How To Build a Music Streaming App: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Build a Music Streaming App: A Comprehensive Guide

18 March 2022 • 26 min read

Did you know that music retail revenue in the US grew by 27%, with 84% generated by streaming services?

In addition, paid subscriptions like Spotify and Apple Music have grown and now comprise more than two-thirds of total paid subscriptions market revenue (which is, just imagine, $4.6 billion). Moreover, more than 80 million paid subscriptions were recorded for the first time, which means the popularity of the market and its easy entry threshold.

The Softermii team has deep experience in building music app development projects from scratch, similar projects can be found in our portfolio. That’s why, in this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about developing a music streaming app: from its key features to the full breakdown of the development cycle.

Music streaming app market trends

To build a music streaming app, you need to study the market and trends to create a product that will hit the mark.

  • The music streaming app market is standing its ground and isn’t going to give up. According to MIDiA’s annual music subscriber market shares report, the base of music subscribers strongly grows and is higher than in the previous year (by 26,4%).
  • Spotify continues to hold the biggest market share (33%), followed by Apple Music (15% market share). According to its report, Spotify controls just under a third (31%) of the global market, more than double that of Apple AAPL -1.8% Music (15%). At the same time, Spotify has a bigger market share than Apple Music and Amazon Music combined and remains the leader in this niche.

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  • According to the report, fans worldwide listen to music for 18.4 hours (368 three-minute tracks) weekly. Because of streaming, fans can customize their listening choices and choose their favorite songs and artists, as well as create their own playlists (62% listen to their playlists more than once a week).
  • Guardian states that public opinion has a large financial impact on music streaming services. A nice proof is a podcast by Joe Rogan, which featured discussions about COVID-19 conspiracy theories and, because of this, Spotify has faced criticism for sharing misinformation.

Key Music Streaming Apps

Before getting to music streaming app development, let’s do a brief review of the most popular music streaming apps and study some of the statistics about their users, number of songs, and overall popularity.

Spotify

Spotify is a digital music, podcast, and video platform where you can listen to millions of songs and get access to content from creators all over the world. Most of the basic features are free, but you can always upgrade to Spotify Premium.

Build an audio streaming app

Source The Verge

Apple Music

Apple Music is a combination of subscription-based music streaming and global radio-like programming. For a flat fee, you unlock a 90-million-song library for any taste.

Music application development

Source MIDiA Research

Amazon Prime

Amazon Music is a streaming service that is always free with Prime membership. Its members get access to more than 2 million songs and millions of podcasts that you can listen to offline and with skips.

Custom audio streaming app development

Source Earth Web

Tidal

Tidal is a digital music streaming service that provides access to over 80 million songs and 350,000 videos from music artists from different parts of the world.

Tencent

Tencent Music Entertainment is the leading online music and audio entertainment platform in China, with a dominating market share in music streaming of approximately 80%. It holds the biggest market share among leading music streaming apps in China.

Create a music application

Source Statista

Key features of custom music streaming app

Custom audio streaming app development requires knowledge of the key features and understanding of which of these features are basic. Let’s see what features users consider basic.

Music player

Music player app development

Make sure to include such features as build shuffling, timing, and tuning options to the music player, as well as allow the user to save favorite songs and create personal playlists.

Spatial audio

Spatial audio feature development

With the help of spatial audio, artists can mix music to create an immersive audio experience and help users feel themselves inside and around these sounds. Apple, Amazon, and Tidal have already implemented this feature and allowed their users to listen to the music in Dolby Atmos to create a more realistic 360-degree listening effect.

Lossless

Lossless music streaming is all about listening to the best quality audio ever. A lossless music algorithm ensures that a compressed digital audio file doesn’t lose any quality in the compression process. Apple, for example, has accomplished its promised goals and now supports over 90 million songs in a lossless format.

Library & Playlist

Library and playlist feature development

This feature allows users to organize their favorite songs into playlists and sort them based on the genres, popularity, ratings, mood, and year of recording. Make this process smooth and easy because listeners consider the ease of making a playlist one of the most important features in music streaming apps.

Uploading Media

Uploading music app feature development

Make sure the uploaded music is stored separately from the playlists, so when a user searches for uploaded songs, you need to switch from the music tab to the section of uploaded music.

Music Videos

text

People love watching music videos right in the music streaming app, so make sure to include this feature as well. Also, allow playing music videos in the background.

Artists’ page

Artists' page feature development

On the artists’ pages, users can save or download songs of their favorite artist and get notifications when the new song is published.

Play count

User management in music streaming app

Make the user experience more engaging and allow users to see statistics on the number of songs they have listened to. You can even give them certain perks (bonuses, free subscription period) when they reach some milestone.

Radio

Radio app development

Radio is another feature that will come in handy. With the radio streaming feature, users can listen to the radio without ads.

How to Build a Music App like Spotify: A Step-by-Step Guide

To create music streaming application, you need to understand the main stages of this product development.

Discovery and prototyping

The discovery stage includes searching for the product-market fit and executing detailed market research. This stage aims to conduct the target audience research, take user interviews, and make a competitors’ analysis.

After you’ve done all the above, you need to create a product prototype to test your hypothesis on a small group of people. It will help you gather early product reviews and make adjustments to the product in the early stages, saving costs and decreasing the risks.

Project scope

Role

Timeline

Projected cost

User roles descriptions

PM/BA

From 8 hours

From $320

MVP specifications

From 40 hours

From $1 600

Accelerators definition

From 16 hours

From $640

Creation of roadmap

From 24 hours

From $960

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Project scope

Role

Timeline

Projected cost

Competitor analysis

PM/Designer

From 24 hours

From $960

Sitemap and wireframes

From 24 hours

From $960

Concept design

From 60 hours

From $2 400

Dynamic prototype

From 40 hours

From $1 600

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MVP development

After testing your music streaming app prototype, it’s time to create MVP to start a music streaming service. An MVP (a minimum viable product) is the product version that contains only the basic functionality (such as playlists, admin and user interface) to check whether the software can survive in the market. MVP development for the music streaming app has specific rules and principles your tech partner should follow.

Among all, your viable product should be affordable. The very MVP idea is to reach maximum productivity for the minimum budget. Design it carefully. Together with the team, it would be best if you worked on MVP prospecting, lead generation, testing your audience, and finding the balance.

Project scope

Role

Timeline

Projected cost

Logical and infrastructure architecture

PM/Designer/BA/Dev

From 16 hours

From $640

Tech stack and development plan definition

From 16 hours

From $640

Mobile app and web interface development

From 350 hours

From $14 000

Source code and tech documentation

From 40 hours

From $1 600

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Further music streaming app development and scaling

After you’ve proved the need for your product, it’s time to scale your music app MVP. Add extra features step-by-step, and don’t forget to test them on your target audience. Each extra feature requires corresponding tech expertise: for example, registration calls for an ability to integrate Facebook, Instagram, and email in your app. That's why it's important to find a development team experienced in crafting music app features of your choice to build a music streaming app.

Maintenance and support

The maintenance and support stage involves the resolution of defined issues of different complexity, regular monitoring of application performance and optimization, as well as the development of new features and integrations.

Project scope

Role

Timeline

Projected cost

Requirements testing

PM/QA

From 24 hours

From $960

Test documentation and planning

From 32 hours

From $1 280

User testing

From 80 hours

From $3 200

Feedback gathering

From 16 hours

From $640

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Best Music App Development Technologies

To create a music streaming app, you need to find a professional team specializing in the development of such apps. For sure, you need to hire the following specialists:

  • Business analyst
  • Project manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • Android developers
  • iOS developers
  • Back-end developers
  • QA engineer

You can consider the following technologies:

  • Programming languages: Python, Java
  • Hadoop frameworks, Apache Storm, Hub Framework
  • Server: Nginx
  • Cloud storage: Amazon S3, Google BigQuery
  • CDN: Amazon Cloudfront
  • Database: PostgreSQL, Cassandra
  • Tools: Bootstrap
  • DevOps: Docker, Datadog, TestFlight

Remember that all the features in different modules should be consistent and work as a whole system. It’s necessary to describe the patterns and techniques of your web and mobile version before building an application. Music streaming app architecture provides you with a roadmap so that you end up with a well-structured app, and software design patterns will help you build an application that works consistently on all devices.

Spotify system architecture development

Source Medium

Music Streaming App Development Cost

Let’s break down the process of developing the music streaming app into distinct stages and review how much time and cost each stage takes.

Estimation, Research & UI/UX design

Time: From 80 hours
Cost: From $3 200

The discovery phase is a pillar of any development process. During this stage, our team analyzes all your requirements and needs to start a music streaming service. After that, we create a special document with all the technical and non-technical specifications.

Development

Time: From 350 hours

Cost: From $14 000

During this stage, we start working on your project. Together we define the scope of work and features to start with. The development process is divided into sprints with a certain timeframe and primarily defined goals. Time and cost depend on the type of features you want to implement. Take a look at the examples of such features below.

A basic streaming app

Features

Timeline

Cost

Features

Timeline

Cost

Recommendation

From 80 hours

From $3 200

Preferences

From 80 hours

From $3 200

Personalized Notifications

From 40 hours

From $1 600

Social Sharing

From 60 hours

From $2 400

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Advanced features

Features

Timeline

Cost

Features

Timeline

Cost

Lossless

From 175 hours

From $7 000

Personalized Playlists

From 120 hours

From $4 800

Spatial Audio

From 80 hours

From $3 200

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Testing and maintenance

Time: From 120 hours

Cost: From $4 800

Testing is an essential stage, the goal of which is to eliminate all the errors and bugs and make the product operate the way it’s intended. During this phase, QA engineers find and fix bugs with the help of automated or manual testing.

Stages

Time

Cost

Estimation and research

From 80 hours

From $3 200

Development

From 350 hours

From $14 000

Testing

From 120 hours

From $4 800

Total

From 550 hours

From $22 000

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Please note, the prices will vary depending on whether you want to start with a music streaming app MVP or build an advanced application. If you want to get a custom quote, contact our team. We will analyze your requirements and provide you with a personalized roadmap.

How to monetize music streaming app

Without monetization, your product won’t pivot. Here are the most effective ways to monetize your music streaming app.

  • Advertising

Advertising is one of the easiest ways to monetize your platform if you have a large number of users. For example, Spotify makes 91% of its revenue from subscriptions and the other 9% from advertisements from brands, agencies, small businesses, artists, labels, concert promoters. Spotify keeps 30% of its revenue and divides the remaining amount between licensing, music deals, and paying to the artists.

  • Subscriptions

Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal also use subscriptions to monetize their platforms. There are different types of subscriptions, for example; Apple Music provides the following ones:

  • Premium — $10 per month. Сovers one account for $10 a month. There are no ads, and you can skip songs as much as you want.
  • Family — $16 per month. Covers 6 accounts allows you to skip songs, download them, share a curated playlist, and access the Spotify Kids app.
  • Duo — $13 per month. A good choice for couples and roommates. Users still have access to the premium features: no ads, on-demand playback, offline listening, and unlimited song skips.

You can implement all the features we have mentioned above as an additional feature for your app. We recommend including it in the advanced version when your app will start to gather first users.

Softermii’s Experience In Music Streaming App Development

Softermii has deep experience in developing music and video streaming apps of different types. Let’s dive deeper into what projects we have developed and what problems they solve.

HIPAA audio and video conferencing app

Video conferencing tool for healthcare

HIPAA Video is a brand new web-based communications and video conferencing application for accessible healthcare and medical advice.

Challenge

The main task was to update the platform with new technologies and include functionality for multiple-peer use cases involving big groups of medical professionals and other recipients, for instance, an entire doctor board meeting for special diagnoses. To improve the interaction between doctors and patients, it was also necessary to create efficient user flows with texting, and scheduling and implement it into a HIPAA-compliant video app.

Solution

HIPAA video and audio has enabled doctors and patients to organize appointments, exchange messages, and store all important messages. Also, we have implemented a full-on live video exchange, as well as encoder implementations, effective echo cancellation, and browser support to ensure a fast and high-quality video-streaming solution.

Results

The platform we have created is a cloud-based communications platform compliant with HIPAA as well as European Health Security norms, with the help of which physicians and patients can effectively communicate and manage the whole work process online.

Hybrid and virtual events platform

Hybrid events app development

Events10x is a service provider with the help of which you can organize both online and hybrid events, such as conferences and exhibitions. Users can organize events through video calls, messaging, and broadcasting to over 15000 people.

Challenge

This platform required a lot of custom features and load testing; that’s why our main challenges were: tight deadlines, integration of external tools such as ticket aggregator with 3-rd party services in Dubai, Microsoft Azure, and Negenius, which we had to customize for the needs of this platform.

Solution

We have decided to develop a custom engine for hosting video calls. We made it applicable for various industries, and this white label solution is fully customizable.

Results

We have developed an application for education, graduation, expo, and conferencing online events. Its users can experience events the same way as a personalized offline event, enjoy networking and develop their business, no matter what part of the world they live in.

Contact Softermii Team to Make an Audio Streaming App

Music streaming app development is not a piece of cake unless you know the market and your target audience. Before jumping into creating the list of features and integration, ask yourself what problem you’re solving and how.

Softermii developers know how to create a music app, and we'll be glad to deliver this service for you! Contact our experts if you need more information or want to create a custom streaming platform with Spotify-like features and success on the music market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What licenses are needed to start a music streaming app?

Before creating a music streaming app, you need a license for using music content on your website. The license you need is the Public Performance Rights handled by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, or Broadcast Music Incorporated. If you don’t have such a license, you will need to pay a fine of a minimum of $750 per song.

Which cloud platform should I choose to host my music streaming app?

You can consider AWS or use the SDK or API provided by Spotify or SoundCloud. You can also create your own data storage to not be dependent on the third-party application.

How long does it take to build custom music streaming app?

It depends on the number of features you want to use and the complexity of the app.

Can you set up a dedicated team that has experience working with audio streaming apps?

Of course, we will be glad to provide you with specialized developers who will work on your project. You have an opportunity to design a team according to your needs, budget, and requirements.

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