Music is an integral part of our lives, and with the rise of streaming platforms, we have access to an endless supply of songs at our fingertips. However, not all streaming services are created equal when it comes to sound quality.
Spotify is a music streaming service that provides access to millions of songs and podcasts whereas SoundCloud is a platform that allows artists to upload and share their own music tracks and podcast episodes.
Spotify vs. Soundcloud
|Spotify is a music streaming platform that offers paid and free subscriptions.||SoundCloud is a music and audio streaming platform that offers a combination of free and paid accounts.|
|Over 70 million tracks and exclusive content from record labels and artists.||Over 250 million tracks, including a mix of established artists and independent creators.|
|Simple and user-friendly, with a focus on curated playlists and personalized recommendations based on user listening habits.||It is more complex interface that focuses on social interaction between artists and listeners, and a greater emphasis on discovering new and emerging artists.|
|Offers both free and paid subscription models with features like ad-free listening, offline playback, and higher quality audio.||Offers both free and paid subscription models with features like ad-free listening, offline playback, and the ability to access premium content uploaded by independent artists.|
|It is available in over 180 countries worldwide.||It is available in over 190 countries worldwide.|
|Popular features include curated playlists, personalized recommendations, podcast streaming, and social sharing.||Popular features include a large community of independent artists and creators, live streaming, and the ability to comment and interact with other listeners.|
Features of Spotify and SoundCloud
- Over 100 million tracks in their catalog
- High-quality audio streaming (up to 320 kbps)
- gapless playback
- Offline Listening
Integration with Facebook and other social media platforms
- Powerful search engine
- Ability to create and share playlists
- Free ad-supported version, or $9.99/month for ad-free premium version
- Over 200 million tracks in their catalog
- Variable audio quality (streaming up to 128 kbps) depending on the uploader – Some tracks are only available as low-quality downloads
- No gapless playback
- No offline listening in mobile apps (Premium users can download tracks to desktop app) – Integration with Twitter and other social media platforms.
Which service is better for quality?
Spotify streams at a bitrate of 320kbps, while Soundcloud goes slightly lower at 256kbps. In terms of audio quality, Spotify is the clear winner.
The audio quality may not be as good as Spotify’s, it’s still pretty good. And, more importantly, Soundcloud offers a lot more flexibility when it comes to its content. For example, you can find DJ sets and remixes on Soundcloud that you won’t find anywhere else.
How much does each service cost?
Spotify offers three different subscription tiers: Free, Premium, and Family. The Free tier is obviously free, but it comes with ads and some other restrictions (like no offline listening).
Premium costs $9.99/month and gives you ad-free listening, high-quality audio, offline listening, and more.
Family costs $14.99/month and allows up to six family members to have their own individual Premium accounts.
Soundcloud also has a Free option, but it doesn’t have any ads. You can upgrade to Soundcloud Go for $5.99/month ($9.99/month if you want to be able to download tracks) which removes ads and gives you offline listening.
Soundcloud Go+ costs $9.99/month and gives you access to an even bigger catalog of songs, as well as high-quality audio files.
Key differences between Spotify and SoundCloud
Spotify uses a variable bitrate when streaming music, which means that the bitrate will adjust based on your internet connection. The higher your connection, the higher the bitrate and therefore the better the sound quality.
SoundCloud also uses a variable bitrate, but its average is a bit lower than Spotify’s at 128kbps.
SoundCloud offers something called “Pro” accounts, which allow you to stream at a higher 320kbps bitrate.
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Pros and cons of music streaming services
Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services out there. It has a huge library of songs, both new and old, and you can create your own custom playlists or listen to ones made by other users.
You can follow your favorite artists and see what they’re listening to. One of the downsides of Spotify is that it requires a paid subscription for some features like offline listening and higher-quality audio.
Soundcloud is another popular music streaming service. It has a more underground feel than Spotify and is home to a lot of independent artists.
You can find just about any type of music on Soundcloud, from EDM to hip-hop to country. One downside of Soundcloud is that many tracks are only available in low-quality audio unless you pay for a premium subscription.
Spotify offers a larger music library and is more suitable for users who want a seamless and consistent listening experience. On the other hand, SoundCloud provides a platform for independent artists and emerging musicians to share their work, and it offers more user-generated content. The choice between both platforms ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user.