Guides | 14 min read
How To Build An App Like Spotify And Take Music Streaming To The New Level
Without music, life would be a mistake, as Friedrich Nietzsche said. People like to listen to music. And digital technologies simplify this process.
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Music streaming apps allow people to enjoy music during a fast life tempo. And they became a breakthrough. Spotify app ranks high among other apps because it provides a lot of useful features. But you can also try to make your own music app and offer users a new outstanding streaming service.
How to create a music streaming app? It is not as complicated as you may think. All secrets and tips are hidden in this article. Please hurry up to know them all.
What Makes Music Streaming Services So Popular?
Do you know that the level of profit music streaming apps bring to their owners is already much higher than the sales of music on physical media? The Warner Music Group provided this exciting data two years ago. It is one of the most significant indicators of music streaming popularity.
The matter is that audio streaming has a lot of advantages. Quick access to the app, affordability (most streaming services provide low monthly subscription costs), unlimited storage, etc. Such apps like Spotify provide users with different music genres and useful features to customize their music streaming experience. That is why you need to think about how to make your own music app.
Leaders Of Music Streaming On The Market
Many music streaming apps are available, but there are always some of them that gain the lead. Today three companies are the leaders — Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime Music.
In 2019, Spotify had 35% of worldwide music streaming subscribers, whereas Apple Music had 19%, and Amazon Prime Music had 14%, according to Statista. Besides, Apple Music and Amazon Prime have more subscribers in the USA (probably, due to the origin region). In contrast, Spotify is popular all around the world (it is a Swedish company).
Do you want to compete with music streaming giants? There is nothing impossible. Contact Cadabra Studio to build your project.
How Spotify Works
Before you start thinking about how to make a music app like Spotify, you need to find out how Spotify works and its functionality principles.
Of course, it is not a complicated task since simplicity is the main advantage of the Spotify app. You need to visit the Spotify website or download the Spotify app to your iOS/Android device. You then sign up with a Facebook profile or via email, but Facebook is preferable since you can follow your friends and share your recommendations.
Once you sign up, you choose a subscription (you can listen to music for free but watch ads banners, or buy a premium subscription to have an ad-free experience and use additional features).
Then you can enjoy listening to music as much as you want, creating playlists and making music libraries. But the free version has restrictions — there is a shuttle play, so you cannot select the next track, and track skipping is available once per hour only.
Ways To Monetize Your Music Streaming Service
When you create a music app, the revenue model is one of the first things to consider if you want to profit. An app like Spotify has two primary ways of monetization.
– Premium account. Premium accounts provide users with ad-free music streaming, offline streaming, creating playlists for a few users, etc. You can add a few subscription plans with different costs, and users can choose the one appropriate for them. For example, Spotify has a Family account created for six users, and it costs $14,99 per month in the US region.
– Ad-running app. Remember that you need to pay royalty rewards to artists whose songs are available in your app, so you cannot create a music streaming app without ads and let everyone listen to music for free. Thus, ad banners or short clips may appear during the streaming process, interrupting it for a short period.
However, it is also possible to charge artists. Artists can create paid profiles where they monitor upload statistics and other crucial data for a fixed fee. Or they can run ad campaigns to promote their songs (Spotify provides this feature).
Critical Factors To Consider When You Make Your Own Songs App
Each software development process has its pitfalls. Everything depends on the app type. And Spotify-like app development is not the exception. There are four factors we want you to consider.
Licensing. Music streaming is a process that requires compliance with copyright laws. That is why you need to license your application per Public Performance Rights. Each country may have its licensing regulations, but we will take the United States as an example since US-based artists' music is always available in all streaming services.
In the US, you need to comply with the DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act) when you look for ways how to make a music streaming service. And there are at least two primary licenses all music streaming apps purchase — Sound Recording License and Musical Composition License. But don’t forget about updates — when laws have new updates, your app should comply with them.
Stability. If the streaming process lags and there are delays — it will irritate users like a red rag to a bull. The more seamless the streaming process is, the better it is for your app and users’ loyalty. It means that you need to use a few servers in different world regions. It will ensure the stability of streaming since users may be located everywhere.
Data storage. Use reliable storage services that may process a vast amount of data. Music streaming app may store thousands of songs, and you need to purchase robust server solutions like AWS or Google Cloud Storage.
AI-based recommendations. This is a crucial aspect to consider if you want to compete with giants like Spotify and Apple Music. Machine learning algorithms analyze the preferences of users, and they provide users with the best-fitting recommendations. It would help if you used it in your app; otherwise, your new streaming service will lag.
How To Start A Music Streaming Service: Steps To Follow
Tips on how to start a streaming service like Spotify always contain the required steps that you must follow to create an app properly. Traditionally, we cannot ignore these steps, so we share them with you right away.
You cannot launch your app without market scope analysis — it is equal to suicide. However, if you think that is an impossible task for you, Cadabra Studio will help you do it with pleasure.
You need to create a business plan, analyze the advantages and drawbacks of the leading competitors on the market, and understand how to validate your app idea and make it profitable. And figuring the target audience out is the step you need to take by default.
Target Audience Analysis
It may seem that the music streaming app is the app that everyone will like. It’s a wrong conception. Existing apps like Soundcloud, Pandora, or Spotify have different audiences. For example, Pandora users attract more financially stable users, whereas millennials prefer using Spotify. It would be best to analyze what niche you can occupy and what the music streaming market lacks — then you will win the race.
Have no time for detailed research? Let professionals do this part of the work. Get started with your software development right now.
Choose The Type Of Streaming
You can create an online radio app or on-demand music streaming app. If you want to know how to make an app like Spotify, you should choose an on-demand type. Online radio apps allow users to stream music online, but users cannot decide what to listen to. The app will play songs according to the users’ preference. On-demand streaming means users can listen to what they want and create their playlists.
Don’t Forget About Design
At this stage, you should hire a design company that will help you single out all pros and cons in the Spotify app design and make your app more exciting. Moreover, it is better to find a full-stack company engaged in the whole development process, starting from wireframes and prototypes to development and release.
Although the Spotify app is top-rated, you can use some design issues to favor your app. For example, you can improve and speed up the process of adding songs to playlists since it is a long process in Spotify.
Also, Spotify has problems with the song tile dropdown menu — it doesn’t always let you tap and hold it to pull a dropdown menu. Thus, you can consider it and make the tap and hole more consistent.
Generally, your music streaming app must be user-friendly, laconic, and have straightforward navigation. Retain the users’ attention, and it is already half the battle.
Launch An MVP First
If you didn’t read our article about MVP importance, then it is the right time to do it. You should present the app to the public carefully. You don’t need to invest tons of money in the development of the app for all platforms. It is better to start with one platform, build a landing web page, and create an iOS or Android app with a must-have feature list (i.e., an MVP app).
When the app is released, you need to gather the feedback of users and monitor critical metrics. It will help you evaluate the target audience better and provide users with the service level they expect. An MVP music streaming service is a better investment if you want to do business wisely.
The development and design of apps is the main scope of activity of the Cadabra Studio team. You need to hire a dependable software development team to build an MVP, and it will contribute to your app’s success.
MVP Features To Create Your Own Music App
The number of must-have features in the music streaming app is relatively short, but it is vital to start an app with these features to deliver a top-notch experience.
Sign up. We mentioned above that the sign-up process should be implemented via a social media like Facebook, where you can collaborate with friends and share your playlists. However, registration via email must be available as an alternative.
Search. How to create a music app without a search feature? It is impossible since no search — no app. Let users find songs they want easily and quickly using search with integrated filters.
Music organizing. This feature allows users to create playlists for different genres and purposes, sort music by duration or size, etc.
Social sharing. People like to be socially active, and the possibility of sharing information with friends is a must-have.
Push notifications. Any updates in apps will be available as push notifications on the device of all users. Of course, notifications can be switched off in settings if users want.
AI-based recommendations. Improve the customer experience and deliver the possibility for users to listen to music they like only. Machine learning algorithms will select tracks based on user preferences.
Subscription to artists. Users can follow their favorite artists and get updates when artists release a new EP or album.
Library. Wanna know another secret to how to make a streaming service like Spotify? Then add a feature Spotify lacks. Spotify doesn’t contain a music library. However, Apple Music has it. And you can add it to let users create their library, upload tracks, but the number of uploaded tracks should be limited to save the storage space.
Additional Features To Consider
Event calendar. The app will show upcoming music events, so users stay updated and buy tickets beforehand.
Chat. Chat is not so important in a music streaming app, but this makes your app different. Let users chat with each other and share their music tastes.
Quality selection. In the premium version, users are able to change the quality of music and listen to it in lossless or WAV format, for example.
Finally, don’t forget about the admin panel. You will use it to control subscribers, remove/add playlists, and manage other essential features.
Tech Stack To Create An App Like Spotify
Tools that are required to build your Spotify-like app may be different, but it is possible to evaluate the potential tech stack for your future music streaming app.
Frameworks: jQuery, Hub Framework, Kafka (for streaming processes)
Storage tools: AWS, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Platform
Databases: PostgreSQL, MySQL
Web server: Nginx
CDN: Amazon CloudFront
DevOps: Docker, Percy, Helios
Each software requires an individual approach. Start a new project together with Cadabra Studio — contact us!
How Much Does It Cost To Make My Own Music App?
You got acquainted with the steps on how to create an app like Spotify, and we reached the point of investments in your future app. Your music streaming app development cost depends on the tech stack selected and the region where you hire software developers.
The developers' location is an essential part of cost formation since software development outsourcing may save you up to 60% of costs. Compared to regions like the USA or Western Europe, hourly rates start from $75 and end at 200$, or even higher. Eastern Europe, and Ukraine in particular, provides an average rate of $35-50 per hour.
Thus, if you hire Cadabra Studio, the cost of design creation may vary from $10K-15K approximately. The development of one mobile application, backend, and landing page may cost you about $20K-35K. However, a detailed estimate will be available only when you share all requirements for your music streaming app. So keep in mind that all these figures above are rough.
Hurry up to connect with Cadabra Studio and start the development of your app. We will become your troubleshooter and explain how to make a music app like Spotify!