamp and SoundCloud which work online. Just look at social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube and the enormous power that they give to their users in the form of likes, follows, comments and sharing. And in this aspect, Bandcamp is more of an electronic marketing and commerce platform than a social network. Although they have incorporated some components of social networking like being able to follow artists and their posts, and being able to like and comment on the posts of their favourite artists.

SoundCloud has always been more diverted towards social networking and one of the best things about it is that you can comment on a track at a particular timestamp. Apart from that, you can also follow other users of Soundcloud, message them privately, and also create playlists and repost the sound tracks of other people. When Soundcloud was newly introduced in the market, the audience used to engage easily, but now with more users it is difficult to stand out.

So, when talking about Bandcamp, it has very less social networking features but the good ones. And Soundcloud has no second to it as its features of social networking are the best.

  • Embedding the media 

Next up, let’s talk about embedding media in Soundcloud and Bandcamp. When SoundCloud was first introduced, it was a great deal that the sound tracks could be inserted anywhere but nowadays every other thing has the function of being embedded. Bandcamp also has the option of sharing and embedding the newest releases. 

Concluding this point, Soundcloud and Bandcamp both work well with the embedding feature, but still Soundcloud has an upper rank just because Soundcloud embeds which are more common are also more attractive to click on and Soundcloud has more sharing options than Bandcamp.

  • Reviewer Friendly

SoundCloud is generally the go-to platform for most of the music bloggers, reviewers and publicists. When music bloggers review newly released music tracks, they sometimes demand from the artists to upload their music to SoundCloud and enable the option of embedding.

But in contrast with that, Bandcamp embeds are not requested by music bloggers, reviewers and publicists. And it probably won’t be of much use for your PR campaigning activities.

So, Soundcloud is more reviewer friendly and blogger-friendly than Bandcamp up to a level that majority of the publicists and reviewers haven’t even heard of Bandcamp.

  • Durability and Stability

Soundcloud has experienced some challenges in the last few years but according to a recent report, it made $100 million-dollar last year and is back on safe grounds. But there have not been such problems for Bandcamp yet.

Therefore, we can say that Soundcloud is on shaking feet but still it is not going anywhere considering its popularity and usage. Whereas Bandcamp is quite stable but not that popular.

  • Overall Worth

As we have already discussed, SoundCloud and Bandcamp offer different services and options to their users. But both of them are of immense value as one of them helps you sell more music and sound tracks whereas the other one gives you a platform to easily share your music, get it heard by a larger audience as well as discover newest releases and interact with artists without any problem. They certainly have different uses and are obviously going to be used by different audiences and in a different way, therefore, there really is no such comparison between both of them. They have great services to offer for free of cost and fantastic subscription services as well, which are almost similar in terms of functionality and price. We can say that in terms of overall worth, both SoundCloud and Bandcamp are on equal grounds.

  • Conclusion

As we use Soundcloud and Bandcamp for different purposes, they cannot be compared easily. For example, if you are doing your regular activity of promoting different artists for their newest music releases, you will probably be using both of these platforms.

Soundcloud will be your go-to for growing your music career and working and collaborating with music bloggers, reviewers, publicists and other media. Whereas Bandcamp will be your go-to for selling your music because it is the best music selling platform even if you have a different place of distribution for your music.