How to get a million plays on SoundCloud

Actually, I've got nearer 1.2 million plays now but I'm not at all that pleased.

Gaining a million plays is a common objective when you join SoundCloud. You would think it was enough, once achieved you've hit target, you've gained the recognition of your peers. But it's not that big a deal unless you do it the right way.

I've got a million plays on SoundCloud but I'm still not happy! Why?

It took 5 years and a load of schmoozing, building a fan base larger than some more famous guitarists. I made loads of friends, did some great collaborations with some top musicians but have I got anything to boast about? No!

Why bother posting to SoundCloud?

Quite apart from the fact that recognition on SoundCloud is largely meaningless, having no benefits, getting a million plays does nothing for you. No money, no career boost, but that's not why I expended so much effort there. I just wanted to be loved. There, I said it. Everyone denies being needy like that but they are deluding themselves.

The platforms know it, they exploit it, 'likes' is the currency they reward us with when we build their websites with our content. That's our dopamine hit.

Mind you I didn't just want to be loved I wanted to do it on my terms. Gain recognition not just as a player, though that's hard enough, but also for my creativity. That's the problem.

What works on SoundCloud?

Take a look at my account. click here

I have tracks that are still performing really well. I'm #1 for some of my guitar instrumentals of famous covers. There's the rub.

I did get one original track go viral and get 150K+ views Good Times feat. Vocalatti and Mark Dorricott

Here's the track click here

All the rest of my popular tracks belong to Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan etc.

People are interested in those artistes - not me. Why do they listen to them? I don't know, they could be just stealing them for Karaoke use!

The problem with SoundCloud

That's the other problem. I may be getting 500 people a day listening to me but I get no pleasure in their enjoyment. A small minority do leave feedback and I value those few words of encouragement but mostly the comments are trite - 'good job!' etc.

That's not like a gig, where you get to see a reaction from your audience. OK, people want to hear stuff they recognize at gigs too, but at least you can slip in a few original tunes and see what happens.


Getting a million plays is a hollow victory unless it is your own material and people react in a way you can see them.

This disillusionment made me go dormant on SoundCloud for a few years. I've just posted my new blues album. I knew it will get less than 100 plays per track (average around 20) but that's OK, at least they are honest listens.