Since launching in 2007 SoundCloud helped to propel several unknown artists to stardom and seemed they would change the music industry forever. Nowadays the company is fighting for survival and lost many users to competitors like Spotify, AudioMack and Apple music.
The company always operated in a “grey area” to how they paid artists, labels and copyright holders and is slowly losing authority as the only option for upcoming artists to grow a fanbase.
The landscape is changing and there are definitely better options for musicians to establish a solid online presence through their music so without further due here is our list for the best SoundCloud alternatives for indie musicians in 2019.
AudioMack started as a platform focused in Hip-hop music but branched out to other styles like R&B, Electronic and Dancehall. It is very similar to SoundCloud but has a cleaner user interface and best of all is completely free for musicians with no track limits. Whether you are a producer, singer or composer every AudioMack user can upload their tracks for consideration to get featured in their trending section, which translates to massive exposure to a wide audience. Starting in 2019 all creators will be able to monetize their work straight from AudioMack itself with no need for registering with a 3rd party distributor or publisher.
The longest running website on this list, ReverbNation has been active since 2006 and offers several tools for musicians to promote their music, one example is the Gig Finder, a database with over 600 thousand venues you can apply to play at.
Another cool feature of ReverbNation is their dedicated A&R team that browses through thousands of songs every week to help to connect artists to several sync and gig opportunities.
Bandcamp has been around for a long time and makes it easy for indie musicians to find new fans and sell merch, vinyl or cd. They have a loyal fanbase and through their platform music fans can discover and support their favorite artists directly. On Bandcamp artists need not pay anything to upload their music and the company charges 10% of revenue after you reached $5000 in sales which is reasonable and allows artists of all spheres of life a chance to showcase their talents and potentially make some extra money on the side.
A fantastic service for both artists and music lovers HearThis allows indie musicians to upload their music, a lot likes SoundCloud but with the caveat you can get feedback from other creators and fans. In addition, there are 4-5 built in music visualizers and you can enjoy music completely ad-free.
As a creator you can upload up to 500MB per track which means high definition files up to samples rates at high as 96K and you can activate and RSS feed straight from HearThis.
The rising star of the list Orfium intends to redefine digital music streaming by offering a complete solution for indie bands, producers, and composers. Orfium makes it easy for you to distribute, promote, sell and license your music directly from their platform and the best of it all unlike SoundCloud you need not to pay anything to have your music hosted on their platform. Unlike other streaming platform Orfium is also focused in helping big publishers and labels to manage, detect and claim copyrights from several Mediaș like YouTube, Facebook, FIlm, Tv and Podcasts.
Noisetrade has a unique offer, it allows musicians and book authors to market their work directly to a community of over 1 million avid users eager to discover new music.
Creators upload their work and fans can download it in exchange of an email address and postcode.
One cool feature of Noisetrade is your ability as a creator to get tips and donations directly from your fans and supporters. For music fans is a great opportunity to support their favorite artist directly and discover new ones for no upfront cost.
As the name implies Mixcloud focus on DJ mixes and recently podcasts and the reason we are including on this list is that we think djing is a good way to put your name out there and showcase your personality through track selection, creating a seamless musical journey of an hour or more can help producers and upcoming artists to build a following. The service is available online as well through an app that works both on Android and OS systems and provides a clean interface
Although there are a lot of cons to joining Spotify as an artist is undeniable that this Swedish start-up is in control of the music industry and hosting your songs on the platform can help you increase your fanbase exponentially especially if you can get your music in playlists curated by Spotify.
For indie musicians without a label Spotify can help you kick-start your career but lately this has become increasingly difficult as some major labels like Sony, Universal and Warner own a significant piece of shares of the company so in reality a lot of these major playlists suffer monetary influence from these labels and work similarly to radio stations.
The internet has changed forever how we listen to music and how we interact with our favorite musicians but also dramatically changed how artists and labels distribute music.
CD sales continue to decrease every year and as the world stays interconnected with file transfer rates at blazing speed, streaming services rose in the last years and the trend doesn’t seem it will stop anytime soon.
This is a great opportunity for indie musicians to start their careers as it never been easier to record, mix and release music so go out there and build a fanbase that loves your music and are eager to discover artists like you.