Are you planning to build a music app? If yes, then you are at the right spot. 

With the advancement of technology, the time has changed, and our way of performing routine tasks has caught up with a new face, like grocery shopping, ticket booking, hotel booking, and our mode of enjoying music. Today, we use music streaming apps to tune in to our favorite tracks without downloading immediately.

The global music streaming market size is expanding every year. In 2020, it was around $7.9 billion, but in 2021 it experienced an uplift and reached $9.2 billion. 

The music streaming service market study reveals that the music revenue is higher than other services. 

Compared to other industries, the audio streaming industry is likely to rule in almost every situation, be it pandemic too, as “the music is the biggest healer” and the best way to spend your leisure time. 

Being impressed with the growth of the music streaming market, many businesses, despite their size, are coming forward to grab an opportunity in the same sector. 

You might also be planning to move on the same pathway to test your destiny. 

This article will provide you with the essential learning about a music app, types, top mobile streaming apps ruling the world, key features, cost of development, and much more. 

After reading this post, we can bet that you will get explanations for all your confusion and get answers to all your queries that one needs to know before developing a music app.

Music Apps – A Brief Introduction

Top Grossing Music Apps June 2022: SensorTower

The music streaming apps allow music lovers to play any track by any singer right at the moment with just a click. They usually consume a few resources, are faster, and provide access to any soundtracks available online. 

Do you remember that period when we needed to gather CDs of our favorite tracks, and for every new release needed to buy a new one or exchange it with our friends? 

Today, things are different than they used to be; we no longer need to do such stuff to enjoy the music we love. 

Types of Music Apps – Which One You Want to Build?

As per a layman, there’s a single type of app that plays music with just a click. 

But, as you here with a business perspective and a plan to develop a mobile app, you need to know about different types of music apps. 

There are three types of music apps:

Music Streaming Apps

Soundcloud

Apple Music, Spotify, and Soundcloud are a few apps ruling this market, and these are highly popular and widely-used music apps. 

The key objective of such apps is to play music available in the music service’s database, make personalized playlists, and recommend similar songs. 

Let’s check out vital elements of these music apps:

  • Recommendations: To offer users more relevant song suggestions, one should implement a recommended engine for the music streaming app. 
  • Search: The chief element of user engagement is your app’s music availability and caliber to discover akin genres. 
  • Social Networking: You can apply custom playlists as educational or promotional tools in your app, which will facilitate the users to share playlists via social media platforms. 
  • Categorization & Personalization: The users of the music streaming apps can sort the music by genre, mood, period, tone, composition pace, or performer association. 

Requirements for Developing Music Streaming Apps

  • Effective social media platforms integration
  • Varied categorization systems to segment content
  • Public Performance License, issued by PPL PRS for U.K. services and ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC for the U.S. 

Besides, you can integrate an off-the-rack solution, like the API of the current music streaming app, to offer a unique experience to the users. 

Music Store Apps

YouTube Music

When a significant commercial trading element is appended to the music streaming service to expand it, it emerges to be a music store app. 

Music apps like GarageBand, Pandora, and YouTube Music work in the same niche. 

The key features of such music-store apps are:

Engagement: As music is the chief source of user engagement, such apps apply standard eCommerce engagement strategies, like season discounts, special offers, and bonuses. 

Monetization: Most of the latest music store apps motivate the listeners to buy a subscription or the release to open up a way to premium features. 

Feedback: The networking element holds significance as Music Store Apps motivate user input through reviews and comments that assist other users while making purchase decisions. 

Requirements for Developing Music Store Apps

  • Anti-fraud features 
  • Social media platforms integration
  • Payment systems integration
  • Large licensed product inventory (embraces physical media and related merchandise)

Music Storage Apps

Google Music app
Google Music

Top music app players, Google Music and Amazon Music are music storage apps plugged directly into your storage, which can be general cloud storage or your phone’s internal storage. This way, you can build your music player entirely curated by the user. 

The main characteristics of the music player app are:

Requirements for Developing Music Player Apps:

  • Payment systems integration, like Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal
  • Scalability for seamless media playback
  • Varied media formats compatibility
  • Third-party cloud services integration, like Amazon Web Services’ Google Cloud

Top Players – Leaders of the Music Streaming Market

Before making your music app, you should also check out your competitors; watch out for their footmarks and the standards they opted to catch up with. 

Spotify

Spotify

The first name that strikes our head while thinking of music streaming apps is Spotify. It’s the most prominent music app that provides audiobooks and podcasts also, besides music services. Along with its audience, its annual revenue is also constantly growing. The best parts of this app are accurate recommendations, its ease of discovering new artists, and more. 

Pandora

Pandora

The first and top music app that prioritized personalization was Pandora; later, Apple Music and Spotify adopted it. Pandora uses artificial intelligence to make suggestions, and the monthly active users started falling.

Apple Music

Apple Music

This audio app offers a fantastic music collection that one can use with connected devices and Siri. It also boasts a connected radio station. With the increasing audience every year, this music app’s revenue is also increasing. 

Why Are Music Apps so Popular?

us-music-streaming-market
global-music-streaming-market
global music streaming market: GrandViewResearch
  • The market size of the music streaming market worldwide was valued at about $29.45 billion in 2021.
  • From 2020 to 2030, it’s likely to grow at a CAGR of around 14.7%. 
  • In 2020, the music streaming market reached a total revenue of around $11.8 billion. 
  • Also, in 2020, the subscription service segment of this music streaming app attained approximately $10.5 billion in total revenue, which was about 89.4% of the total market value. 
  • In 2021, the individual segment attained the largest revenue share of approximately 60%. 
  • The music app segment caught up with the largest revenue share of 85% in 2021. 
  • In 2022, in the music streaming segment, $26.61 billion in revenue is likely to generate.
  • By 2026, in this segment, about 959 million users are expected. 
  • User penetration is predicted to be 9.4% in 2022 and should hit approximately 12.2% by 2026. 

Why Should You Develop a Music App?

Before jumping on to the steps to make a music app, first, you should know why you should develop it. 

Let you know that music is the most popular industry developing steadily and quickly in the entertainment department. 

Around 14% of the population and even more access streaming apps daily. 

So, your plan for developing a music app is perfect as its growth is moving on and on constantly. So, you can expect a growing audience and growing revenue ahead. 

Another reason in the queue is the opportunities one can explore in the music industry. The market players choose advanced technology integration into their apps, such as AR, VR, 5G, AI, and more. 

Something that can relate to everyone is music, and with this evolving and changing market, you will always have niches to stuff the gaps. 

That’s why most business-minded people come forward to make a music streaming app and hire a team of developers to assist them in attaining their objectives. 

Core Idea Behind a Music App – The Inner Logic 

Let’s first check out the inner logic behind a music streaming app to get a precise idea of how to start a music service. 

  • Store music on diverse servers.
  • The music app finds a random track to play on your device on millions of servers, catches up with that, and then sends it to your mobile. 
  • In such a case, servers are the computers and every other gadget of your music streaming app subscribers. 

Well, one finds this concept better than sending tracks and downloading requests to the servers. 

Besides, by offering such a music service, your app becomes a critical link for the worldwide music sharing network, that’s pretty engaging. And this way, the users get a chance to tune in to the tracks legally by paying the royalties to the authors. 

Now, let’s know the key features that you can include in your app to make it successful. 

Key Features of a Music App

Consider the list of crucial features of a music app below:

Signing Up/Registration

It’s an essential feature that recognizes the user to sync his music and playlist in the service. You can use social media authorization and get new subscribers soon.

Catalog

You can offer the users a music catalog to assist them in finding music content your app provides.

Track Search

Make your app users the power to find music they would like to hear and get a loyal crowd. 

Push Notifications

According to recent research, push notifications result in higher engagement across every category. 

User Profile

After signing up or registering, users should find it easy to set their profile that may facilitate them to craft and manage their customized and personalized playlists. This way, the app owners can analyze user data and learn their preferences. Using this account, they can share music and even upload their tracks.  

Artist & Album Profiles

Well, it’s optional to add an artist page and album. But, let you know that users would like to get the details of the track they are tuned to. You can keep the pages simple and loaded with essential information, like popular tracks by the same artist, release date, number of likes, and more. 

User’s Library

Your app needs to facilitate users to craft and manage their playlists to meet their choices. It will assist them with enhanced user engagement, and you can motivate users to make unlimited playlists in their libraries. 

Spatial Audio

With the assistance of spatial audio, artists will find it easy to mix music to provide an immersive audio experience and make users feel the sounds thoroughly. Top websites like Tidal, Amazon, and Apple have already included this feature.

Lossless

Listening to the best quality tracks is the lossless music streaming. Its algorithm makes sure that a compressed digital audio file holds its best quality post the compression process. 

Music Player

You must ensure that you embrace such features to craft timing, shuffling, and tuning options for your app’s music player. Also, it should permit the users to save their favorite songs for later use and create personal playlists. 

Music Videos

In the audio streaming app, people would enjoy watching videos also. So, you may offer them such a fantastic experience by incorporating such a feature that may allow them to watch videos while listening to music. 

Radio

One more feature you may implement in your audio app is radio streaming, allowing users to tune in to their favorite tracks without disturbing ads. 

Advanced Features of a Music App – Make Your App Competitive

Next comes the improvement and advancement of your app when it is flooded with enough users to make it more engaging. 

So, when it’s about the second stage of music app development, you can consider the below features to include in your app. 

Navigation

The navigation of your audio streaming app should be user-friendly that may help users to search and append tracks to their playlist or library. Additionally, append more options that may allow people to explore their favorite tracks by the album title, name of artists or song, etc. 

Social Media

Most people love sharing a track while enjoying it with their friends via various social sites, like Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Instagram. This feature will assist in spreading your brand awareness also. 

Well Thought Out UI

UI can make and even break your application. To develop a popular music app, you must think about crafting a seamless, accessible, intuitive, and visually engaging user experience. 

High Performance

The performance of the apps is primarily a decision point, and it needs to perform at better speed and less resource usage. A song should take <300ms to start playing instantly when the user clicks on it to enjoy. 

Playlists

Be it an energetic party with friends or a family get-together, your app should make the user feel the ambiance, the aura through your tracks. Today, the listeners prefer enjoying their playlists on audio apps despite tuning in to radio stations. Your app should emerge with a customized or personalized playlist for your users or facilitate them to create playlists of their choice. 

Bitrates

The song needs to be digitized for music streaming, which may break down into a sequence of audio snapshots. Next, our brains elucidate all those snapshots as a continuous track. The streaming music’s quality is called bitrate. 

Below are three distinct audio qualities available for mobile apps:

  • Normal (96kbps) 
  • High (160kbps)
  • Extreme (320kbps) 

High-resolution tracks target better sound in a well-suited package of streaming from your device or as a digital file on a specific, dedicated player. 

Business Model of a Music App – Let’s Consider Spotify To Understand It Better

Spotify Business Model Example
Startegyzer

A house of 70+ million songs, Spotify stores all the tracks on its servers. This music app depends on a P2P network; it doesn’t bog down its servers, internet bandwidth, or internal computers to stream audios for millions of listeners. 

This leading audio streaming app uses social networking and nearby users’ searches using the services to check if their caches hold the song requested by a user. If it keeps that requested track, Spotify facilitates those computers to play that audio. 

This assists Spotify servers to stay free from getting overloaded. 

Spotify uses Cached files to speed up the playback. The tracks played by users get temporarily saved on their device in a file known as a cache, and it replays locally from that file whenever users wish to replay it, despite downloading again. 

Besides, Spotify preloads successive audios of an album to delay playback. 

The songs on Spotify are saved in Vorbis format, making the audio file smaller and easier to transfer. On this platform, many songs stream at about 160 KBPS. But, for Premium users, the songs are usually streamed at around 320 KBPS (for high-quality).

Regarding business, Spotify purchases licenses from publishers, artists, labels, and all the right holders to get audio streaming permission on its platform. 

The platform bears an amount as a royalty to the artists, for which it uses a complex algorithm that fixes the royalty price per stream for all the labels or artists. 

Monetization Models – How to Make Money with a Music App?

The revenue that comes from the music apps is better than other categories. People tend to move towards audio streaming services despite separate music tracks. This proves beneficial for a music app to catch up with enhanced profit without investing any new effort. 

You can monetize your music streaming apps in the below two ways:

Play Advertisements

Offer the app users free access to your audio app as long as they tolerate listening to advertisements. 

For example, you can play an advertisement after every 3 or 5 audios, which is one of the best ways to earn revenue. 

Subscription-based Method

You can offer unlimed access to any track or premium features to your subscribers only. 

It’s of two types:

Trial period: Before moving on to the free trial period, the user fill-in cart and payment details. After a free trial ends, the app charges a subscription amount automatically. 

Freemium: A free account on your app will offer users access to basic features. But, one can’t access premium functionality in such a model. 

Alternative Revenue Sources

Besides the traditional and general monetization methods, you can also try the below revenue sources. 

Paid Content

Despite giving access to every track in the catalog, you can sell specific tracks and albums in your app. A user should pay for tuning to a particular song or album.

Apple Music and Google Play Music follow such a monetization strategy. 

Transaction Revenue

When a user purchases something from your application, you can charge an amount as transaction revenue. 

For example, Pandora’s app permits users to buy tickets for their partner from the app, namely, Ticketfly, and charge an amount.

Karaoke & Live Streaming

A Chinese audio streaming brand, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), emerged with this monetization model that makes about 70% of the revenue. 

A paid feature, Karaoke permits users to sing karaoke and stream it online.

Challenges You May Face While Building a Music App

Well, nothing is easy; when we start something new, we usually get stuck with various challenges. 

The same happens when it comes to developing music streaming apps. We need to face various challenges. 

Let’s talk about a few below:

Getting Around the Competition

The competition may be tough to introduce a project between the leaders with deep pockets, like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. 

So, to thrive in the crowd, you need to emerge with an exceptional idea and seamless execution. These two conditions are enough to compete with the top players and increase the chance of becoming successful. 

List out the top needs of listeners that other apps are not meeting and try fulfilling them using the latest technologies. 

Copyright and Licensing

When we emerged with the idea of developing an audio streaming app, the law came ahead of everything. Here also, the app would require the rights for streaming copyrighted tracks of artists. 

A music streaming app needs to follow Public Performance Rights to conduct operations as there’s no other way around it. 

In a technical tone, legality and copyright shouldn’t be categorized as challenges; they are just like the things to do beforehand. 

Splitting the Revenue

Every streaming service needs to share revenue with the copyright holders and artists, as we need to pay for using the others’ property. 

For example, Spotify shares its entire revenue with the artists, songwriters, and labels after keeping a share of just 30%. 

How to Develop a Music App – Steps to Follow 

There are nine main steps to developing an audio streaming app:

  • Step 1. Refine your innovative idea and value proposition
  • Step 2. Define your target audience
  • Step 3. Pick features and tech stack you need to include
  • Step 4. Hire a dedicated app development team
  • Step 5. Choose your business model
  • Step 6. Licensing
  • Step 7. Craft an MVP
  • Step 8. Build an app
  • Step 9. Updates & support

App Development Team – Who Will Help Develop a Music App

To make a music streaming app, you need to hire a professional team of developers. 

Technologies to Consider

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

Tech Stack for a Music App – Core Tools & Technologies 

Well, the choice of tech stack relies on the device/platforms you plan to target, like iOS, Android, and a web version. 

You can develop an app for a single platform based on your target audience if you have a limited budget. Later you can focus on another platform. 

Or, you can use the technologies like React Native or Flutter to develop a cross-platform app considering a single codebase that runs on various platforms. 

Moreover, the final choice of tech stack will also depend on your music app project needs. So, before choosing a tech stack, you should consult with your team of developers. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Music App?

Well, no one can let you know a clear-cut estimate for developing an audio app, and it’s because we need to consider various factors to determine the cost. 

Various factors affect the music app development cost. Let’s check out a few essential ones:

Platforms & Devices

The cost gets almost double if you develop both Android and iOS apps. 

The cost of music app development is directly proportional to the number of devices your app will support, and the type of frameworks and technologies we will use to make our app will affect the price. 

Features

The features you include in your app majorly influence the cost. 

The number of features you want to include in your app is directly proportional to the complexity of your app, which affects the app development cost. 

Engagement Model & Development Partner

The rates of hiring a development company, a team, or freelancers vary and thus influence the cost. You can:

  • Hire app development agency
  • Hire freelancers
  • Hire a dedicated team of developers

Whatever way you choose to develop your app will follow a different pricing model. 

More factors may affect the cost of an audio streaming app, but the above were the basic ones. 

How Can We Help You?

To make your idea a reality, we can provide you with a team of professionals and experts who will help you make your dream of developing a music app come true. 

Emizentech holds a robust portfolio of building music streaming apps thriving in the market. We offer end-to-end app development services using the best and latest technologies, scalable app development practices, and highly skilled teams. 

Wrapping Up

The music streaming sector is going on trend nowadays. If you are interested in grabbing a big chunk of revenue in the music streaming market, you must catch up with a large audience and stay competitive with the leaders. 

Holding an exceptional idea is not enough; you must execute it flawlessly to grab the success. 

So, hire the right team to develop a successful audio streaming app. 

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.