SoundClouds count a play once the play button is clicked. If a listener is logged into their SoundCloud account, their plays will be tracked in real-time. If they are not logged in, their plays will be updated within 24 hours. We don’t count self-plays on your own tracks, since those are your own plays.
Plays cannot be removed from a track’s stats, and will appear below the track waveform and in your Stats page. All of this ensures your playcounts reflect real listeners, giving you the most accurate stats possible for your tracks.