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SoundCloud success measured by performance indicators and vanity metrics

Big-time Press Release

Published by The Supreme Team on July 20, 2020

Music artists are in many ways like startups. They create, publish, sell, negotiate, deal with payments, do SoundCloud… However, it’s really tough to find relevant performance indicators for artists. But what’s true for businesses is true for artists: without numbers, it’s significantly harder to be successful. Before it begins, and sometimes it kills a career.
In this post, I need to share some tips and maybe some surprising facts about the amounts of one of the biggest online Soundcloud music promotion programs — SoundCloud. Disclaimer / Warning: the following analysis features opinions and has been performed by SoundCloud listeners. The report is not sponsored or endorsed by any artist, label, or SoundCloud. The results are based on publicly available information or claim to be representative, correct, or complete. Do not analyze graphs with more than 500 million nodes in the home.
Top 10 Profiles on SoundcloudThere are approximately 1,000 artists on SoundCloud that have follower bases exceeding 250,000 users. The artist with the most followers is not Avicii Skrillex, The Weeknd, Kanye West, David Guetta, Justin Bieber or Drake. It’s Future with 9.48M followers – a gigantic figure in the SoundCloud ecosystem.

There is not a single non-Hip Hop profile in the Top 10. Four out of the top ten profiles are record labels. UMG and Sony are dominating the top ten. In the event you anticipated EDM here you probably live outside the US. Hip hop artists have dominated one of the biggest Soundcloud music promotion platforms for decades — Soundcloud.

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are the type of numbers that you would tell your friends to impress them. In front of business partners or investors nevertheless, they should be carefully advertised by you. They are manipulated and supposed to make your business look better than it is and aren’t the best indicators to determine the health of your company. Downloads for example, are often thought of as vanity metrics. A download means that something was downloaded by someone. Period. The important part is what it means: it says nothing about if your software got installed or deleted immediately if it is used frequently if people enjoyed it. Play counts could be similar to downloads. Music is experienced so in order to determine its quality one has to listen to it. It says nothing about the intention behind this listen or if the listener liked it, recommended it and so on. OK, now it is time to check some Soundcloud music promotion metrics and how they could be interpreted.

Music Metrics

The more effort and time necessary to perform a certain action, as response to a content offering, the more engaged a user has to be.
By this definition, enjoys are cheap. They require a single click. An individual that performs this click feels comparably safe in her anonymity bubble. A repost is a stronger response because the reposted material can be seen on one’s profile, it clutters the deadline, and is represented through the respondent: you stand with reputation and your good name for this piece of content. A remark is the most cumbersome action since it requires typing, thinking, and sometimes even grammar… By this definition, comments represent passion, courage, and needless to say, time. This could make comments among the indicators for fans that are hyper-engaged.


Who has the most comments per track on average? Just because Justin Bieber has uploaded 3 songs on his profile and has a followers-count of 671K, he was able to get more than 100k comments on those three tracks. Considering that with each track that’s published the average comments-per-track significantly drop, Skrillex (with a cool 300k comments total) and Vintage Culture (200k comments total) have the most talkative artist communities.

The more followers, the more plays. Both of these metrics probably correlate in one way or the other and will show nearly identical results.

Ready for another surprise?

Remember that the top 1000 profiles have over 250k followers? 5 out of 10 aren’t even with this definition in the top 1000, but are all in the top 1000 of users with more than 50k followers sorted by total plays. A number of them are high ranked. Lil Yachty has a in contrast to his reduced playcounts. Does this mean that his fans do not listen to his songs? Or does it mean that many of those who listened to a song became followers? How are plays connected to performance indicators? Likes per playcountLikes and follows are the Internet’s money. They keep everyone busy and keep everything running smoothly. The TV show Black Mirror showcased enjoys eventually could become a real currency. The feeling one experiences when receiving a like is often compared to that from drugs that are hard.

However, if we look at likes from a key performance indicator (KPI) standpoint, they are double-edged swords — more enjoys per play count definitely mean more joyful artists, but don’t necessarily imply better tracks. When a track is played 150 times and receives only 3 likes, it must suck, right? How about 147M plays and 2,3M enjoys? This is the ratio of the 2016 top hit of Soundcloud. And even though you might say Correct, this is because that song sucks” — the larger problem with likes is that a user may only enjoy a track after, but listen to it multiple times. Bearing this in mind 50:1 does not really sound that bad anymore. Likes-per-play ratio: what actually happens when we order artists based on this performance metric? We know that artists with powerful fan communities who would listen frequently to their tunes can’t win this category.

Who’s going to profit from the likes-per-play metric?

The answer is content that has high quality but is only listened to once. Good candidates are sets or mixes, but the real winners are podcasts — many of them with just a couple plays and comparably high like-per-listen ratios, which probably means they have loyal fans that subscribe and really enjoy their content.

Different artists, labels, and aggregators with unique genres have different fans and fan communities. These fans have behaviors that are different, and for most early-stage artists it makes no sense to compare themselves with superstars. Would you want Soundcloud promotion real to be the next Future, Justin Bieber, Lil Uzi, BBC, Defected Records, Desiigner, Damian Marley, or Skrillex? Would you like followers, plays, likes, comments, or something else? It is hard to say which metric to focus on if you have an overarching viewpoint.

The Influencer

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SoundCloud Reposts

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SoundCloud Streams

SoundCloud Fangate Followers

Spotify Playlist Streams

Spotify Fangate Followers

TikTok Influencers


Interview Submissions for Musical Artists:

  • Reposted to thousands of our FB, INSTA, TIKTOK, and TWITTER followers.
  • Added to HUM Music Blog (https://thehum.us/)
  • 24-hour Featured Artist Free Interview on our home page.
  • Streams from our website and SoundCloud playlists.
  • Daily emails to industry professionals.
  • Option to publish to 80+ News Sites, including NBC, FOX, CBS and Google News.*


  • If you don't use a real email we can't add you.
  • THE PHOTO IS 99% of the reason people click. (If it's WEAK, your interview will probably get removed.) You are an artist, show some creativity.
  • URL must be formatted like: https://soundcloud.com/user/song (Leave off the mobile "m." )
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  • How do Reposts Work?
    1. Your song is distributed to our network of SoundCloud Influencers.
    2. Our Influencers have between 10k – 500k followers each.
    3. Influencers repost your song to their followers.
    4. Followers may (or may not) choose to play, like, comment, or repost your track.
    5. The better the track, the better it will perform.
    6. You can monitor your engagements in SoundCloud Pulse or Notifications.
    7. Reposts stay active for 48 hours.
    8. To see an example of a repost schedule click here.
  • What are you going to do for me?
    We give your release a boost by getting it in front of a real audience. We provide you with a "first wave" of engagement that you may not be able to get otherwise. What happens next is up to you and your music.
  • How long do reposts last?
    Reposts stay active for 48 hours. After the first 48 hours, your reposts are too far down the stream to be noticed. Removing them keeps an influencer's channel from being over-used and outdated.
  • Will I go VIRAL from one organic soundcloud promotion?
    The truth is, probably not. Unless you have the next “The Box” in your pocket, you are probably not going to blow up from one promotion. We are not going to bullshit our clients and make false promises. Think “Brand Building” not “Overnight Sensation.”
  • Will I get noticed by labels?
    The best way to get noticed is to keep your brand in front of an audience while producing top quality material. Labels want real artists who already have a brand together, who self-promote and have a good presence on Soundcloud and Spotify. Please, don’t expect to send out some reposts and get signed. This is the most competitive business in the world.
  • Can I have the links to your influencer channels? 
    No. It took us many years to build our network.
  • How many is a million?
    The number represents the total amount of followers your song is shared with. It doesn’t mean that your track will be reposted by a million influencers.
  • Can I split an order between multiple songs?
    We require a minimum of 1 million reposts per song when splitting an order. The minimum order you can split between two songs is 2 million reposts.
  • Can I change the link to my song?
    Unfortunately, no. The organic Soundcloud promotion can't be forwarded. It is okay to change the title or other meta-data, just not anything that affects the link.
  • What if no one likes my music? 
    If we can't get anyone to repost your track, we will refund all of your money.
  • Are the organic SoundCloud followers real people who will become fans?
    They are fully organic, real, living people who have downloaded other music from our fangates and given the option to follow you. Once they are following you they will receive your music in their streams and it's up to you if you connect with them and build your community. This is how to turn them into "Superfans."
  • Will they immediately like my music?
    New followers are not automatic "fans" and will probably not engage your tracks right away. You have to engage them by streaming good music, following them back, comment on their stuff, and chatting with them.  Build your community.
  • How Long does it take to gain 1000?
    Once the campaign has started, you can expect 1 week per-1000.
  • How can I track the progress of a campaign?
    Watch your organic Soundcloud followers grow on the Pulse app or in Notifications on the website.
  • Can I change the link to my profile after I order?
    No. Unfortunately, the promotions can't be forwarded. It is okay to change the title or other meta-data, just not anything that affects the link.
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