Founded in Berlin in 2007, SoundCloud has expanded to become an app that is not only a streaming service, but a distribution platform and an online community.
This is a great place to upload your original music as an artist, and to keep tabs on new music as a fan. Listeners can leave comments on specific parts of songs and can share songs to their profile to boost the song's reach.
The app is actually awesome because you can record and upload straight from your phone. If you want to record a quick jam session or you have a melody you can't get out of your head, you can record it on the go and upload it privately for later or make it public right away.
With a creative tag system, people can find your music easily if you publish your songs correctly (for example, knowing exactly what genre you fit into is important for people searching for music like yours!) This is a great place for remixes as well!
There are three subscription levels to choose from with SoundCloud. With a free account, you are limited to 120 minutes of uploaded audio and can only see some of your stats. You can get more upload hours by paying for a Pro or Pro Unlimited account, which also come with more extensive analytics, as well as a Quiet Mode feature to hide comments and stats on your tracks.
If you want your music to be download-able, you can allow downloads for as long as you'd like and can always switch your track back to stream-only.
Soundcloud is an amazing way to get your music out there, hear feedback from fans, and find potential collaborators. This is not an app an aspiring musician can pass up.