SoundCloud – is it a good platform for academic podcasting?

SAS is currently considering using SoundCloud to promote our academic podcasts, but is it worthwhile?

What is SoundCloud?

For those who don’t know, SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration and promotion of audio recordings by users. Originally started by a sound engineer, it was aimed at musicians who wanted to share their music.The service has expanded and is being used by anyone wishing to release and promote audio.

Why it could be a good tool for academic podcasting?

Podcasts are a growing area of SoundCloud, with the number of people and organisations using it to promote their audio material on the rise. This includes academic Institutes like LSE, who have an account with 145,970 followers.This success shows that there is an available audience for academic podcasts.

SoundCloud also allows for comments that can be linked to specific parts of the audio file. This can create a targeted debate around specific sections of a podcast. Or the comment function can be used for Q&As relating to a parts of a talk.

And why it  might not be such a good tool…?

However, unlike iTunesU, SoundCloud is still predominately used for music. This means that you are targeting a very narrow audience that may not be interested in your material.

And using another platform to promote your material can be time consuming. At SAS, we use YouTube as a broader promotional platform. This allows us to reach audiences who may not use iTunesU.

Finally, though SoundCloud offers a free service, it costs $99 a year if your wish to upload an unlimited quantity of material.


If you have the time to upload and promote your podcasts on SoundCloud then there seem to be no real negatives. But if you’re constrained by budget or don’t have the time, then there may be more useful platforms for promoting to your relevant audience.

Let us know what you think about releasing academic podcasts on SoundCloud.

And don’t forget to check out our podcasts!


  1. Soundcloud was a very popular forum for us — and LSE of course draws on an increasingly large audience there, unfortunately, our technical team experienced a glitch with Soundcloud so nothing new has been uploaded recently, however, I hope will be fixed soon! It has the ability to draw in crowds not generally attracted to academia as the in-site search pulls up really wonderful surprises.

  2. There’s no mention here of – which really is suited perfectly to academic podcasts. Already used by Edmodo there’s a specific education app. Audioboo is full of spoken word content from the likes of BBC, Fox Sports, telegraph and lots of schools and charities etc. Well worth checking audioboo out.

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