Woodside’s aspiring musicians continue to use the online music platform SoundCloud in hopes of publicizing their music― despite the company falling behind its competitors due to a lack of subscribers.
Unlike the popular music-streaming service Spotify, SoundCloud allows users of all musical skill levels to publish their work. An estimated 76 million people regularly use the platform, about 10 million of whom post songs. Rappers like Lil Uzi Vert and Chance the Rapper have grown to stardom through SoundCloud, but will Woodside’s users fare the same?
Sophomore Xabi Sullivan posted his first song on SoundCloud less than a month ago. The song, which Sullivan categorizes as hip hop, is called “Prophet.”
“It’s not the best song,” Sullivan admits. “It’s my first one… [but] I can do a lot better. I’ve recorded around three [other songs], and they’re still being edited.”
Although he enjoys making music and is in Woodside’s audio production class, Sullivan won’t be devastated if he does not end up with a career in music.
“My friends like [my songs], which is what matters,” Sullivan reasons. “I’m not looking to make it big; I just want to have fun sharing my music.”
Meanwhile, tenth grader Hali Newman, who has ten tracks published on SoundCloud, is more serious about a career in music. She defines her current music as chillstep and tropical house music, but she hopes to make acid jazz and alternative in the future.
“The only thing I hope to get out of SoundCloud is to have people listen to my songs,” Newman explains. “I just want people to hear what I’m doing… In the future I want to compose, which branches off of this because right now I’m making music, and that’s all I really want to do in life.”
Sophomore Chris Badger garners enough views to make a profit off of his music: two to three hundred dollars a month. While Badger publishes music on both SoundCloud and Spotify, he prefers Spotify, as he believes it is more suitable for experienced musicians hoping to make a name for themselves.
“Honestly, Spotify is way better at [publicizing your music] than SoundCloud,” Badger clarifies. “In the past few months, [my music has] been a lot more successful… One of my songs is at 1.6 million views [on Spotify] right now, and another is around 1.1.”
Despite his success, Badger has even larger dreams for the future.
“I’m confident in my ability, but I want to get better,” Badger declares. “I want to start doing shows, and I want to move to Europe, and [I want to] expand my brand and my image.”
Although SoundCloud is popular among new users like Sullivan and Newman, Spotify seems to be the publicizing choice for those who, like Badger, have a more ambitious vision. Still, Badger doubts that SoundCloud will go out of business any time soon.
“[SoundCloud] is a big company with a good reputation,” Badger concludes. “[It] will always be seen as a starting platform for new artists.”