How to Create a Music App Like Spotify

Everyone likes music. The tempo of life is getting faster and faster.  Often there's no time to go through an entire list of music tracks and purchase the ones you like. Fortunately, audio streaming applications have changed the way we listen to music.

With modern technologies, we get effortless user experience and receive music in a matter of clicks. Mobile devices and a stellar speed Internet connection only compliment this trend.

If you want to learn more about music streaming apps or create a music app, this article is right for you. Below, we share the music streaming market statistics, song streaming app monetization strategies, and how to make a music app like Spotify.

Read on!

5 Steps to create an app like Spotify 

Step 1. Consider the main Spotify-like app features 

A music streaming app includes such features as registration and signing up, music organizing, music discovery, social sharing, push notifications, and music library. 

Step 2. Choose licensing type

As for Spotify, the platform has two types of licenses including Sound Recording License Agreement and Musical Composition License Agreement.

Step 3. Find music app developers

Choose a team that will build an app like Spotify for you. There are a lot of factors for you to consider. You also should check the portfolio of your music application development company.

Step 4. Develop an audio streaming app UI/UX design

Now, you and your development team should agree on how the future app will look. For that, you need to create an app Wireframe, Mockup, and Prototype. 

Step 5. Create audio streaming app MVP

At this stage, you will decide on your MVP (minimum viable product), and all the other details with your development team and you are ready to go.

Why consider music streaming

If we're talking about music services - there are typical online radio stations and music streaming services, like Spotify. That's how people enjoy quality, easy-accessible sound spots.

What's more, people globally shift to their mobile devices to do pretty much anything. Phone calls only use a fraction of the time people spend on their cell phones.

But there is more!

music industry chart

[Image source: Goodwater]

US music streaming industry revenue

[Image source: RIAA]

Did I mention that 72% of Spotify users are millennials, who, it seems, were born with mobiles in their hands?

Driven by advantageous technologies, the music streaming industry continues to grow. Therefore, the development of your live audio streaming app might be a great idea.

Current Leaders of the Sound Streaming Market

There are three leaders in the sound streaming market, including

  • Spotify with 36% market share
  • Apple Music with 19%
  • Amazon Music counting 12% market share

Now, let us take a closer look at each of them.

Global music streaming market leaders

[Image source: MIDA]

Spotify

Being a pioneer in the music-streaming market, Spotify is the best-known music app. The app has 109 million premium subscribers and 232 million monthly active users.

App users receive access to different music services. They include Discover Weekly playlists and experimental ones, like the Australia-only station.

Spotify has Facebook integration, which allows users to share with their Facebook friends. Besides, this feature enables Spotify users to share their music easier than competitors.  

[Example of Spotify interface]

Apple Music

Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming app. It provides users with plenty of features and a discount for families and students. In June 2019, Apple Music had over 60 million paid subscribers, and 50 million songs in the library. All Apple devices, including Apple HomePod, are compatible with this app. Still, unlike Spotify, the app does not have robust sharing options.

[Example of Apple Music interface]

Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music is an advanced version of Amazon Prime Music, provided to Prime subscribers for free. For an extra payment, users receive access to an expanded catalog. Amazon Music recommends playlists grouped around artists the user already listened to. Also, the app shows the song lyrics on the "now playing" screen. 

[Example of Amazon Music interface]

To conclude, Spotify is not alone in this online music thing. Other significant players are Apple Music and Amazon Music.

All music streaming services have a lot of benefits, including:

  • Quick access to music
  • Affordability
  • Unlimited storage
  • Social engagement

As you can see, all these services appear to be outstanding because of these common features- they are effortless, intuitive, and easy to use. 

The Killer Idea Behind Spotify

To give you a clear idea of how to start a music streaming service, let's discover the inner logic behind Spotify. 

  • Spotify stores music on various servers
  • To stream a random track on your mobile, Spotify finds it on one of the millions of servers and sends it to your device
  • Servers, in this case, are computers and all other gadgets of Spotify's subscribers 

This concept is more effective than hitting servers with requests to download the track. At the same time, you become an essential link for the global social music sharing network, which is engaging too. And, it enables users to listen to all this music legally by paying royalties to authors. 

Now, let's learn how to build a music streaming app and make it profitable.

How to Make Money with a Spotify-Like App

Music streaming services, like Spotify, have two main ways of earning; premium account and running ads. Let's check how Spotify applies these strategies.

Spotify revenue

[Image source: Statista]

Premium Services

The premium Spotify account provides users with free access to unlimited music across other devices. Besides, the app allows temporary downloading of songs for offline access and plays the highest quality music. There are several types of paid plans, including:

  • Student plan cost $4.99 per month
  • Regular account - $9.99 per month
  • Family account - $14.99 a month

Ad-supported Services

App users with a free account can listen to a limited among of songs on demand, which may be interrupted by an advertisement. By using this business model, Spotify charges advertisers a cost-per-click and cost per mile fee.

According to their site, Spotify spends a significant chunk of money to pay royalty rewards to artists.

Spotify losses

[Image source: Statista]

Read also: How Do Apps Make Money?

This concludes how to earn with your Spotify clone. You have to become a part of "back to paid music" preachers, deal with authors and provide your users with a good deal of music value for their membership.

Critical Features to Include in a Spotify-Like App

If you are looking for ideas on how to make an app like Spotify, consider the following app features:

Registration / signing up

First, a user should be authorized to use your system. Users can register in Spotify via email or social media like Facebook. 

Make sure you take this step very effortless for users. Connect it to social media and you get new subscribers in a matter of taps.

registration screen

Music organizing

The app should provide features of grouping one's music, etc.

So, users can create playlists for different purposes, like current activities and genres.

Music Discovery

To motivate users to engage with your app more often, you need to provide them with personalized content. And here is where Spotify has a great competitive advantage over other services.

Spotify uses an AI-based recommendation algorithm that selects songs for the Discover Weekly section. Spotify developers created their own powerful discovery engine.

Let us check how it works.

For Weekly Discovery recommendation, Spotify uses three types of recommendation models, including:

  • User crossovers with the listening history of other users
  • Natural language processing. In Spotify, this technology works on the Echo Nest API. It learns about the music genres by analyzing the text and looking at similar terms associated with the artist across the Internet. Kafka manages the data in real-time.
  • Deep learning to analyzes the raw tracks. For this, Spotify applies" convolution neural network." This deep neural network learns from experience using only raw data input.

All things social

This feature allows users to share songs with friends and highlight favorite tracks on a social feed. It's also going to serve your app with a good deal of word-of-mouth advertising at the same time.

Social sharing

Read also: How To Develop a Social Media App?

Push notifications

Push notification is a deciding feature for such a social community based on follow-ups and spreading content. People want news from their favorite sources; that's how it works now - users wish to have valuable personalized benefits from your service.

Music Library

Unfortunately, this feature is absent in Spotify. Because of this, users can not host or upload their tracks and create a music library. The only option is to create personal playlists and subscribe to music channels created by other users.

At the same time, this feature is available in Apple Music. It allows users to add and synchronize songs on their devices and in-app playlists. Users can store a certain amount of songs on their app for free or upgrade to a premium plan.

To give you a clue of how to make a music app, and even better app than Spotify, consider this function as well.

Now, let's find out, how to build a music app.

Where to Start: Your Guide to Making a Music App like Spotify

Now, let's dig deeper into the process of music streaming app development. Below, we share a step-by-step guide on how to make a music streaming app, together with cost estimations.

Check this out.

Ideas are everything

For music app development, you need to specify the whole concept of the app.  In order to do this, find a similar application, and of course, think of something that makes your app special. 

Licensing

When developing a music streaming service, you need to get a license to provide your subscribers with legal audio content.

As for Spotify, the platform has two types of licenses for  music distribution, such as:

  • Sound Recording License Agreement, covering recording rights
  • Musical Composition License Agreement. This covers the rightful owners of the songs.

When looking for an answer on how to make your own music app, do not forget about licensing.

Find music app developers

Now it's time to come to the actual work and choose a team who will build an app like Spotify for you. There are a lot of factors for you to consider. To estimate how much it costs to develop a music app like Spotify, check developer rates among regions:

  • USA/Canada-based dev teams - $50 to $250/hour
  • Western Europe - $30 to$170/hour
  • Eastern Europe - $25 to $150/hour
  • Australia - $50 to $150/hour
  • India - $10 to $80/hour

You also should check the portfolio of your music application development company.  From the beginning, communicate with your team to make sure you're on the same track. At the APP Solutions, we usually hold meetings with our clients on a regular basis via Skype.

See also: How to Outsource App Development?

Plan & Estimate

This market has significant potential, but that's not enough to run and spend all you have for a killer application. You need to run a study and learn about your target audiences' preferences. Then, communicate your business idea to your development team. The team will come up with some technological solution, cost estimation, and project requirements.

Develop an audio streaming app 

UI/UX design

Now, you and your development team should agree on how the future app will look. Here, you can offer the design team some ideas, if you have them.

The necessary process of the music app design creating includes the following stages.

  • Wireframe. The team will create a black and white app that shows the general concept of the app.
  • Mockup. The team develops colorful but static screens of the future app. Mockups include icon design, button shapes, spaces, etc.
  • Prototype. The team creates an interactive model of the app that shows how the app acts. As a rule, prototypes give you an option to tap, swap, drag, and see the result. 

Choose tech stack

To develop your Spotify-like app, consider Spotify developer tools, like Python and JavaScript. Besides, Spotify uses PHP for the server-side and Java for back-end structure. As we said, Spotify stores all the music files on the device cache. For this, use Cassandra, PostgreSQL, as well as a general memory caching system.

When looking for a clue on how to create a music streaming service, take into account that Spotify uses the following technologies:

  • Kafka software for real-time data management and processing
  • GraphWalker for model-based tests and Python integration
  • Amazon S3  for cloud-based music streaming
  • Dataproc  for platform infrastructure
  • Chromium embedded framework for building UI for desktop application
  • Bootstrap for web app development
  • Nginx as open-source HTTP and proxy server
  • C++ for Windows/Mac clients
  • Java for Android music streaming app
  • Objective-C for iOS  music streaming app

How to make a music streaming website?

You can empower your app with Spotify players by integrating Spotify player SDK. This library contains classes to stream management and audio playback. It takes on all the negotiation with Spotify's back-end, digital rights management, and decoding.

[Spotnews screens]

We did such integration for our recent project, SpotNews. SpotNews is an audio streaming platform that provides personalized music content. The idea behind the app is to allow users to listen to their favorite songs while reading the news sections. 

We also used:

  • Spotify SDK for authorization via the Spotify user profile
  • Java Android SDK, Retrofit, Fresco, Crashlytics, and Realm to provide smooth app performance
  • PHP, Silex, MySQL, Composer HTML5, CSS3, Twitter BootStrap, Jquery, Bower, Less, Nginx to moderate the news feeds via the Admin Panel

You might also like: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DEVELOP A CHAT APP LIKE SNAPCHAT IN 2019

Create audio streaming app MVP

At this stage, you will decide on your MVP (minimum viable product), and all the other details with your development team and you are ready to go.

When looking for ideas on how to create a music app, consider the following features for your music streaming app MVP: 

Feature

Integrations

Estimation in hours

Registration / signing up

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Google+

From 32 hours

Profile user

  • Edit user profile
  • Choose genre

From 36 hours

Social Share

  • Facebook

From 15 hours

Personalization

Pick-up algorithm that will choose the next music track for each individual user. Use ML to find  appropriate songs for users

From 100 hours

Music player

  • Key visual
  • Music player functionality
  • Play, stop, pause, forward, etc.

70

Track search

 

  • Search in connected music service

From 32 hours

Playlist manager

  • Create playlist
  • Edit playlist

From 60 hours

Total

 

From 345 hours

The average development cost of a music streaming app like Spotify is about $40-50K per platform.

For a more detailed estimation, you can use our project cost calculator.

Now you know how to create a music app like Spotify.

You might also like: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAKE AN APP?

Take it to the test

After the application is ready, the team does in-depth testing to ensure the app runs smoothly. We usually implement it right after the app is prepared and approved. Plus, three months after release our developers can fix any issues occurred for free.

Wrapping up

The music streaming app market is growing, and its revenue is expected to reach $17.50 Billion by 2025.

Spotify is the leader among music streaming apps. It uses a raft of modern technologies to provide users with relevant music content.

While music streaming is a hot trend, you have a chance to get your share of the music streaming market, as Spotify did.  

But, to achieve success with your app, and be ahead of competitors, you need to get started asap. 

The last thing that remains is to find a development team. And we are here to help.

Calculate your project cost

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Daria Dubrova

Content Marketing Manager