How To Make Money On SoundCloud: Proven Strategies + Bonus Tips

How To Make Money On SoundCloud

Want to make money on SoundCloud? We’ve got you covered.

A lot of talented artists struggle to monetize their tracks on SoundCloud effectively. And that’s a shame because, if your fans enjoy your music, you deserve to get paid for it.

That’s why in this post, we’ll be sharing a step-by-step guide that will help you to finally start earning some real money on the platform.

Just follow the process below and by the time you’re done reading, you’ll be well on your way to getting that bag.

1. Create an online store

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: You’re not going to get rich from SoundCloud royalties (i.e. ad revenue) alone.

Logically speaking, every musician needs to create a store and have products available to buy before they can make much money from their music. 

That’s why step number one is going to be to sign up for Sellfy. With Sellfy, you can create your own online store in minutes and customize it to fit your brand. 

01 Sellfy Homepage

Then, you can upload your tracks and albums to your store for fans to buy. Plus, you can even use it to sell merchandise thanks to the native print-on-demand service.

And the best part is that Sellfy doesn’t charge any transaction fees, so you’ll keep pretty much 100% of your profits.

2. List your music (and merch) for sale

Once you’ve signed up for Sellfy, log into your dashboard and head to Products > Add new product.

Then, click Digital product to upload your music files for sale. This could be anything: beats, drum kits, samples, tracks, or even full albums.

02 List your music - digital product

You can set a flat rate for each track or give your fans the option to choose how much they want to pay to support you with pay-what-you-want pricing.

If you want to sell custom merchandise, head to the Print on demand section.

03 List your music - print on demand

From here, you can browse Sellfy’s catalog of white-label products like t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, etc., and customize them with your own designs in a few clicks (for example, add your artist/band name). Then, add them as products in your store.

Sellfy manages printing and shipping for you on-demand, as orders come in, so you don’t have to purchase any stock upfront—you only pay for what you sell.

Related: The Best Print On Demand Sites For Artists (Pros & Cons)

You can even set up subscription products and sell memberships to your fans, with exclusive perks like early access to new music drops.

Once you’ve added all your products, head to Store settings > Payment settings and connect a Stripe or PayPal account so you can receive payments. 

04 List your music - Payment settngs

You might also want to change the way your store looks in the Store Customizer.

3. Link to your Sellfy store from SoundCloud 

Once you’ve got your online store up and running, the next step is to add links that point to your store to your SoundCloud profile.

This will tell listeners/fans who want to support you where to go to get your music and buy your merch, and in doing so, help to funnel traffic from SoundCloud over to your website.

The best place to add your link is within the description of each track in your catalog. All you have to do is find the track you want to add the link to, then click Edit, open the Description window, and paste your link there. 

05 Link to your Sellfy store from SoundCloud - Edit

You can also add links as Buy buttons, which are placed under tracks in your catalog—they’re much more clickable than description links.

06 Link to your Sellfy store from SoundCloud - Buy button

To add one, click Edit next to the track, go to the Metadata window, and paste the link to your Sellfy store in the buy-link textbox.

07 Link to your Sellfy store from SoundCloud - buy link

In addition to adding links to each track, you should also add a link to your store in your SoundCloud bio. To do so, go to your Profile settings > Edit > Bio. Then, paste your link and hit Save changes.

08 Link to your Sellfy store from SoundCloud - Bio

4. Add a Support Link to your profile to collect donations

If you’ve followed the steps above, you should now have your own online store so you can sell products directly to your SoundCloud fans and listeners.

But what about the people who don’t want to buy your music, but who still want to support you as an artist?

If you want to make as much money on SoundCloud as possible, you need to make it easy for those people to donate.

Fortunately, SoundCloud rolled out a super useful feature for this a few years back: Direct Support Links.

Head to your SoundCloud profile and click the Edit button. Below your bio, you should see a button that says Add support link.

09 Add a Support Link to your profile - Add link

Click that, and paste in a link to your PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, Bandcamp, Patreon, GoFundMe, or wherever else you want fans to send donations. If you don’t have any of the above, I’d recommend signing up for, it only takes a minute or two.

Once you’ve added your link, it’ll show up in your profile like this:

10 Add a Support Link to your profile - Support

5. Sign up for Next Pro

Aside from selling products and collecting donations, another way artists can make money on SoundCloud is through royalties.

To start earning royalties, you’ll need to monetize your SoundCloud account through SoundCloud for Artists. However, you can only do that if you’re signed up for Next Pro—a paid monthly subscription plan.

Note: Previously, you could monetize your tracks through the SoundCloud Premier Program, but this has been continued. SoundCloud isn’t offering new Premier contracts, so you can’t join unless you’re already in. You’ll need to go through SoundCloud for Artists instead.

11 Sign up for Next Pro - Sign up

The good news is it’s pretty affordable. If you get a lot of streams, it should pay for itself.

Plus, upgrading to Next Pro also comes with other benefits, like unlimited track uploads, the ability to distribute unlimited music, access to YouTube content ID (more on this later), promotional tools, and other goodies.

Once you’ve signed up for Next Pro, you’re ready to…

6. Monetize your tracks

Next Pro artists can monetize through their SoundCloud for Artists dashboard. 

Just click the Monetization tab, then scroll down and click Sync with SoundCloud to pull in your tracks.

12 Monetize your tracks - Sync

Next, search for the track (or multiple tracks) you want to monetize and follow the on-screen instructions to submit a request for SoundCloud monetization.

You’ll need to wait for approval, which usually happens within 5 business days. Eventually, the track should change from ‘Approved’ status to ‘Monetizing’ status, at which point it can start earning you money.

Note: You’ll need a unique ISRC code to monetize. If you don’t have one, you can request one to be automatically generated when you’re entering the track’s details.

Once monetized, you’ll get paid based on your pro-rata share of 55% of SoundCloud’s advertising and subscription revenues. So your earnings depend on the number of streams your tracks get in SoundCloud monetized countries.

In other words, when people who listen to your music on SoundCloud are subscribed to the platform or are served an advertisement, you get paid a share of the revenue that is brought into SoundCloud as royalties.

Note: SoundCloud recently made the way royalties are distributed even fairer when they implemented their new fan-powered royalties system, which is based around fans’ actual listening habits. It’s a little complicated, but basically, artists now earn more when their dedicated fans listen to their music than they would under the old pooled distribution model.

7. Add a payout method

Before you can cash out the money you earn through SoundCloud royalties, you’ll need to add a payout method.

To do so, go to your SoundCloud for Artists dashboard. Then, click Earnings > Payouts > + Add Payout Method. Then, choose whether you want to receive payments via Bank Transfer or PayPal.

13 Add a payout method - Payouts

You’ll need to follow the on-screen instructions and enter some personal/business and tax details to finish the process.

Once everything is done, payments will be auto-deposited to your account at the end of each month, as long as your earnings meet the minimum payout of $5. Keep in mind that SoundCloud pays on a net 60 basis, so your payouts will be two months delayed.

8. Distribute your tracks to other streaming services

You can use SoundCloud for Artist’s music distribution service to monetize your tracks on 30+ other music streaming services, including platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, etc.

14 Distribute your tracks - Distribute

This will make it easier for more listeners to find your music and provide new revenue streams so you can earn more money.

You’ll need to be subscribed to Next Pro or Next Plus to get started. 

Then just go to your SoundCloud for Artists dashboard and hit Distribute track, choose what partner platforms you want to distribute to, and follow the on-screen instructions.

9. Enable YouTube Content ID

Once you’ve distributed a release on SoundCloud for Artists, you’ll be able to enable YouTube Content ID from your dashboard.

Once enabled, the system will monitor YouTube for your track and, if someone uses your song in a video, you’ll get paid for it.

Just keep in mind that to be eligible for Content ID, you’ll need to have exclusive rights to all parts of the track including any samples/beats used.

10. Promote your music & get more followers

If you’ve followed the steps above, you should now have all the groundwork in place to start making money on SoundCloud.

Now, the final step is to work on promoting your music and getting more followers. Because the more people that stream your tracks, the more opportunities you’ll have to earn royalties, donations, and product sales.

We’ve written a complete guide on how to get more SoundCloud followers, which I’d suggest reading. But here are some general tips if you’re short on time:

  • Focus on putting out great music consistently
  • Optimize your tracks for discoverability
  • Engage with your existing fans and the wider community
  • Collaborate with other independent artists in your niche
  • Submit your music to playlists and report channels
  • Promote your SoundCloud on social media
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Cover trending songs to tap into the hype
  • Utilize Sellfy’s built-in marketing tools to make more sales

Additional tips to monetize SoundCloud

So, we’ve covered the basics of how to make money on SoundCloud. Now, I want to quickly share a couple of extra tips to help you with your monetization efforts.

Keep track of your earnings

Click the Earnings tab in your SoundCloud for Artists dashboard, and you’ll see a list of all your earnings and where they’ve come from.

15 Keep track of your earnings - Earnings

It’s important to keep an eye on this as it tells you which tracks and distribution platforms are making you the most money.

Once you know that, you can focus your efforts there. 

For example, if you’ve released 10 tracks that aren’t making you a penny, but one particular song of yours is blowing up on Spotify, then you can start to think about why and use that to decide what direction to go in on your next release.

Earn split payments

Inside the Earnings section of the dashboard, you should see a tab that says Split Pay.

16 Earn split payments - Split pay

This is a super useful tool as it allows artists who collaborate on a release to split royalties. For example, you can allocate 50% of the earnings to artist A, and the other 50% to artist B, and SoundCloud will take care of the rest.

So, if you’re not having a lot of luck making money on your original releases, you can try partnering up with other artists through splits and see if you have more luck there.

Frequently asked questions

Before we wrap up, here are the answers to some FAQs about SoundCloud.

How much does SoundCloud pay? 

The amount SoundCloud pays depends on several factors. But typically, it’s around $0.0025 to $0.004 per stream.

That means that for every 10k plays your tracks get, you can probably expect to be paid around $25 to $40—but that’s just a ballpark figure.

Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. The exact amount will depend on things like whether or not each listener was served an ad, whether they were subscribed, the country they’re from, etc.

You might be thinking that’s not a lot—and you’re right. That’s why you shouldn’t rely on SoundCloud royalties alone for revenue. If even a tiny fraction of listeners donate or buy products from your Sellfy store, you’ll earn a lot more.

How many followers do you need to get paid on SoundCloud?

There’s no minimum number of followers required to get paid on SoundCloud. It’s all about the number of times your music is streamed.

That said, having a large following will make it more likely that more people will listen to your new releases and provide more opportunities for you to earn money through donations, product sales, etc.

Does SoundCloud pay more than Spotify?

There’s no definitive answer to that question as the amount each platform pays artists varies depending on lots of different factors.

However, if I had to guess, I’d say that Spotify probably pays more. Anecdotally, artists report earning $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on Spotify, which is very slightly more than SoundCloud.

Plus, Spotify is the largest streaming service in the world, which makes it potentially easier to get more listeners. And the more listeners you get, the more money you get paid.

All that said, there’s no reason you can’t monetize your music on both platforms. In fact, SoundCloud provides a distribution service to help you do just that.

Can I monetize SoundCloud for free?

The only way to monetize SoundCloud for free is by collecting fan donations via Support Links (see step 4 of this guide for more information on this). 

To monetize SoundCloud through royalties, you need to subscribe to Next Pro, which costs a small monthly subscription fee.

You’ll also need to pay a subscription fee for Sellfy if you want to monetize your SoundCloud by selling music and merch through your own Sellfy store.

Why won’t SoundCloud let me monetize?

You won’t be able to monetize music on SoundCloud unless you’re a Next Pro artist. You’ll also need to own or have legal rights to the music you want to monetize. 

If you’re subscribed to Next Pro and your requests to enable monetization aren’t being approved, it may be because SoundCloud is unable to confirm you have the rights to your releases. I’d recommend reaching out to SoundCloud for more information.

What are some other ways to make money from my music?

We’ve already written a roundup of the 31 best ways to make money from your music with lots of great ideas—make sure you check that out.

One of my favorite ways is to sell beats online to other artists. It can be super lucrative if you’re a talented producer and you know how to network.

You can also try selling music online through stock sites, as well as sample packs. If you’re a beginner, make sure you read our guide on how to sell music online first to help you get started.


It’s still possible for talented artists to make money on SoundCloud this year—but it’s getting harder.

You can’t just rely on the royalties you earn from streams if you want to make a decent income. 

You’ll need to maximize your earnings by using SoundCloud to collect donations and sell original music and merchandise through your own ecommerce store too.

But remember: Ultimately, the largest contributor to your success will be the quality of the music you make. Focus on putting out releases that your target audience will love, and the money will follow.

If you need more help, be sure to read our guide to promoting your music on SoundCloud.