Start Distributing with SoundCloud

Distributing with SoundCloud, especially if you’re already uploading your music to SoundCloud directly, is simple. When viewing your track on SoundCloud, click Distribute below your waveform and you’ll be brought to SoundCloud for Artists to fill in the rest of your details and submit your music. 

Step 1: Entering Track Details

Once you're brought to SoundCloud for Artists, click the "Edit" icon to fill in more track details to get your track ready for distribution. 


Each of your tracks must have the following: 

  • Track Title
  • Main Artist
  • Composer (Must be legal name)
  • Content Rating
  • Audio Language
  • Information about if you wrote the song, or if someone else did
  • ISRC (We can assign one for you if this is your first time distributing or monetizing this track)

Make sure to include any details about other contributors like Featured Artists, Producers, Remixers, or any other collaborators*.

*Pro tip: If you’ve licensed a beat or a sample, or are uploading a cover song, make sure you’re including any required creates such as producers or original songwriters.


You'll also be asked about the "Preview Start Time" for your track - this is the start time you'd want the track to begin on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. It will automatically start right at the beginning of the track unless you choose something else. 


You can also indicate if you'd like your track to be enabled for YouTube Content ID. Keep in mind that you can only enable tracks for which you own all of the rights, so if you've used samples or other licensed content, that likely will not be eligible. For more details on YouTube Content ID, click here


Finally, it's vital that you upload any licensing information if you're distributing content you didn't create 100% of. You can still distribute content you've sampled, or even things like covers, but we do need to verify you have the rights to do so. Even if you’ve used a royalty free sample or beat, it’s helpful to upload the license or Terms of Service for the tool you used so we’re not unnecessarily rejecting your release the first time. Failing to include licensing information or other documentation of ownership is one of the top reasons our approval team needs to reject releases. 

Here’s a quick look at how to upload licensing information:


Step 2: Entering Release Details


In the second step of creating your release, you’ll enter higher level release information. This includes your release name, artwork, the release date, and some other required details. 


If you’re distributing a single, the name of your track will be the name of your release. If you want to change it, you can do so by going back to edit the Track title in the previous step of the process. If you’re distributing multiple tracks, you’ll indicate the release name in this second step. 


Select the Primary Genre of your release. Note that the list of genres is from our partners, so while you may have indicated a more specific genre on SoundCloud, you’ll need to choose something directly from this list to distribute. You can also choose a Secondary Genre in some cases if there are more specific options available on other platforms. 


The Record Label field is required and you can choose to enter what you’d like here. You can choose your Main Artist name if you’d like, other artists have chosen to create their own custom label name. Whatever you choose, we’d recommend continuing to use it for any future releases. 


Make sure your Main Artist name(s) is correct on this page. If not, go back to edit it in the track details in the previous step. If you have multiple Main Artists for your release, you’ll have the opportunity to choose the order you’d like them to appear on this page. 


Your Release Date can be any date in the future, but keep in mind the following: it does take our review team, at minimum, a few days to review your release and make sure we have all the information we need in order to get it approved. Additionally, we’d recommend you choose a date 30-45 days in advance so you have the opportunity to pitch your release to stores like Spotify and Pandora for placement on playlists and other promotional opportunities. 


If you’ve distributed this release before to stores like Spotify or Apple Music, you should enter your Original Release Date here as well. Not including the original release date can cause issues and might mean we need to reject the release or it may be removed from stores.


It’s important the Album Artwork you choose meets our requirements: 

  • .jpg or .png file that is 3000x3000 pixels and 300 dpi
  • Must be appropriate for distribution
    • No copyrighted images
    • No nudity
  • Any text on the artwork must match the name of the release/artists or any other text in the release’s metadata

 If you plan to create your artwork using AI, please make sure you are creating something new and not generating something that resembles already existing or trademarked content.


Step 3: Select Release Partners


In Step 3, you’ll choose to which platforms you want your release to go. By default, all platforms will be selected, but you can select, or deselect, any platforms you’d like. 


Some stores like Pandora, Melon, iHeart, Pretzel, Peloton, PlayNetwork, and Audiomack are curated platforms. While we will always deliver approved releases on your behalf, with these partners, it is ultimately up to them what they will carry. We cannot guarantee any placements on these stores.


For stores like Pretzel and Peloton, there are additional requirements to have your music available on those platforms. For more information, click here

Step 4: Profile Mapping


In step 4, you have the opportunity to map your release to Spotify and Apple Music profiles for any of your Main Artists, Featured Artists, or Remixers. For mapping to work properly, the names need to match exactly - this includes things like casing, special characters, and spacing. 


When you Add Profile Mapping for either Spotify or Apple Music, we’ll display any profiles that match the artist name exactly, but you can also just paste the URL for your profile. If this is your first release, we also give you an option to “Create New Profile” on each of these platforms as well. 


Choosing a unique artist name is not only a good idea to set yourself apart throughout your career, but will make things like profile mapping much easier with less room for error*.


*Pro tip: Search on SoundCloud to see if another artist is using the same name or anything similar. Changing your artist name is a big headache, so do your best to find something unique. 

Step 5: Split Pay

Split Pay is a tool that allows you to easily list collaborators on your tracks to give a percentage of the earnings. You can enter your splits here in this step by clicking on the three dots on the right hand side and selecting “Enable”. 


Add your Split Pay collaborators by entering their SoundCloud URL and entering the percentage you’d like to go to each of them. Note that you can enter Split Pay information later, so if you need to reach out for their SoundCloud URL, you can always do this later. 


Split Pay recipients do not need to pay for a subscription in order to get paid - once you’ve added them, they’ll get an email asking them to login and fill out their payout information, but that’s all they need to do. 


Step 6: Review


Before you submit to our approvals team, review all of the details to make sure everything is accurate and how you’d like it. When you’re ready, hit submit on the bottom right corner to send it to our team. 


What happens next?


Once you’ve submitted your release to us, our team reviews everything about your release to ensure it abides by the guidelines set forth by our partners. We may have some additional questions for you, in which case you might find your release updated to “Rejected”. Don’t panic! 


If we’ve rejected your release, it means there’s one or more issues we need you to resolve before we can get your release approved. As soon as we have everything we need from you and we’ve confirmed your content is appropriate for distribution, we’ll get it approved and ready for release on your release date. 

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