Within my selected digital culture, SoundCloud, status is represented by a total of five key components: the number of streaming plays the user receives, the number of likes the user’s content receives, the number of positive comments the user’s content receives, the number of users that repost your content and finally how many followers the user has. What drives an artist on SoundCloud to thrive in any of these categories varies greatly and many artists are strong in one component such as number of plays while not showing outstanding numbers in other categories.
Making an argument for a singular status hierarchy across the spectrum of music available on SoundCloud is challenging. So many genres with so many artists in so many countries exist that to attempt to support Marwick’s argument across the spectrum of music is virtually impossible. One could reduce the SoundCloud universe to a smaller, more likely group, say new hip-hop artists in Los Angeles to determine a hierarchy.
SoundCloud status hierarchy is also challenging because music is personal. Users on SoundCloud tend to value content that is relatable because we as humans love when we can connect and feel like we are a part of something. SoundCloud provides the opportunity for listeners to find artists whose work resonates with them. It seems likely that similar themes resonate with similar audiences. For example, many of the artists who have strong status components in the SoundCloud hip-hop/R&B genre noted by a blogger named Joe Price are artists of color including Indica, Wifis Funeral, Melo Makes Music and 16yrold. Many of the artists whose tracks have a lot of listens collaborate with other better known artists. Price also identifies artists who stand out because of strong production values or who collaborate with other better known artists.
TLDR: Other than the superstars there is no hierarchy across the SoundCloud community. Because music is so personal and there are so many genres with so many artists in so many countries exist that to attempt to support Marwick’s argument across the spectrum of music is virtually impossible.