Spotify has a free tier but users on the free tier cannot stream music on-demand. As a result, they have no control over what they listen to as far as being able to stream a specific song when they want. They can stream playlists and they can stream an artist’s catalog on shuffle, but they can’t stream on-demand. Youtube is free but monetization is iffy. Artists aren't paid for every view on Youtube, they’re paid a percentage of revenue earned from a view of an ad. If a viewer doesn’t watch an ad, there’s no revenue to split. All users have the option of skipping an ad after 5-seconds have passed. An artist can generate a million views and if all users skip the ads the artist won’t earn a dime.
Soundcloud monetizes free listeners with ads but ads can’t be skipped and the platform has now adopted Fan-centric payouts which pay based on how often individual users spend streaming a specific artist. If a user streams your song 2 out of 10 times, you get $2 from their $10 subscription fee which works out to about 20¢ per stream vs. Spotify's $0.003 per stream.
This is just one reason to focus on Soundcloud but there are many, many more. In this workbook series, I highlight all of Soundcloud's features and tools in detail. If you're an artist that would like to know how to get the most out of Soundcloud and use all it has to offer get this Workbook.