SoundCloud for Contests

Before You Start

Previously used by the likes of Beyonce, Moby, Exit Festival and The London Science Museum to name but a few, SoundCloud offers a variety of different options to assist you in running a contest, each with their own different benefits, to suit your needs. When setting up your own contest please remember to stick to our Community Contest Guidelines.

Community Contest Guidelines
The SoundCloud platform can be used as a tool to help host contests. SoundCloud does not bear any responsibility or liability for actions or inactions or any third parties who organize, administer or are otherwise involved in the promotion of third party contestants.


Be prepared

If you’re running a remix contest, or a covers competition, then make sure you get clearance for the track before asking for submissions. Without this, contestants can’t take part!
-If you’re giving away a download for a contest, ensure your account level can cope. A free SoundCloud account will only allow you to give away 100 downloads per track/stem.

-Lay out the house rules. When running a competition you need to have your own terms and conditions, please ensure they fit with the SoundCloud terms of service. 

Spread the word

-Get the word out there with the use of your own social channels, remember we’re here to help host the contest as a platform, but we can’t promote all contests that take place.

Choosing your winner

-Accept submissions through a moderated group, filtering the tracks as soon as they’re submitted to the group. This means you won’t have to search through pages and pages of submissions at the end of the contest.
-Hand pick your winner, or pull together a panel of judges, rather than going for a public vote. Please note that public voting is not the most efficient way of judging a competition and we are unable to help manage these votes. However, if you do decide to use a public voting mechanic we recommend either using the SoundCloud Competition app, or Webdoc. 

How to host your Contest

SoundCloud provides two innovative ways to host your contest on the platform: Groups and the SoundCloud Competition App

Use a Group

Host your original track on SoundCloud, give away your song parts and use a SoundCloud Group to receive the contest entries - each mechanic can be embedded into any website, Facebook app or Webdoc

-Create a group specifically tailored to your contest. Make sure you add a logo, description and more info such as deadlines, prizes and links to other relevant pages on the web.  
-If your contest is for remixes or re-imaginings you’ll need to upload your song parts or stems to your SoundCloud profile as a set. Add the original track in the with the stem set and ensure you add relevant metadata and make your set public, downloadable and streamable to enable embedding
-Grab the embed code for your Group Dropbox widget, this can be embedded anywhere. When contestants click the DropBox widget they are redirected to your group where they can submit their sound. You can opt to receive an email notification when a new sound is waiting for your moderation
-Remember, if you’re running an unsigned artists contest or simply want to collect submissions for a crowdsourced project, simply embed the aforementioned Group Dropbox Widget into your web space!

Take a look at this example from Labrinth putting the Group Mechanics into practice in this Webdoc... 



For more info on groups check out our Groups 101

Use The SoundCloud Competition App

We recently launched a new open source submissions app which incorporates a voting platform, below are a couple of examples of the app from Mastodon, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and DJ Shadow:  


The new features are as follows: 

-SoundCloud account required for submitting, commenting, and voting
-Comments will be synced with SoundCloud
-Updated voting system
-The whole platform is mobile/iPad friendly via an elastic layout system Premiere caliber customization system for easy themeing

If you wanted to try it out, the code for the app is available and free to use from the SoundCloud GitHub.