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How to Make a Music Streaming App Like Spotify?

Spotify company has managed to turn free music into $10 billion in profits. About 140 million people have been taking advantage of the Spotify service, and more than 50 million of them belong to paying subscribers. Impressive, right?

Would you like to follow this lead? We can help!

We will give you a comprehensive guide on how to make an app like Spotify. So, let’s go deeper...


  1. What makes an audio streaming app a profitable investment?
  2. What is Spotify app?
  3. How does Spotify work?
  4. How is Spotify making money?
  5. How to make a music streaming app like Spotify?
  6. How much does it cost to develop a Spotify clone?
  7. Summary

Let's go!

What makes an audio streaming app a profitable investment?

Music streaming apps continue to gain popularity. The level of profit they bring to their owners has already surpassed the number of sales of music tracks on physical media. However, this news is unlikely to have surprised analysts - a year ago, Warner Music Group reported that revenue from streaming services had exceeded the earnings received due to the standard downloads of musical compositions.

Streaming revenues cover about 45% of all digital sales.

And this stunning success is quite natural! The streaming model of content distribution remains one of the most convenient for users who appreciate its ease of use. And this leads to increasing the audience of similar services - and hence, profits. It is a solid reason to think about how to create a music streaming app, right?

In the US, audio streams consumption has increased by 95% in 2016-17

To date, one of the most popular music streaming apps is, of course, Spotify. Let's look at what makes Spotify so special!

What is Spotify app?

Spotify is the first music streaming service that allows you to listen to music online, without downloading it to your device. So you can enjoy your favorite musical tracks legally, comfortably and inexpensively (and sometimes even free of charge). This music player is available in the US, in most European and some Asian countries, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

Spotify provides access to streaming music services like Pandora, as well as the ability to buy tracks on iTunes. This music app covers more than 30 million songs, and this number is growing every day.

But how did it all start? This is another story and a very exciting one! You need to know it before you begin to ponder how to develop a music streaming app like Spotify.

History of Spotify app

Spotify has an impressive history of development. Its founders, Martin Lorenzson and Daniel Ek, met in Sweden in 2005. Being annoyed that despite the rapid development of technology, downloading worthwhile content is still very difficult, they came up with the idea of a unique streaming music system. It was then that they thought about how to create a streaming app.

Spotify service had been officially launched on October 7, 2008. This startup was funded by Horizons Ventures and Wellington Partners (they had invested about $ 21.6 million in the project that proved successful).

Look at the data below to be certain that this success is  undeniable:

  • in September 2010, the Spotify catalog already included more than 10 million music tracks (by comparison, the iTunes collection contained about 11 million tracks at the time).
  • In 2013, the Spotify cost was estimated at $ 10 billion.
  • In December 2012, this music service had already been used by 20 million people (5 million of them were using it on a fee basis). In 2014, the database of regular service users had increased to 50 million people. The number of paid subscriptions was 12.5 million.

how to make a music streaming app

Agree, these data are convincing enough and make you think about music application development.

Spotify is a Swedish company. Therefore, initially, this innovative technology had been launched in Scandinavia. Then France, Spain and Great Britain joined the list. In 2011, music streaming conquered the US and, later, numerous European countries. As for Japan, this service entered its market only in 2016.

Would you like to know how to create a music app similar to Spotify? As usual, it all starts with a great idea! And Spotify is not an exception in this respect.

A unique idea

There is no doubt that Spotify has changed the way people used to listen to music. Initially, the service was focused exclusively on access to music on demand. However, by the end of 2011, Spotify had expanded its functionality and offered radio named Pandora which made it possible to turn any song or album into a real radio station. At the same time, the system was carefully collecting information about the music preferences of a person: later, based on this data, Spotify could offer a user other audio tracks he might like. All this contributed to the spread of Spotify among a wide range of music fans.

Do you want, in turn, to develop a music streaming app like Spotify? Then, ask yourself (and try to find the answer!): what does your user need? What services will he appreciate in the first place? Perhaps, other applications of this type did not take into account a few significant factors, so that you can make use of these omissions in your favor.

By the way, Spotify tries to do its best to avoid such omissions and respect the interests of users, for these interests are a keystone of the music app creation process. That's why Spotify…

  • launched a browser version of Spotify at the end of 2012, and this step made the service available to those who for some reason cannot install the program.
  • created a mobile version of the service in 2009.
  • canceled certain time limits for streaming music (until January 2014, such restrictions existed).
  • has done a lot of work to improve the quality of audio.

All these factors made the service more accessible and increased the level of customer satisfaction. No wonder that in a short time Spotify ceased to be an ordinary streaming app for listening to music. It has become a way of interacting people with their favorite music tracks.

Now it's time to study the process of this interaction in detail. This is important if you want to build a music app like Spotify.

How does Spotify work?

Spotify app is compatible with many modern devices and runs on different operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Users can take advantage of the search bar to look for their favorite artists, albums, playlists, labels. Among other things, this service allows users to create, edit and share their playlists with each other.

How can one start using the Spotify app? Take a considerable look at this process, because this small analysis will come in handy if you decide to make a music streaming app - in this case, you'll need to find out the best way to organizing a user flow.

  1. Web version:
    • A user must visit the Spotify website and register using Facebook or email.
    • It is necessary to choose the format for using the service because in addition to the free Spotify version there are 2 paid ones. A free account has a number of limitations.
    • The user can now download Spotify to his computer. This action will save him from having to visit the website every time he wants to use Spotify.
  2. Spotify app:
    • The user is welcome to visit the application store (iTunes or Play Store) and download the streaming music application following the instructions.
    • The user does not need to have the downloaded application on the mobile device if there is a Wi-Fi connection. He can listen to music right from the website.

And now let's see what features Spotify provides to its users! Maybe you can copy and improve some ideas when planning to develop a music app?

  • Search for music. Using the search bar, you can find songs of almost any artist.
  • Creating playlists. The user can create a new playlist and add songs to it or add songs to an existing one.
  • Radio. Click the radio button and select the music genre at the bottom of the page. Spotify will start playing the "radio station", the songs of which you can pause, rewind or listen in fragments. It's not so bad idea, you should take advantage of it if you want to make an app like Spotify.
  • The ability to share music via Facebook. Also, there is the opportunity to "subscribe" to your favorite artists in order to choose the music they listen with the help of Spotify.
  • The discovery of new music. When you listen to certain artists or certain radio stations on Spotify, you are being offered other similar artists.

How is Spotify making money?

If you are considering the question of how to create a music streaming app, you'll be probably interested in exploring possible ways of its monetization. For example, Spotify uses the Business Model called Freemium.

A key feature of this business model that a user is given a choice between a free version of the product and a full-featured one. It means that this system acts as a bridge between piracy and the legal way of acquiring music content. Before the creation of Spotify, people could only pay for each track, buy a CD or an unlicensed copy of the album they liked. Thanks to the free version of Spotify, people have another way to listen to music legally.  

app like spotify

Initially, Spotify had three levels of pricing. Now there are only two of them left:

  • The free version is supplemented with advertising and has limited functionality;
Almost 950 million users are willing to use ad-supplemented music streaming services.
  • Premium version: like a free one, this version allows subscribers to listen to any song at any time convenient for them. However, users can increase the bitrate on their mobile devices in offline mode. In addition, in this version, there is no advertising. Spotify also offers a free 30-day trial period and a discount for students.

how to make a music streaming app

Summarizing, we can say that Spotify gets revenue from paid subscriptions, as well as from advertising in free accounts. However, paid subscriptions are still the main priority of the music player. The management of the company makes great efforts to force users with free accounts to choose a premium subscription.

According to the data presented in one of the articles in the blog of Spotify company, about 80% of premium subscribers used a free app version before.

app like spotify

How to make a music streaming app like Spotify?

So, you want to earn on music streaming services like Spotify. So, you need to know how to create a music app, step by step.

Features of music streaming services like Spotify:

#1. Registration system

Make sure that it's as simple as possible and does not require extra clicks - it's annoying the user. By the by, one and the ways to simplify the registration is described below.

#2. Profile

Each user should have his own page containing all the necessary personal information (name, gender, date of birth, musical preferences. etc). You will need this data to improve the user experience.

#3. Individual offers

Take advantage of the information about the user, received due to his personal profile, in order to offer him musical novelties that may interest him. Spotify has chosen this very way to increase user loyalty: its "Discovery" feature regularly offers you a new playlist that includes music compositions that match your tastes (and which, according to Spotify data, you have not listened to yet).

#4. Push Notifications

If you want to know how to develop a music streaming app that will be in demand, be sure to provide this feature. Its task is to remind a user about itself, give tips, notify about news and discounts - in other words, it should advertise your service very gently.

#5. A variety of music content

A person who uses apps similar to Spotify hopes that he will have access to different music tracks. Also, he will definitely appreciate the possibility to add and create his own playlists. So it's really important to provide him with this feature!

#6. Search for tracks

The search bar is a prerequisite for the success of an app like Spotify.

app like spotify

#7. Messages

For example, Spotify app allows the user to initiate a conversation with the help of personal messages inside the service itself. It's not the key feature but an interesting one. And it's obviously worth being considered if you want to create a music app.

#8. Social networks

Of course, the integration of social networks is a "must-have" feature for those who decided to make an app like Spotify. By the way, when in September 2011, Facebook developers announced their partnership agreement with Spotify (which allowed media companies to publish users' Timeline activity), the number of active users of Spotify had skyrocketed immediately. Take a look at the picture below to see for yourself!

About a million new active users gained in a few days is quite a result, isn’t it?

Use this positive experience and take the feature in question into account! The rather that it will help you simplify the process of registering users and give them the opportunity to share the news with their friends. So, you will increase the engagement factor either.

#9. Other interesting features

Think about what else you can please or surprise your users with. For example, here are a couple of interesting ideas from Spotify app:

  • In March 2013, this application supplemented its functionality with the "Following" feature. With its help, users can follow their friends, favorite artists, celebrities, and receive notifications when adding new music to the catalog.
  • Another interesting Spotify feature is Browse which allows you to search for playlists created by friends, celebrities and other users of the service. You can choose the music corresponding to your mood at any time.

Factors to consider:

#1. The original idea

We already wrote that it is very important to come up with a bright idea. Do not rush, give this factor maximum attention - this is significant if you want to know how to make a music streaming app that can become a source of high incomes.

#2. Interface design

The interface design of the application plays a key role in improving the efficiency of your streaming music service. The factor of visually appealing design allows attracting and retaining the user's attention.

The perfect interface should be:

  • user-friendly
  • intuitive
  • laconic
  • modern

Our Agilie experts are well versed in a quality and effective UI/UX design. Proof of their high expertise are these examples of great UI/UX designs for music applications (players). Look, enjoy and be inspired!

how to make a music streaming app

For instance, this new Player is appealing and easy to use: swipe left to see additional features; swipe up to get the pop-up list. And when you're visiting other pages, the current track is displayed at the screen bottom.

app like spotify

We also want to share another music player app concept made by our design team (in Agilie, we are excited about music).

how to make a music streaming app

And here is FIDO, a very nice concept of a music player that has a minimalistic design with clean colors and soft shapes. Some components look like oil paint and have liquid structure.

app like spotify

And, finally, for the last bit, this music player animation where we've also used a liquid effect.

We hope that these design pieces will inspire you to create a beautiful and clear interface for your music streaming app.

#3. Copyright and legality

Of course, if you decide to make an application like Spotify, you need to understand that your music content should be legal. For example, Spotify is forced to pay the music artist a fee for each song. Spotify retains about 30% of all revenues, while 70% is being distributed between rights holders depending on the following factors: the country in which the song is played, the number of paid subscribers, the rating of the music artist, etc.

how to make a music streaming app

#4. Monetization

If you're serious about converting your music into a source of income and, therefore, think of app development, choose your own way to monetize your Spotify app clone. If you do not like the Freemium model, find another one. In this article, we've described various ways to make money on applications.

#5. Advertising method

Take a pattern by Spotify! For instance, before launching a service in the US, Spotify owners diligently warmed the interest of Americans by using the same principle that helped them win the loyalty of Europeans. However, in this situation, Spotify specialists resorted not only to the help of influential experts and to the feedback of people who used the service earlier. This time they were a little more inventive. To gain popularity among Americans, proxy servers located in the UK were used, as well as the London ZIP code. There were blog posts, topics on forums and even entire websites devoted to Spotify app. In addition, Spotify has partnered with several major brands, such as Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily. This cooperation has allowed to increase the audience coverage, as well as to distribute invitations to a free subscription among users. Of course, you can not completely copy the way of Spotify (you are unlikely to have a similar budget), but you can adapt the general direction of action.

#6. Platforms

If you have a limited budget, you can first develop a music streaming application for one platform of your choice (iOS, Android, Windows...). However, in the future, you need to improve your service so that it works equally well on different devices.

For example, Spotify began its journey of climbing to success with a web platform. But in the autumn of 2009, Spotify released a mobile application for iOS and Android platforms. Initially, only premium account holders had access to it, but in December 2013, everyone got the chance to use the service on their mobile devices (although the owners of free accounts still have some limitations).

Experts you need:

Of course, you can not do without outside help. You are unlikely to be able to develop a music app on your own! This is a too time-consuming multi-step process.

So, you need the help of such specialists as:

  • Project Manager who will oversee the entire music app development and will become a go-between the client and the developer.
  • UX/UI designers whose task is to create an intuitive and user-friendly app interface.
  • Developers who must develop the structure of the program and write a clear and understandable code. Ideally, you will need iOS, Android and web experts.
  • QA-engineers who will test your audio streaming app and make sure of its trouble-free operation.
  • Marketers who can compose a smart marketing campaign designed to promote your Spotify app clone.

Stages of music app development:

  • Market research
  • Preparation of technical specifications
  • Prototyping
  • UI/UX Design
  • Music application development
  • Testing
  • Release and support of the music app

Now you understand how to develop a music streaming app. But the price issue still remains. So…

How much does it cost to develop a Spotify clone?

The cost of music app development is variable. We can not name the exact universal price! In general, it depends on a variety of factors including the rate of developers, the complexity of your service, marketing program and much more.

On the other hand, we can analyze what affects the budget for music application development and give rough approximate prices.

#1. MVP model

The easiest way to cut your expenses for the process of app creation is to offer a minimal set of features to start with. Choose only the most important ones, such as:

  • Registration with social networks
  • Profile
  • Updatable music database
  • Search by database
  • Musical advice based on the user's tastes (Spotify app calls this "Music Discovery")

#2. Location of your app development company

When choosing a company of developers, try to find specialists who have sufficient experience allowing them to make a high-level application. However, the experience is only one of the factors that form the cost of the service. When it comes to app development, the country where the experts live is of great importance. Look at the diagram below to understand how the developer rates differ depending on the location.

app like spotify

So, the choice is obvious - Eastern Europe! We guess it's the best option which would provide you with both high quality and reasonable prices.

Now let's summarize what budget you will need to create music apps similar to Spotify.

  1. MVP model: from $50.000 to $80.000
  2. The app like Spotify for different platforms:
    • iOS: from $80.000 to $120.000 (or even higher)
    • Android: from $95.000 to $150.000 (not a limit, though)
    • for both platforms: $150.000 - $190.000. And, again, the price will increase as the functionality of your Spotify app clone becomes more complex.


According to Statista, music streaming will have covered 86% of the Digital Music Market of Europe by 2021. Moreover, streaming profits has already increased by 98%. You should think about it seriously! It's time to take action and join the leaders of the music market. It means you need to figure out how to make a music streaming app. And we are ready to help you with this issue.

Our experts have a wide work experience, as you can see by visiting our portfolio. In addition, we are able to compromise and ready to meet the challenge of any complexity level!

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