Your Guide to Creating a Music Streaming App
04 Mar, 2021
6 min read
If you are a millennial like me, I’m sure you must have bought music albums in your childhood. It was a time when people would line up outside record stores to get a copy of any new album. Golden days!
Cut to the era of Gen Z when Napster laid the foundation of music streaming in 1999. It was basically a peer-to-peer file sharing service and rose to fame in a short span. But the fame was short-lived and it came under fire when the music industry opposed it. Then came 2003 when Apple unveiled iTunes Store – again a big milestone in the music industry. Some more online audio streaming service providers like Pandora, Soundcloud, etc. followed suit.
However, the launch of Spotify in 2008 became the watershed event in the history of music streaming. Since then to date, a number of companies have launched online music streaming apps and are eyeing on the success in music streaming. In fact, the global music streaming market size is forecast to reach $76.9 bn by 2027.
If you too want to cash in on music streaming with your own music streaming app like Spotify, now is the time!
Whether you create your app on Android, iOS, or both, there are a few steps common for all, Android app development, iOS app development, or cross-platform app development of a music streaming service.
Below are the steps to build a music streaming app:
There are three common types of music streaming apps that you can pick from:
This app is basically a server-based music library that offers customers the access to music as per the company’s conditions. The company can provide a paid subscription, free access, or a mix of both where it can include additional features in the paid version. Examples are Napster and Spotify.
This kind of app lets users store and stream songs on the go. Examples are AudioBox, Cloudlist, and Groove Music.
This kind of app has various radio stations and arranges them by specific themes. You can stream them to PC, home audio, or any mobile device. Examples are SHOUTCast and Apple Music.
As the owner of a music app, you’ll need to obtain a license to offer music content on your app. A Public Performance Rights license is important to get to create your own music app.
In the US, you can reach out to the American Society of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) or Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) for the required license.
In Europe, the Society of European Stage (SESAC) provides this license.
If you stream music without a license, you may have to face a copyright infringement suit and a heavy penalty of up to $150,000 per song you play.
Before building a music app, consider the factor of storage. There will be a need for a back-end server to support streaming. You can consider popular cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, etc.
In the third option, you can create a data storage app on a self-hosted server without any third-party streaming APIs.
iOS and Android are the two most common platforms these days. To stay competitive, consider both Android app development and iOS app development for your music streaming service.
In case you have strict initial budget restrictions, choose the platform based on your target audience. For instance, you can go for iOS app development to target the US’ audience. If you want to target Europe and Asia, Android app development would be a better choice.
If you have a limited budget, a Minimum Viability Product (MVP) can be a suitable choice. Later on, you can add advanced features as you start making profits with the first launch of your app. An MVP version will also help you attract investors for the funding you need to take your app further.
So, here are the must-have (MVP) features you must have in your music app.
This feature is a must to build a strong community and provide a personalized experience to users. Include both email and password, phone number and password sign-ups for your users. Also provide sign-up or log-in via Facebook and Google to make sign-up fast and user-friendly.
Provide a Search option to allow users to type and search music by artist’s name, title, album, genre, etc.
Let users create playlists of their favorite songs, add albums, and mark artists as favorite. Besides, you should also provide them the freedom to browse their favorite tracks. They should be able to create, delete, share, and play their playlists.
Provide users with the flexibility to search tracks and artists by categories. Categorize the music content on your app by playlists, genres, ratings, popularity, mood, activities, etc. The categories of music help the user browse the songs fast and find out what they need easily.
If you also want to build a music app with all the latest features in it, we are there to help you with that.
Now that you know the basic features you should provide in your MVP version, here are the advanced features you can include.
You can make your app’s homepage advanced by displaying the newsfeed, industry updates, and top releases.
Integrate push notifications to boost your app usage and visibility and keep customers updated about the latest news. Inform them about the music concerts, events, latest music news, and their favorite artists’ releases.
Getting to download their favorite track(s) or playlists for offline streaming enhances customers’ experience dramatically. Provide a simple Download button in your app to let them download whichever song or track they want.
Another advanced option is Pre-Saving. At times, some artists announce their albums but don’t make them available for listening instantly. You can offer the customers an option to enable auto-download of the album once it is out.
Displaying song lyrics as the song plays, takes the users’ listening experience to the next level. Integrating song lyrics turns your average app users into your loyal customers. Often, users don’t just want to listen to music but also read lyrics and read trivia like labels, year, or awards or something from the artist, etc.
Voice search is the new trend. By simply speaking out the name of the song or artist, customers should be able to browse the app. This can be a great way to enhance their experience.
Musicians are also your stakeholders as you are using their music on your app. That is why you should integrate artists’ profiles. Allow app users to follow favorite artists, see their updates and get curated playlists of an artist’s songs.
Use a freemium model to expand your outreach. A freemium model provides a particular service free of cost while charging a fee for premium features.
For example, Spotify. It gives its music streaming service completely free – but there are ads in between the tracks. If users want an uninterrupted listening experience, they can pay a subscription fee for that.
The freemium model will increase chances of conversion of your free subscribers into your paid subscribers at a later stage. It thus can help increase your app revenue too.
Run ads in your app. In-content ad streaming is a highly viable way to earn revenue from ad publishers. The more in-content ads you play, the more are the impressions and clicks. As a result, it helps get more money from the advertisers.
After acquiring a sufficient freemium subscribers’ base, you can offer paid subscription services to convert freemium users into premium users. Motivate your free subscribers to upgrade to a premium subscription by offering lucrative subscription prices. Spotify offers even a single-day subscription for the users to engage them.
A music streaming app is a great business opportunity as the music streaming industry is thriving. If you are also looking to launch a music streaming app, we’ve got you covered on all fronts. We can help you work out your idea and build a feature-rich music app for you.
Our process mainly includes three phases. We first analyze, research, and understand your project and scope for development. After deciding the initial design and app flow, the development phase follows. After development, our QA team tests the app and ensures it is 100% glitch-free. Our marketing experts can help you build a strong promotional strategy for your app to reach the right audience in a short span of time.
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By: Maulik Shah
04 Oct, 2022
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