How to Build Apps Like SoundCloud

Yesha Bhatt

By : Yesha Bhatt

How to Build Apps Like SoundCloud1

The way we consume entertainment has undergone a significant change due to the pandemic. We see the growing popularity of live streaming platforms. The music industry, especially, seems to be enjoying this change.

Platforms like SoundCloud saw increased engagement, subscriptions, and artist activity. This influences many businesses to create a similar app. However, developing apps like SoundCloud is a tricky thing. It requires proper planning and a thorough understanding of what goes into the process of music streaming app development.

So, we are here with a complete guide to help you start developing an app. In this blog, we will discuss every factor you need to know. But first, let’s find out what the music streaming app development market is like and how you can monetize your app.

Let’s begin!

A quick index of what the post covers:

On-demand Music Streaming Landscape

Music streaming has a fascinating journey. Vinyls, cassettes, MP3, radio, and now music streaming apps. Today, streaming platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc. have revolutionized the music industry and the way consumers discover and listen to music.

Look at the key stats that show how the industry is progressing:

In 2019, the number of audio and video-on-demand music streams in the US hit the one trillion mark since the start of the year. And over 89% of people across the globe listen to on-demand streams.

High-speed internet and the growing adoption of smartphones are what drives the popularity of on-demand music streaming apps and also allows companies to create music streaming apps. This shows that the music streaming market is now bigger than ever and a profitable business idea.

There’s a myriad of music streaming apps like Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Musics, etc., each of which have their unique selling point. Spotify attracts both users and advertisers. Users enjoy a database of over 20 million songs. Advertisers can reach users on the free tier.

SoundCloud has two apps – one for streaming and the other allows creators to upload their tracks. In the coming sections, we will discuss SoundCloud’s business model in detail.


(Image Source: Grand View Research)

All You Need to Know About SoundCloud

The Berlin-based music streaming and audio distribution platform is available on both desktop and mobile platforms. SoundCloud offers two mobile apps

(a) SoundCloud app, oriented towards streaming, with music discovery, playlist, and sharing features.

(b) SoundCloud Pulse app, primarily oriented towards music creators, allowing users to upload their music.

To build apps like SoundCloud, the first step is to define the purpose of your app clearly. That will further help in focusing on app features for the core users and help you develop a roadmap to build a music streaming app.

Features of SoundCloud

One of the best features of SoundCloud is the social network-like model. Users find posts that interest them, click the follow button, and create a stream just like they do on Twitter or Instagram. Another exciting feature is the apps’ ability to add comments on a certain point in a track. Look at the below image. Once the user clicks on “Write a comment”, their avatar will appear on the waveform. They can move their avatar to the desired point in the song and add a comment. When building an app like SoundCloud, you would like to offer this feature to your users. This will enable them to share feedback with the creator, and also connect with other app users who have the same music taste as theirs.

Features of SoundCloud

Tracking play counts, downloads, and interactions is another essential feature of SoundCloud. With a free account, the user will have access to several likes, comments, and downloads. In comparison, a pro account gives in-depth analysis.

Other features include joining groups, uploading pictures as album covers, and more.

Revenue Model

To build a music streaming app like SoundCloud, you will first need to understand its revenue model. So let’s go further with it.

SoundCloud works on a freemium model, which means the core music streaming service is free, but you need to pay a monthly fee if you wish to use premium features. SoundCloud charges a subscription fee from both the artist and the user. Moreover, the app also generates revenue by charging brands who want to advertise.

Here are some ways you can monetize apps like SoundCloud

  • In-app purchasingHere, the user can purchase digital items from music apps like SoundCloud, such as premium features or additional content.
  • Subscription-based appSubscription-based apps tend to see a higher revenue per user as compared to other models. In this approach, users pay you a monthly fee for access when they subscribe.
  • In-app advertisementsIt’s one of the most effective monetization models where other businesses pay you to serve apps within the mobile app. The cost you receive depends on the pricing model—for instance, cost per impression or cost per click.

If you have an idea to build an app like SoundCloud, we can help you form a workable strategy. We don’t just design and develop your product but also help you choose the right monetization and marketing approach and together create a music streaming app.

What it Takes to Build Apps Like SoundCloud

There are several things to keep in mind before building apps like SoundCloud. First, you need to figure out what type of application you want to develop. You can build music apps like SoundCloud with a server-based music library or build an app with various radio stations. Once you know what you want to create a music app, the immediate thing to do is address the legal aspects and get a license.

Clear All Legalities

There are laws and regulations associated with property rights and licenses to use a song for commercial purposes. To start with music streaming app development, you need to acquire the streaming rights on sound recordings and compositions.

There are multiple rights holders that you need to deal with. For instance, composition rights belong to the songwriter, recording rights to the studio label. As an on-demand streaming service, you need to pay royalties to copyright holders for the right to make copies of sound recordings. For music app development, you’ll need to license content from the following organizations:

  • Major labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Bros
  • Independent aggregators such as the Merlin Network, which represents indie artists
  • Publishers such as Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony/ATV

Essential Features in App like SoundCloud

To attract an audience, you need to offer features that matter. Here’s a list of features that you need to consider when building a music apps like SoundCloud:

  • Music Library – A large library of songs of different genres is a must-have for your app. For a smooth user experience, consider providing music categorization by playlists, popularity, ratings, etc. Secondly, make sure it is easy for users to search for their favorite songs.
  • Personalized Playlist – Users like to create different playlists for different moods. While building an app, consider adding personalization.
  • Recommendations – You can suggest top playlists, new releases, and more to the users. Most online music streaming services use audio analysis algorithms and human curation to offer recommendations. SoundCloud offers suggestions based on what the user recently liked or played.
Recommendations Music


  1. Voice search – Voice search is becoming more and more common. Studies predict a move towards voice search for at least 50% of online searches. Therefore, adding a voice search feature is a must when building an app like SoundCloud. But what will make your app more interesting, is by adding support for assistant-enabled smart speakers. That will give your app a further boost and attract more users.
  2. Social Media Integration – Social media platforms have become a crucial channel for businesses to market their content and brand name. With social media integration, you enable users to share their favorite tracks on social media. This way, you can market your app to potential users. For instance, Pandora Music lets users find friends via Facebook and then listen to their stations. Spotify allows users to create collaborative playlists, send music recommendations, and see the activity of friends.Here are a few steps to integrate your mobile app with social media:
    • Include visible click-to-add social media buttons so that the user can easily share the content/playlist.
    • Consider having a social-login where visitors can sign-in via their social media accounts.
  3. Push Notifications – Getting users to engage with your app is a challenge. One strategy to reach users is using push notifications. User engagement, brand consistency, customer care, increased conversions are few benefits of having a notification feature. With this, you can inform your users about the events nearby, the latest music news, latest releases, and more. You can adopt the personalization strategy where you can send notifications with ‘First Name Tags’ to address each user individually.
  4. Offline Access – This is one of the major features when you create a music app. Users want to listen to music at any place and anytime regardless of internet connectivity. Offline access feature is an excellent way to attract and retain users. Suppose your competitor doesn’t give an offline mode, but you do; there are chances of your app attracting more traffic because of enhanced user experience. For example, Spotify supports an offline mode. To use this feature, a user must subscribe to Spotify Premium.

Other features to include to create a music app:

  • Login & User profile – Dedicated user profile for each user to get personalized recommendations, add songs to playlists, follow artists, and more.
  • Advanced search – Include advanced search with features like filters, song names, artists, albums, downloads, podcasts, etc.
  • Personalized playlist – Create a personalized playlist on the basis of their music history and recommend it to users.
  • Artist profile – Artists can manage their profile by keeping it updated with all the albums, singles, concert tickets, etc. to connect better with their listeners.
  • Content upload – Artists can upload new albums or singles easily with just a few steps.
  • Live streaming – Allow artists to live stream music from within the app and entertain their customers.
  • Pre-save – Fans can pre-order music albums and get notified the moment an album is released.

Let us guide you in choosing the features to create a music app that your user base will love to engage with!

UI/UX for Music App Development

Other than features, what your app like SoundCloud needs is an app interface and user experience, which is interactive. Your music streaming app will require standard UI elements like music player control, navigation panels, an account page, and the settings menu. For this, you need to keep these fundamental UI principles in mind:

  • App Layout – The aim is to create an app layout with zero clutter. Utilize the space between the details creatively, use minimum elements, and design so that the user is not confused. Remember that your app is nothing without easy navigation. For a seamless experience, make sure the navigation tab is visible to the user.
  • App Visual Design – Your design will directly impact user interaction. To give a modern look to your app, go with a minimalist design approach. Minimal design simply means designing to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible. The key is to eliminate the excess and focus on what matters the most.
  • App Color & Typography – The choice of both fonts and colors will influence the look of your app. To avoid a mess, do not mix too many different fonts or colors. Keep it consistent and professional.

Other than these basic UI principles, you should pay attention to what’s the recent market demand. Dark mode UI design is the latest trend. Apple Music, for instance, allows users to apply dark themes. When you build an app like SoundCloud, it’s a good idea to add dark mode support to your app.

We suggest that you research before finalizing the design strategy. Check out what colors and fonts are popular with music apps. Along with UI design, UI dynamic is important too. Ensure that your app has smooth navigation and a good loading speed.

Now, let’s analyze some elements of SoundCloud to see what gives a good user experience.

  • Music Player – If you look at the music player of SoundCloud, there’s a clear emphasis on the visuals. The track length or the play/pause feature is not glaring at you yet is easy to read.
    Music Player SoundCloud
  • Color – The branding of SoundCloud is consistent. SoundCloud uses around six colors that are bright and radiate warmth and positivity.
  • Home Page – It is minimal with striking visual elements.


Create an MVP Mobile App

Now that you know all about SoundCloud, it’s time to build a working model with basic features. There’s no surprise that as a startup, you will face problems of limited resources. However, you will want to add every possible feature and functionality in your app because you believe in your idea. One error in the process and it will cost you a lot – which is why it is better to create a beta version of your product and test its initial growth. If it’s successful, you continue working further – that’s what an MVP is. They are only effective if you take the market feedback seriously.

Let music app development company, Biztech, help you build an MVP of your SoundCloud-like app, and see what features to prioritize as per the market demand.

How to Promote Apps Like SoundCloud

Your app will reach the target audience only if you promote it and promote it well. Consider including these points in your marketing strategy:

  • Create a video introduction of your app and upload it on various channels.
  • Include links to your app in your email signature.
  • Encourage customer reviews
  • Set up a website and post music-related blogs.
  • Do what everybody does– actively share on social media.
  • Use Facebook ad campaigns, influencer marketing.

Wrapping Up

As the pandemic halts live events, the music streaming industry is moving towards new heights. And therefore, this is a good time to invest in building apps like SoundCloud.

We hope with all the necessary information on design, features, and technology, you are ready to build music apps like SoundCloud. At music app development company, BiztechCS, our team of dedicated mobile app developers fulfill your business expectations and deliver results exactly as expected. Our goal is to not just help you choose the right technology but to help you build a feature-rich application using the latest technology.

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