How to Make a Music Streaming App: Business Model, Features, and Cost

Updated 03 Mar 2023

14 Min




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 Amazon Prime Music 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.

Before You Create Your Own Music Streaming App: Market Overview to Study

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 $10 billion by 2023.
  • The average revenue per user is approximately $26.
  • Spotify has 36% market share of music streaming subscribers.
  • Apple claims that 60 million 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 Amazon Prime Music. 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.

Before considering how to create your own music streaming service, let’s first discuss several market leaders to understand what stands behind their success.


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 limitations and ads. The service offers premium accounts to get unlimited access to music.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Music is a popular streaming service that can be accessed with a Prime subscription. Customers have the option of purchasing Music Unlimited. Moreover, Amazon Prime provides both an affordable music library and higher-quality streaming services for its subscribers.

Apple Music

Apple definitely knows how to start a music streaming service 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. For your music streaming app to be successful, it's important to know how users value them. So, the question arises — how to create an audio streaming app? Let’s dive into this topic below.

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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.

Choice of experienced vendor

How to create your own music streaming service? First off, you have to find specialists that will work on such a complex project implementation. How to do that? Here you’ve got two options: gather in-house team or apply to an outsourcing vendor for collaboration.

Both the variants are good; however, you should understand some peculiarities of their choice. You can choose in-house team gathering — in this case you should have quite a large budget to rent office, pay sick leaves for your staff members, and so on. Moreover, you’ll need a lot of time to find developers, conduct job interviews and hire the experts; after hiring you will have to also control your project flows and do many other activities.

Selecting an outsourcing vendor to collaborate means finding a software development company with an in-depth expertise in creating music streaming apps. After studying vendor’s portfolio, collecting previous clients’ feedback and doing many other activities that’ll finish with signing a contract, the provider will offer you qualified specialists to build your own music streaming service. These specialists’ job will be monitored by the provider themselves — your job will be to approve the completed parts of work or offer your variants to correct.

It should also be mentioned that an outsourcing option has an advantageous price quality ratio: for example, Cleveroad outsourcing team can create and deliver your project in align with your budget, timeline and expectations.

Type of music streaming services

Let’s discover what kind of app you want to create. It’s common to consider three types:

Music library

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

Cloud storage

You build music streaming app with a cloud storage to let users store their songs and stream them anywhere and anytime they like.

Example: AudioBox, Groove Music

Radio stations

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

How to make a music streaming app: Types of platforms

Types of music streaming services

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to create a music streaming app with a server-based library.

Getting license

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 music streaming website or app, 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 (ASCAP)
  • Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI)

To stream music in Europe, apply to the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC).

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.

Data storage

While building 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.

Another option is to stream from Spotify or SoundCloud catalogs using SDK and API provided by them. However, while deciding on how to create a music streaming service, you should keep in mind the restrictions listed in Terms of Use for developer tools.

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. The Cleveroad professionals can consult you and provide recommendations based on their experience to help you to make a choice.

Discover how we set up AWS server architecture to help our client with the project.


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 prefer iOS devices. Meanwhile, in Europian market Android prescence is more significant.

Building a music streaming MVP

When you decide to build your own music streaming app, it makes sense to start by creating Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It's a software functionality with basic features to ensure the app's functioning and attract initial users. This way, you will be able to test your software concept viability without significant expenditures.

What are other benefits the MVP building can bring into your project? We’ll list some of them below:

  • Verifying and proving market demand for your upcoming streaming service
  • You can clearly see whether the audio streaming app is attractive for customers
  • The changes in your service for streaming can be made cost-effectively, etc.

All you need to know about building an MVP in our guide ‘How to build an MVP: Steps, Examples, Benefits.

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.

Additionally, having an MVP version of your app, you have more chances to get investments. A working product makes stakeholders trust you. Our specialists cab provide you with comprehensive market research and help you to determine which features to implement into the MVP version.

Let’s single out must-have features for a music streaming app.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Time to make a music streaming app (MVP version)

FeatureBack-end development, hoursiOS development, hoursAndroid development, hours


27 hours

38 hours

38 hours


24 hours

51 hours

51 hours

Music player

10 hours

69 hours

69 hours

My music

83 hours

140 hours

140 hours


11 hours

61 hours

61 hours

Total time

155 hours

359 hours

359 hours

How to make a music streaming features: Required features

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.

Admin Panel 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.

Design 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)

How to make a music streaming app outstanding? You need to integrate several advanced features. Here are some ideas:

  • Recommendation
  • Preferences
  • Personalized notifications
  • Social sharing
  • Top trending artists/songs
  • Global search

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
How to create a music streaming app: Spotify tech stacj

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 music streaming app development cost.

All the estimations below are based on the average rate in Central Europe — $50 per hour.

Final price to make a music streaming app (MVP version)

Type of workTime (back-end included)Cost

Features (for one app)

514 hours


Admin panel (one for all platforms)

431 hours


UI/UX design for iOS / Android

150 / 150 hours

$7,500 / $7,500

Frameworks and libraries integration for back-end

82 hours


Frameworks and libraries integration for iOS / Android

63 / 63 hours

$3,150 / $3,150

Quality assurance (for one app)

300 hours


Project management (for one app)

225 hours


Total for one app (Android or iOS)

~1765 hours


Total for one app (Android and iOS)

~3017 hours


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 Central 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.

  • Central 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)

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Music Streaming App Development: How to Monetize Your Software

How to make a music streaming service profitable?

Of course, you need to offer popular content to gain more users when you create audio streaming app. Also, you need to consider several monetization strategies to get profit. Here are some widespread ways:

  • Freemium
  • Subscription
  • Advertisements

Let’s single out the details of each option.


This business model assumes that you offer a set of certain basic features for free. However, to access more advanced ones, users need to purchase a premium subscription.


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.

How to make a music streaming app: Spotify business model

Spotify business model canvas

Music Streaming App Development by Cleveroad

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.

Streaming app: 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 you can explore in Case Study: Blockbuster Streaming app.

To create this featured solution, we’ve used the following tech stack and tools:

For web architecture:

  • Node.js
  • CloudFront
  • Lambada
  • Appollo
  • GrapgQL
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • Facebook
  • Youbira
  • Google Cast SDK
  • AWS AppSync

For mobile app:

Blockbuster tech stack mobile

Blockbuster's tech stack - mobile

Want to build music streaming app?

Contact us, Cleveroad team will provide you with professional software development services

Frequently Asked Questions
How to make a music streaming app?

There are five main steps on how to develop a music streaming app:

  • Step 1. Catch the idea and your vision
  • Step 2. Contact Professionals and create a list of essential features together.
  • Step 3. Start the development an MVP version of your music streaming service.
  • Step 4. Get users’ feedback and add advanced features.
  • Step 5. Upgrade the music streaming app regularly.
How much does it cost to develop a music streaming app?

The price depends on the developers' location. We’ve counted the cost to create an audio streaming app (MVP version for iOS and Android) for different regions.

  • Central 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 much does it cost to create a music streaming app?

The price depends on the developers' location. 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)
What licenses are needed to start a music streaming app?

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 three agencies: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) or Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). To stream music in Europe, apply to the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC).

How do music streaming apps make money?

Of course, you need to offer good content to gain more users. Also, you need to consider several monetization strategies to get profit. Here are same popular ways:

  • Subscription
  • Advertisements
What are the legal and licensing requirements for obtaining music rights for streaming in different regions?

Getting music rights for streaming, you need to study a complex landscape of legal and licensing demands. Here are some legal considerations:

  • Understanding kinds of music rights: performance rights, mechanical rights, etc.
  • Dealing with music licensing firms for receiving licenses: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC (United States), PRS for Music, PPL (United Kingdom), etc.
  • Receive direct licenses for the music
  • Understand and adhere to the local copyright laws in your region
How can music streaming apps integrate with other platforms and devices to enhance user experience?

To improve the overall user experience and extend the reach of the service, you can consider integrating your music streaming app with the following platforms and devices:

  • Smart speakers and voice assistants (e.g., Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant)
  • Wearable devices (smartwatches, fitness trackers)
  • Social media platforms
  • Smart TVs and streaming devices
  • Integration with Shazam or similar services
What are the technical considerations for ensuring high-quality audio streaming?

Here are core technical considerations to ensure top-quality audio streaming:

  • Choose audio codecs that balance compression effectively with audio quality (e.g., AAC, MP3, FLAC)
  • Modify the bitrate based on the wanted audio quality
  • Leverage low-latency streaming protocols like WebRTC
  • Implement a reliable Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Integrate QoS monitoring tools
Author avatar...
About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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Jermaine Trotman
10.11.2022 at 10:17

Thanks for this blog, this is very useful to Music streaming app development

john james
21.06.2022 at 10:26

very good info, thank you

Tracy Shelton
06.10.2021 at 05:25

hi,, Very good article , explained each and every concepts in detail with good example thanks for sharing this informative blog for us.

20.10.2020 at 06:00

thanks for such an amazing post..

06.09.2020 at 03:46

Very informative information in this article

31.08.2020 at 10:08

Fascinating article guys! Enjoyed reading it! I'm amazed at how many companies exists around the world (like yours) who have the tech and ability to create a music streaming app, yet no one offers a pre-made music streaming template which can be licensed out for an annual fee, etc. Shame!

Tarun Nagar
23.07.2020 at 10:49

Hello, thanks for sharing such an awesome article.

Carl-Heinz Friesen
12.07.2020 at 15:44

It's cool to read such a useful article. I appreciate you sharing the development process of a music app and impressed by detailed estimate. Hope you'll continue writing cool posts!

Alisa Salmi
16.06.2020 at 07:11

Hello! Liked your post! Quite exciting! Do you think that offline access is a complex feature? What about downloading tracks? How much time does it take to develop a download songs feature?

Louise Vogl
03.05.2020 at 11:07

Thanks for such an interesting post!

Francisco Lopez
16.04.2020 at 16:04

Thank you for a useful article! I liked a part with tech stack a lot!

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