The Difference Between SoundCloud, Mixcloud, and Beatport
What are SoundCloud, Mixcloud, and Beatport we hear you ask? And why should you care now that other bigger streaming platforms like Spotify are here to stay? Read on to find the answers to all your questions and more.
SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform and music sharing website based in Berlin. It started up in 2007, and while some might suggest that it’s past its prime / had it’s time in the limelight / etc., it continues to bring otherwise unheard music with untapped potential to a global audience (if that audience can find the underground gem of an artist like the proverbial needle in a haystack). While SoundCloud is widely-known to be home to Hip-Hop and Rap music, it boasts a wide spectrum of genres and styles; from Bedroom Pop to Stadium Rock, soulful Funk to raucous Post-Punk.
Personally, SoundCloud was where it all started for my own music projects. Having the ability to create a free account and upload my music to the world-wide web was a pretty wild notion to me in highschool. As previously mentioned in our blogpost about the term ‘Lo-fi’ written by our own Andy Tudehope; it “alludes to DIY production … from home recordings”. Don’t get me wrong, not all music found on SoundCloud would be considered lo-fi, but the fact that you can buy a laptop, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), and maybe a microphone or two in order to produce your own music and release it independently brings so much creative power to the people. Whether the recordings are deemed high quality or not is a whole other story.
FYI: 62% of SoundCloud’s general demographic are male, 38% are female.
Mixcloud is a British online streaming platform that allows you to listen to and distribute radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts. Just like SoundCloud, it’s free to use Mixcloud both for listening and uploading. It was founded as a startup in 2008 and has since become an industry standard for DJs to bring their creations or recreations to listeners near and far. The general consensus is that you’ll mostly find DJ mixes/sets here, so if that’s what you’re all about then you know where you need to be.
FYI: 26% of Mixcloud’s general demographic are female, 74% are male.
Beatport is an electronic music-oriented online music store. The company is based in Los Angeles and Berlin. It started up shop before SoundCloud or Mixcloud, back in 2005. Beatport is primarily used by DJs. It’s where they can buy songs to be used for remixes and reinterpretations. In 2014, in an effort to widen its audience, Beatport began bringing original content to its fans regarding all things electronic dance music. This included EDM news and culture, and on-demand music streaming from its catalog of artists and live streaming events. While it allows you to sample their catalog of music for free, Beatport charges the user to hear full-length songs, create playlists, and download music.
FYI: 84% of Beatport’s general demographic are male, 16% are female.
SoundCloud and Mixcloud have similarities in that they’re both free to use and host a range of artists; signed and unsigned, homegrown and fully-fledged professional. The content found on these sites can be anything from the single you heard on community radio made by that local artist, to the meditation guide you never knew you needed, to the DJ set you heard in that club last year (pre-Covid). Beatport on the other hand is mostly tailored to the purchasing of electronic dance music in its various forms.
In this day and age, with music monopolies like Spotify and Apple Music, it’s easy to overlook the underdogs. There’s a lot of music to explore down these other avenues and it’s a great way to support up-and-coming artists or underground artists who you wouldn’t realise existed otherwise.