SoundCloud announced in a blog post today that the 200 millionth track has been uploaded to the platform. In 2016, SoundCloud boasted that it had 125 million tracks available across all its subscription tiers, so that’s quite a jump in uploaded content within just a couple of years.
When that number is compared to other streaming platforms it feels especially imposing. Spotify’s catalog has “more than 35 million” songs, while Apple Music’s has over 45 million. Other providers largely stick with traditionally released music, but a chunk of SoundCloud’s uploads adding to this milestone number are edits, mashups, remixes, DJ mixes, and other gray area materials that might not be sanctioned by original rights holders. This has been part of SoundCloud’s appeal since its inception, and it’s also been a thorn in its side as copyright becomes an increasingly looming issue.
The company has pushed through a swath of updates over the past year that aims to make it more friendly for creators, which might have aided in this content bump. It’s partnered with rights clearance startup Dubset, integrated with DJ software like Serato, and opened up its self-monetization program to the public, allowing musicians to bypass traditional label and distribution models.
While 200 million tracks is an indicator that people still desire a place to upload audio and have it instantly accessible, it isn’t necessarily an indicator of SoundCloud’s health. In 2017, engagement trends showed that SoundCloud’s traffic was significantly decreasing, while Spotify’s trucked along fine. Also, last year exposed some interesting numbers across platforms. In 2018, Spotify hit 87 million paying subscribers and Amazon’s Music Unlimited boasted “tens of millions” of subscribers, while one analyst pegged paying SoundCloud users at just around 100,000.
If you want to take a listen to the 200 millionth song uploaded to SoundCloud, it’s an indie dance song called “Eye Ring” by Italian-born Francesca Lombardo.
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