How To Promote Your Music On SoundCloud (Proven Tactics)

Promote Your Music On SoundCloud

Want to learn how to promote your music on SoundCloud? You’re in the right place.

In this post, we’ll be revealing 16 proven promotional tactics you can use to get thousands of new listeners and grow your following on the platform.

And we’ll show you exactly how to get started with each tactic, step by step.

1. Sign up for Next Pro (for First Fans promotion)

If you’re serious about promoting your music on SoundCloud, the first thing to do is to sign up for Next Pro—the platform’s paid subscription program.

There are a few reasons why this is going to be important, but the biggest one by far is that it gives you access to SoundCloud’s new First Fans feature.

With First Fans, SoundCloud’s algorithm will recommend all your newly uploaded tracks to around 100 listeners who are likely to enjoy them (based on AI analysis), via the autoplay algorithm. This is a huge game-changer for smaller artists.

Why? Because it gives your music a chance.

You see, the way SoundCloud’s algorithm (and most streaming service algorithms) work is that they recommend tracks to listeners based on what they’ve listened to in the past.

But they can’t recommend tracks with zero plays as they don’t know what kind of music it is—or what kind of listeners are likely to enjoy it. Without any existing listeners, the algorithm doesn’t have any signals to go off, so it won’t promote your music to users on the platform.

First Fans gets you the first 100 listeners to provide SoundCloud’s algorithm with the signals it needs, making it more likely to surface your music to other listeners in the future.

How to get started

To enable the First Fans SoundCloud promotion feature, head to this page and sign up for Next Pro. 

01 Sign up for Next Pro

Once you’re subscribed, every new track you upload will be surfaced to 100 listeners in your target audience.

Just keep in mind that it only works for music tracks that are under 10 minutes long, and only 30 tracks per subscriber are eligible per day.

2. Use SoundCloud Promote 

If you’ve signed up for Next Pro, you also have access to SoundCloud Promote.

Promote is a self-serve tool you can use to run paid ad campaigns that surface your music to new listeners on the platform and earn you more exposure.

Promoted tracks are shown at the top of your target audience’s SoundCloud homepage/feed, and you pay per 1,000 impressions. 

The cost will depend on your CPM (cost-per-mille). For example, a $10 CPM would mean you’d pay $10 for every thousand listeners who see your music.

How to get started

Head to this page and click Promote a track to get started. 

02 Use SoundCloud Promote

Then, follow the instructions to set up your campaign. You’ll need to:

  • Choose the track you want to promote
  • Pick between Simple and Advanced targeting (based on how specific you want to get when choosing your target audience)
  • Set your budget
  • Set a start and end date for the ads to run
  • Add your targeting options (choose the audience you want to surface your music to)

Once you’ve done all that, SoundCloud will start distributing the promoted track to your target audience. Because you pay for impressions, it makes sense to make sure you get your targeting options right. That way, the only people who see your music will be those most likely to engage with it and become fans.

3. Promote your SoundCloud profile on your socials

Externally, the best way to promote your SoundCloud music is through social media marketing.

TikTok is the big social media network for artists right now. Tons of SoundCloud artists have got their big break thanks to TikTok. All it takes is for a clip of one of your tracks to go viral as a sound on there, and you’ll blow up.

Aside from TikTok, you can also promote your SoundCloud tracks on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (X), and other social media platforms.

How to get started

First, make sure you’ve added a link to your SoundCloud in all your social bios. This will help unify your audiences across platforms and make it easy for your social followers to find your music.

Here’s a great example from KSLV Noh:

03 Promote your SoundCloud profile on your socials

Then, work on growing your audience by consistently sharing engaging, relevant social media content.

You could share behind-the-scenes footage of your music production process, sneak peeks of upcoming tracks, etc.

4. Run social media contests

Social media contests are a great way to drive tons of traffic to your SoundCloud for very little effort.

The idea is to set up a giveaway competition that users can enter for a chance to win a prize. But to enter, they have to follow you on SoundCloud and listen, like, or repost a song.

The great thing about giveaways is that they have lots of viral potential so they can help you reach a very large audience. You could even offer bonus entries for users who share the giveaway on their socials or tag a friend in the comments to help boost the contest’s virality.

You won’t need to pay anything to run these giveaways unless you want to either. A lot of artists offer band merch as a prize. But if you’d prefer, you could easily partner with a record label, other independent artists, or brands that can either provide the prizes or contribute some of them instead.

How to get started

You can use one of these giveaway tools to set up and manage your social media contest—I’d recommend SweepWidget.

Once you’ve signed up for SweepWidget, log in to build your first contest.

Under Entry Methods, choose SoundCloud Entry Methods:

04 Run social media contests

Then, decide what you want entrants to do based on your priorities. For example, if your goal is to boost engagement on your music on SoundCloud, you could have them like your song. Alternatively, you can have them listen to a track, repost it, or follow your profile.

Fill out the rest of the details to complete your giveaway, then share it on your socials.

5. Promote your SoundCloud music on YouTube

YouTube is another one of the best platforms for SoundCloud artists to promote their music.

In fact, some of the most successful artists in the world started out on YouTube, including Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Ed Sheeran.

How to get started

Head to YouTube and click Sign in > Create account to create a profile/YouTube page.

05 Promote your SoundCloud music on YouTube

Fill out your bio and add a profile picture, channel banner, etc. Then, start uploading videos.

You could upload your original music here, as well as covers, remixes, live gig performances, and other content like band vlogs, etc. to grow your audience.

Make sure you’ve added a link to your SoundCloud in your channel so the audience you reach on YouTube can find their way there. You might also want to add it in the description of each video you upload.

6. Share your music with content creators

This is one of my favorite music marketing strategies and one that few artists take advantage of.

The idea is to reach out to popular content creators on YouTube and other platforms and offer them the right to use your music in their videos for free, as long as they credit you in the description.

A lot of creators need music for their intros or to just play over the background of their videos. And often, they have to rely on overused, generic, royalty-free tracks. So there’s a good chance many of them would jump at the opportunity to be able to use your music instead.

And if they do, that gets you a ton of free exposure as every time someone watches their videos, they’ll hear your music.

How to get started

Start by making a list of content creators who seem to have a similar audience to yours. Then, grab their contact information and start reaching out with your offer.

You could also release some of your tracks under a CC license that gives other people the right to use, share, and modify your music however they see fit.

That way, people who hear your music on SoundCloud know they can also use it in their projects.

7. Start a live stream channel

There are plenty of artists out there who have successfully built an audience for their music on live-streaming channels.

For example, the8bitdrummer regularly streams drumming videos to thousands of viewers. He’s racked up 445,000 followers on Twitch and is one of the platform’s most successful creators.

06 Start a live stream channel

You too could start live streaming while you’re making music to tap into the platform’s viewership and funnel the viewers you get on Twitch over to your SoundCloud.

How to get started

First, choose a live-streaming platform to focus on. The main options are Twitch, Kick, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live, and each caters to a different audience.

Then, decide what kind of content you’re going to be live streaming. Obviously, it should center around your music. For example, you could stream while you’re coming up with melodies, or mixing your recorded tracks. Or you could play cover songs live based on audience requests.

The ultimate goal is to get more people to listen on SoundCloud, so make sure you’ve added a link to your profile, and remind viewers to go there for your full music catalog.

8. Make it easy for SoundCloud users to discover your music

Promoting your music on SoundCloud also means making sure it’s easy for people who might like your music to find it.

And that means optimizing all your tracks for discoverability.

The goal is to have your music appear in the search results when SoundCloud users search for music in your genre/niche. 

07 Make it easy for SoundCloud users to discover your music

And ideally, in your target audience’s homepage too.

How to get started

You can optimize your tracks for discoverability by changing the metadata.

Add tags with your genre, artist name, track title, record labels, etc., and try to add relevant keywords that your audience might search for in your description and track name.

9. Set up a download gate

A download gate is a landing page where people who stream your music on SoundCloud can go to download it to their device.

But in order to do so, they have to complete a requirement first. 

For example, you might require listeners to sign up for your mailing list, like or repost a track, or follow your SoundCloud page to access the download—all of which help with promoting your music.

How to get started

You can use Hype Edit to set up a download gate and exchange downloads for likes, comments, reposts, and followers.

08 Set up a download gate

Once you’ve set it up, add a buy button to each of your tracks that says ‘Free Download’ and link it to your download gate page.

10. Pin your best music to your profile

Another easy win is to use SoundCloud’s Spotlight feature (only available for Next Pro or Plus subscribers) to pin your best tracks to the top of your profile page.

This helps give the right first impression to people who check out your profile. They’ll hear your best music first, which makes them more likely to become followers and listen to your future releases.

How to get started

Head to your profile, then click Edit Spotlight at the top of the page. 

09 Pin your best music to your profile

Search for a track/playlist, select it, and click Save to pin it.

You can pin up to five items, after which tracks will be shown in reverse chronological order.

11. Collaborate with other artists

Collaborating with other artists on SoundCloud gives you a chance to get in front of their audience, and then yours—it’s a win-win. 

Both of you get a bunch of exposure, which makes it a great way to promote music.

How to get started

Make a list of other artists with audiences that overlap with yours, and a similar number of followers to yours.

Then, start engaging with their content (like their music, leave comments, etc.) and reaching out. Once you’ve built a relationship, float the idea of a collaboration and go from there.

Aside from collaborating directly, you can also try remixing other artists. This is another great way to reach an audience you’d like to crossover with.

12. Engage with your community

Success on SoundCloud is all about building a community.

You’ll get more listeners if you put in the effort to build a closer relationship with your audience and earn loyal fans who keep coming back and engaging with your music.

And an easy way to build a community around your music is to make sure you’re engaging with your listeners.

How to get started

SoundCloud recently added the new Fans tool to help with this. You can access it through your SoundCloud for Artists dashboard.

10 Engage with your community

Fans shows you who your most valuable fans are and helps you to connect with them in meaningful ways on a 1:1 basis.

Something as simple as sending a direct message to each of them thanking them for their support is a great way to build loyalty.

Another thing you can do is engage with other SoundCloud users who haven’t listened to your music yet, but who you think might like it.

Open up tracks from artists with a similar sound to you and see who’s commenting on their music, then engage with them—the goal is to get these likely listeners to check out your profile and your music.

13. Reach out to repost channels

There are lots of channels on SoundCloud that don’t publish their own original music, but repost music from other artists.

And many of them have a huge audience of regular listeners. So if you can reach out to them and get them to share your music on their channel, it can generate tons of exposure.

How to get started

Use SoundCloud’s search tool to find repost channels, playlists, and labels/collectives in your niche that share music from similar artists.

Then, message them and ask them if they can repost your tracks. Some of them might do this for free if they think your music is a good fit for your audience, but others might charge a fee.

14. Use Repost Exchange

Repost Exchange is a platform where SoundCloud artists can help each other grow by reposting each other’s music.

12 Use Repost Exchange

It’s an easy way to promote your music for free and get some initial social proof (plays, listens, comments, etc.) to give your songs a boost, but it’s not a good long-term strategy as the people you reach aren’t necessarily going to be in your target audience.

How to get started

Sign up for Repost Exchange and connect your SoundCloud account, then choose the track you want to promote and send out a repost request to other users.

It costs credits to send out repost requests. You get 30 free credits to start with and you can earn more by reposting the music of other users. 

15. Distribute your music to other platforms

SoundCloud offers a free distribution service for Next Pro/Plus artists. 

They’ll distribute your music to other music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, and more, which can help you to get your music heard by more listeners.

How to get started

To get started, make sure you’re subscribed to SoundCloud Next Pro. Then, head to your SC4A dashboard and go to Releases.

13 Distribute your music to other platforms

Click Get started now and follow the instructions to distribute your tracks.

Bonus tip: If you’ve distributed your music to Spotify, don’t miss our complete guide on how to get more Spotify followers.

16. Pitch your music to SoundCloud’s partners

SoundCloud also offers a feature that lets you pitch your music to its partners.

If accepted, your tracks could be featured on SiriusXM (SoundCloud’s radio) and in Spotify’s editorial playlists. 

This can help you reach thousands of new listeners and get your music in front of big brands and execs.

How to get started

Click the Promotion tab in your SoundCloud for Artists Dashboard.

14 Pitch your music to SoundCloud_s partners

Then, choose the partner you want to pitch to and select Start Your Pitch. Follow the on-screen instructions from there.

Final thoughts

Now you know how to promote your music on SoundCloud. And knowing is half the battle.

Just remember that while these promotional tactics can help to get you off the ground, they’ll only work if you’re also consistently putting out great music that people want to listen to—so make that your top priority.

For more tips to help you grow, check out our posts on how to gain meaningful followers on SoundCloud & how to make money on SoundCloud.

You can find more promotional tactics like these in our roundup of the best marketing strategies for musicians. And you might also want to check out these music industry statistics.