How to Make a Music Streaming App: Business Model, Features, and Cost
We’ve updated the article to describe the final price to build a music streaming app.
Mobile apps have changed the way we listen to music. There are various music streaming services on the App Store and Google Play.
The market leaders like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora have become that popular because they’re simply convenient and offer good value for money. However, if you want to create a music streaming app, you need to consider various factors like license, platform, and others.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to make a music streaming app, required features, and their cost.
Table of contents
How to make a music streaming app?
Music Streaming App Market Overview
Music streaming applications gain their popularity due to convenience they bring to users. Let’s consider some interesting statistics.
- The global music streaming market is expected to exceed by 2023.
- The average revenue per user is approximately .
- Spotify has market share of music streaming subscribers.
- Apple claims that users pay for Apple Music subscription.
As you can see, the music streaming market is quite prospective. However, it can be challenging to compete with services like Spotify or Pandora. Such platforms have spent over five years to acquire a user base and become who they’re now. They invest a lot of money in machine learning and artificial intelligence to make music streaming apps capable of suggesting relevant artists, tracks, and albums.
How to create your own music streaming service?
Let’s first discuss several market leaders to understand what stands behind their success.
Popular music streaming services
It’s impossible to discuss the music streaming market without Spotify. This app is in line with the two streaming giants — Apple Music and YouTube Music. It's no secret that Spotify has been growing fast, offering an enormous selection of music at no cost. Free accounts have some listening limitations and ads. The service offers premium accounts to get unlimited access to music.
Pandora is also highly competitive in the world of streaming services due to the decent audio quality and great customization. Additionally, it has acquired the on-demand music service called Rdio and reclaimed its title of being among the best in the music streaming game.
Apple created apps for iOS and Android devices, offering various songs for users from all over the world. Additionally, users can listen to local radio stations using the application.
There are a bunch of cool music streaming applications that offer exciting features. So, the question arises — how to create an audio streaming app? Let’s dive into this topic below.
How to Build a Music Streaming App: Points to Consider
There are various things to consider before starting music streaming app development. We’ve singled out four significant points that you need to consider beforehand.
What to consider before music streaming app development
Type of Music Streaming Services
Let’s discover what kind of app you want to create. It’s common to consider three types:
Simply saying, you can build a server-based music library and offer customers access to the music under your conditions — paid subscriptions or free access.
Example: Apple Music, Spotify
You let users store their songs and stream them anywhere and anytime they like.
Example: AudioBox, Groove Music
This kind of app has various radio stations and arranges them by specific themes, which can be streamed to PC, home audio, or any mobile device.
Example: Shoutcast, Apple Music
Types of music streaming services
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to create a music streaming app with a server-based library.
Music streaming services allow users to listen to music without purchasing. However, as the owner, you need to get a license for using music content.
So, if you want to create your own music streaming service, you need the Public Performance Rights.
In the United States, it can be handled by one of two agencies:
- The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers ( )
- Broadcast Music Incorporated ( )
To stream music in Europe, apply to the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers ().
Let's consider an example.
Spotify gets two types of licensing for streaming music:
- Sound Recording License agreements to cover the rights to a particular record.
- Musical Composition License Agreements to cover the people who own the rights to the song.
Spotify signs contracts with large music labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment Group, and others to stream music with copyrights belonging to these companies.
We DON’T recommend skipping licensing and streaming music without permission. If no license, you’ll have to pay a fine from a minimum of $750 up to $150,000 per one song played.
Before you build a music streaming app, your development team should take care of data storage. You need a back-end server that supports streaming. For example, you can consider using such services as AWS.
Discover how we set up AWS server architecture to help our client with the project.
If you wish, you can do without third-party streaming APIs and create a data storage based app on a self-hosted server. In this case, you upload your songs into a readable directory on your server.
These days, there are two popular platforms — iOS and Android. So which platform to choose to create your own music streaming service? The answer is simple — you need to develop applications for both of them to stay competitive. For example, Apple Inc. created an Apple Music app for Android devices to gain more users.
However, if you’re on a budget budget, it’s possible to choose one platform according to your target audience and their preferences. For example, in the USA, people. While the European market is full of Android devices.
How to Build a Music Streaming App: Features and Their Cost
How to make your own music streaming service? You need to discover the demanded features according to the users’ needs.
Essential Features for a Music Streaming App
It’s common to divide features into two categories — MVP and advanced. MVP or must-have features stand for essential functionality to satisfy basic use needs. You can create an MVP of your music streaming app, release it, and get the feedback. After that, you can add more advanced and expensive features.
All you need to know about building an MVP in our guide ‘ How to build an MVP: Steps, Examples, Benefits.’
Additionally, having an MVP version of your app, you have more chances to get investments. A working product makes stakeholders trust you.
Let’s single out must-have features for a music streaming app.
- Registration. You need to offer several options to make the process fast and user-friendly. For instance, you can integrate signup via social networks like Facebook or Google. Also, you need to add email and password, phone number and password signups. ‘Forget password’ feature makes your app more user-friendly.
- Search. To find music, users need to have a search. Users can search for the music by artist, title, album, recording studio, or genre.
- Music player. How to create a music streaming app and reach success? You have to develop a user-friendly music player. Users can create playlists of favorite songs, add albums, and mark artists as favorite.
- My music. The users can look through their favorite tracks and download them. Also, they can create or delete playlists, share playlists, and play them. You can also add the ability to share playlists or songs via social media. It’s common to integrate an artist screen with popular tracks and latest albums.
- Settings. To make a music streaming app more user-friendly, you need to incorporate the ability to change audio and app settings. For example, you can add an automatic download, sync for various devices.
|Feature||Back-end development, hours||iOS development, hours||Android development, hours|
Features to develop a music streaming app
Except for features, two factors can affect the price significantly — an admin panel and an attractive UI/UX design.
It allows managing subscriptions, creating featured playlists, and (delete and add them). You need one admin panel for all apps. To develop an admin panel, web developers require at least 431 hours.
To reach success, you need to pay attention to the UI/UX design. Your music streaming app design should be intuitive and user-friendly. Designers need at least 150 hours to create a design for one platform (iOS or Android)
Streaming app design (Source: Dribbble)
How to make a music streaming app outstanding? You need to integrate several advanced features. Here are some ideas:
- Personalized notifications
- Social sharing
- Top trending artists/songs
How to Make a Music Streaming App: Team and Technologies
How to create your own music streaming service?
To create iOS and Android music streaming applications, you need to cooperate with various specialists. To give you a hint, we’ve listed the required team members below.
- Business Analyst
- Project Manager
- UI/UX designer
- 1 or 2 Android developers
- 1 or 2 iOS developers
- Back-end developers
- QA engineer
Music streaming apps require a scalable tech stack. For example, you need to use various programming languages for developing iOS and Android apps, Swift and Kotlin respectively. Also, you need a scalable database.
To help you, let’s consider Spotify tech stack.
- Programming languages: Python, Java
- Frameworks: Hadoop, Apache Storm, Hub Framework
- Server: Nginx
- Cloud storage: Amazon S3, Google BigQuery
- CDN: Amazon CloudFront
- Database: PostgreSQL, Cassandra
- Tools: Bootstrap, Kafka, Google Analytics
- DevOps: Docker, Datadog, TestFlight
Note: Choosing the tech stack for a music streaming app, you need to consult with professionals. The final toolset always depends on your technical needs and project requirements.
Spotify tech stack
How to Create a Music Streaming Service: The Final Price
Considering all the factors we’ve discussed, let’s find out the final time and cost to develop an audio streaming app.
All the estimations below are based on the average rate in our region (Eastern Europe, Ukraine) — $50 per hour.
|Type of work||Time (back-end included)||Cost|
Features (for one app)
Admin panel (one for all platforms)
UI/UX design for iOS / Android
150 / 150 hours
$7,500 / $7,500
Frameworks and libraries integration for back-end
Frameworks and libraries integration for iOS / Android
63 / 63 hours
$3,150 / $3,150
Quality assurance (for one app)
Project management (for one app)
Total for one app (Android or iOS)
Total for one app (Android and iOS)
As you can see, the cost to create your own music streaming service (MVP version) may range between $88,250 and $150,850 for one or two platforms respectively.
However, the final price can vary depending on the location of your development team. For example, developers from North America tend to have higher hourly rates in comparison to engineers from Eastern Europe.
What is the final price for various regions? We’ve counted the cost to create an audio streaming app (MVP version for iOS and Android) for different regions.
- Eastern Europe. $150,850 (based on $50/h)
- North America. $301,700 (based on $100/h)
- Western Europe. $271,530 (based on $90/h)
- Australia. $301,700 (based on $100/h)
How to Monetize a Music Streaming App
How to make a music streaming service profitable?
Of course, you need to offer popular content to gain more users. Also, you need to consider several monetization strategies to get profit. Here are some widespread ways:
Let’s single out the details of each option.
A lot of music streaming services offer monthly subscriptions to get access to unlimited music (e.g. Apple Music). Such monetization strategy allows companies to get revenue on a regular basis. It’s the most popular variant for music streaming apps, since the music company has to pay for licenses regularly.
It’s possible to add ads before playing the track as YouTube Music does. However, Spotify uses another type of ad. There’s Spotify Ad Studios for artists. The service analyzes the genre of your music and shows it to fans of similar genres and artists.
Business Model Canvas of Spotify
Spotify’s business model is quite simple. However, it brings a stable revenue to the company.
Spotify makes money using two monetization models — advertisements and subscription.
To understand how Spotify works, we’ve made a business model canvas of this service. It consists of value propositions, business partners, revenues, and more.
Spotify business model canvas
How to make a Spotify-clone? Follow our guide ‘ Behind the Scenes of Streaming Apps: How to Make Spotify.’
How We Can Help
We’ve been making software solutions for the Streaming industry for over five years. Our team of developers is experienced in developing scalable iOS and Android apps of different complexity levels.
We’ve recently helped to update one of streaming projects — Blockbuster.
Blockbuster is a video streaming service for Nordic countries. It has a web version, iOS and Android apps along with support for Android TV and Apple TV.
Our team has developed several exciting features like parental control and viewing progress.
To create this featured solution, we’ve used the following tech stack:
Blockbuster's tech stack