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 the lead? We’d be happy to help!
We will give you a comprehensive guide on how to make an app like Spotify. So, let’s go deeper...
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 such a stunning success is quite natural! The streaming model of content distribution remains one of the most convenient for users who appreciate its easy-to-useless. 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 a unique music streaming service which in some ways turned out to be a pioneer. Yes, yes, it was Spotify that provided us with the opportunity to listen to music in the most convenient way, online... and we no longer need to download songs to our devices and thus overload their memory. It’s undoubtedly an advantage.
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 a few Asian countries. And it’s quite popular in Australia and New Zealand. So it can not be said that Spotify has captured the whole world, but it is undoubtedly close to the goal.
Spotify provides access to streaming music services like Pandora, as well as the ability to buy tracks on iTunes. The music app we’re discussing covers more than 30 million songs, and the number is growing every day.
But how did it all start? It’s 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, became acquainted in the distant 2005. It was in Sweden. 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.
October 7, 2008, is a momentous day when the great story of Spotify has finally begun. The startup was funded by Horizons Ventures and Wellington Partners (they had invested about $ 21.6 million in the project which proved successful).
Look at the data below to be certain that the 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).
- $ 10 billion - see how expensive the Spotify service cost in the distant 2013!
- By the beginning of the winter of 2012, this music service had managed to gain the sympathy of more than 20 million users - that's how many people had used it to their satisfaction (5 million of them were using it on a fee basis). And two years later the figure became even more impressive - 50 million people. The number of paid subscriptions was 12.5 million.
Agree, these data are convincing enough and make you think about music application development.
Spotify is a Swedish company. Therefore, initially, the 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. Talking about Japan, the 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
People have been listening to music not for years and decades, but centuries. And Spotify decided to use the love for music in its favor… moreover, it has changed the approach to the whole process and improved it completely.
It all started with access to music on demand, and such an enterprise proved its success. However, there is no limit to perfection, and 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 the data received, 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. Definitely, Spotify music app features contributed to such a success to a great extent.
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 the same type did not take into account a few significant factors, so that you may 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, because 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 such a step made the service available to those who cannot install the program.
- created a mobile app in 2009.
- canceled certain time limits for streaming music (until January 2014, such restrictions existed).
- did a great job to make the sound quality as good as possible.
All of 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 aimed to help to listen to music. Now, this excellent application assists people to enjoy their favorite music tracks in the most convenient interaction format.
Now it's time to study the process of the interaction in detail. It’s highly important if you’re willing 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 may take advantage of the search bar to find their favorite artists, albums, playlists, labels. Among other things, the 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 the whole process, because such a small analysis’ll 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.
- A user must visit the Spotify website and register via Facebook or email.
- It is necessary to choose the format of 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.
- 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! You may copy and improve some ideas when planning to develop a music app?
Spotify music app features:
- Search for music. Using the search bar, you’re able to find songs of almost any artist.
- Creating playlists. The user is allowed to 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.
- Sharing music via Facebook. Also, the user can always "follow" the tastes of the artists he likes in order to choose the music they listen to with Spotify.
- Music search. When you listen to certain artists or certain radio stations on Spotify, you are being offered similar compositions.
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. Spotify solved the problem through the Freemium model - a fairly popular business strategy to make a profit.
Speaking of the mentioned strategy, we mean the following: users may take advantage of free ad-supplemented service with reduced functionality or pay for the opportunity to access all the application features. And it’s a pleasant variety compared to how things were before when people were forced to buy a separate track or an album (namely, a CD)... well, they could also use pirated versions of the product. Now it's much easier: pay once and enjoy your favorite music in full!
Spotify provides two payment options (although there were 3 such methods before)
- 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 account: people can enjoy favorite compositions whenever and wherever they want. Moreover, exclusive features give a wonderful opportunity to improve the bitrate in offline mode. Extra bonuses:
- forget about advertising, enjoy Spotify without annoying ads!
- the first month without payment (so you have a chance to try the program)
- are you a student? Spotify has good news: you can pay less!
Spotify has two main sources of funding: paid accounts and advertising in free ones. Which of these sources is more important? Spotify is betting on paid users, a lot of money comes from this very resource. And that’s why the company is doing its best to prove people that exclusive version of the program is what they’re dreaming about.
How to make a music streaming app like Spotify?
Okay, you are willing to earn on music streaming services like Spotify. It means you need to have a really detailed instruction on how to create a music app, with all the potential pitfalls.
Features of music streaming services like Spotify:
#1. Registration system
Make sure it's as simple as possible and does not require extra clicks - it's annoying the user. And a good way to simplify the registration is described below.
Each user should have his own page containing all the necessary personal information (name, gender, date of birth, musical preferences. etc). You'll need such information to anticipate the user's desires and provide him with what he dreams about.
#3. Individual offers
Taking advantage of the personal users’ information we’ve just talked about, you get a great opportunity to offer people musical novelties which would possibly interest them. Spotify has chosen this very way to increase user loyalty: its "Discovery" feature regularly offers you a new playlist which includes music compositions matching your preferences (as Spotify knows, you haven’t listened to these music compositions yet).
#4. Push Notifications
Wanna know how to develop a music streaming app able to be in demand? Be sure to provide such a 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 to have access to different music tracks. Also, he’ll definitely appreciate the chance to add and create his own playlists. So it's really important to provide him with these possibilities.
#6. Tracks Search
A search bar is a must to join the ranks of leaders, become an app like Spotify.
Spotify app allows users to initiate a conversation through personal messages inside the service itself. It's not the key feature but an interesting one. And it's obviously worth being considered.
#8. Social resources integration
Don’t forget to cooperate with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other resources of the sort in order to make an app like Spotify. Users’ll love such a feature, especially since the autumn of 2011 when Spotify began to cooperate more closely and actively with Facebook, these companies became partners. Now, thanks to the cooperation, different organizations can post the users' Timeline actions on FB pages. The Spotify fans liked it terribly, and their amount increased - Spotify had gotten about a million of newcomers, and that’s within a couple of days! Isn’t it a fantastic achievement? No wonder, you want to create a music app!
So, social resources integration is aimed to kill two birds with one stone: users'll be able to not only log-in in seconds but also share with their FB friends events related to Spotify - they'll post everything which seems important to them.
#9. Other fun Spotify music app features
Fantasize, what else can bring your users some happiness. Spotify app offers the following features to make users a bit happier (maybe you'll find these features inspiring):
- the "Following" feature (exists since the beginning of spring 2013). Now we can take a more active part in the lives of people who are dear to us or just interesting, whether these people are celebrities or close friends. As soon as such a significant person performs an active action in Spotify (say, his or her catalog replenishes with a new track), the user gets an appropriate notification. There is a pleasant feeling of belonging to the life of your loved ones (even if it's a singer whom the user has never seen in real life).
- One more interesting Spotify feature is Browse which allows you to find playlists created by any other users, even celebrities. Maybe, some tracks from their music collection would inspire you to listen to it.
Factors to consider:
#1. Uniqueness comes first
We’ve already written how important to come up with a bright idea. Don’t rush, give the Idea factor maximum attention. It’s significant because you’re striving to figure out how to make a music streaming app able to become a source of high incomes.
The app interface plays a key role in improving the efficiency of the streaming music program. The factor of visually appealing design allows attracting and retaining the people’s attention.
The perfect interface is:
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 of music applications (players). Look, enjoy and be inspired!
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.
We also want to share another music player app concept made by our design team (in Agilie, we are excited about music).
And here is FIDO, a very nice example of a music player, the result of the work of the imagination of our talented UI/UX specialists. The concept is made in the style of minimalism and looks clean, appealing. Soft forms flow into each other and create the effect of oil paint and seem as though liquid.
And, finally, for the last bit, the music player animation where we've also used a liquid effect.
We hope these design pieces are able to encourage you to create something equally perfect and appealing for your music streaming app.
#3. Copyright & Legality
We all want our services and talents to be paid for and we hate if the result of our labors has been stolen. Artists are the same people, they also find such a state of affairs desirable. Therefore, since you're going to make an application like Spotify, remember that your music content should be legal. Not even Spotify itself was spared. Yes, it retains about 30% of all revenues, and the remaining 70% are being distributed among the rightsholders. The distribution of the sort is a difficult process, a lot of various factors have to be taken into account including the rating of the music track and the nature of the country which owns it.
If you're serious about converting your music into a source of income, find your own way to monetize the Spotify app clone. Don’t feel like creating the Freemium model? Think of something else!
#5. Advertising method
Take a pattern by Spotify!
Before launching a US version of the product, Spotify owners diligently warmed the curiosity of Americans. First of all, they took advantage of the same principle which came in handy when they tried to win the loyalty of Europeans. The principle is quite simple and, in general, obvious: opinion leaders, agitation among active masses, enthusiastic reviews... all these techniques proved to be effective, but Spotify was not sure that such tactics would be enough in the case of the Americans.
Therefore, Spotify broke out the "big guns', it did not neglect any detail, even a special promotion website had been created. And, of course, the brightest major brands had rendered an invaluable service, among them: Coca-Cola (a real jackpot!), Chevrolet (yes, it is!), Motorola (not so bad too), Reebok (great, yeah?), and The Daily (it's impressive either). A good set of names, right?
It was a true struggle for every American, and the Spotify app became a winner. And how could it be otherwise?
You can not completely copy the Spotify approach (you are unlikely to get a similar budget), but you should adapt the general direction of action.
When there is only a limited budget at your disposal, you can first develop a music streaming application for one platform of your choice. Though, if you really want to succeed, that's not enough! Wait until your mobile program starts to generate revenue, and continue its further improvements. And if you initially worked with the iOS platform, later you'll need to think about covering Android devices either.
It would be best to illustrate our words with the example from real life. As you should know, Spotify began the happy journey of climbing to great achievements with a web platform. But in 2009 (to be more specific, in the fall) the company released iOS and Android apps - at first, only premium account holders had access to the cherished mobile variation of the music service, but at the end of 2013 the situation changed for the better. Now every user can download Spotify from App Store and Google Play.
Experts you need:
Of course, you can not do without outside help. It is unlikely that you have expertise and skills to develop a music app without extra assistance, just on your own. It’s a too time-consuming multi-step process.
So, you should hire the following specialist:
- Project Manager who’ll oversee the entire music app development and will become a go-between for you and the company.
- UX/UI designers whose task is to make an intuitive and user-friendly app interface.
- Developers who must think through the structure of the program and write clear and understandable code. Ideally, you’ll need iOS, Android and web experts.
- QA-engineers who will test your audio streaming app and make sure of its trouble-free operation.
- Marketers able to compose a smart marketing campaign designed to promote your Spotify app clone.
Stages of music app development:
- Market research
- Preparation of technical specifications
- UI/UX Design
- Music application development
- Release and support of the music app
Now you understand how to develop a music streaming app. But the price issue still remains. So…
The cost of developing a Spotify clone
Now we have to think over the cost to create a music app. Of course, we cannot show you a catalog or tell you how much you should pay (at least, with certainty), because the price is not a universal value, it won’t work this way. Determining your potential cash investment needed to implement music app development, one has to think through a lot of different details including experts’ rates, the project complexity, etc.
But there is also good news: nobody forbids us to list all the pricing aspects and try to figure out the limits of your music application development expenses.
#1. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
You have various options to reduce your spending on app creation, one of them is a Minimum Viable Product (at least, as a preliminary step). What does it mean? It’s quite easy: create a product with simplified functionality, such as:
- Updatable music database
- Search by database
- Musical advice based on the user's tastes (Spotify app calls it "Music Discovery")
#2. Location of your app development company
When choosing the agency, try to find specialists who have sufficient experience to make a high-level application. However, the experience is not the only factor which forms the final price of the company assistance. The location of the experts is of great importance too. The diagram below visually explains what we mean, it’ll help you sort the issue out when planning your app development.
As you see, Eastern Europe seems to be the best option. Of course, you may apply to Indian developers, but, unfortunately, their code is often unclear.
Now let's summarize the budget ceiling needed to create music apps similar to Spotify.
- MVP model: from $50.000 to $80.000
- Support for different platforms:
- iOS: from $80.000 to $120.000 (or even higher)
- Android: from $95.000 to $150.000 (not a limit, though)
- both platforms: $150.000 - $190.000. And again, the price will increase as the functionality of your Spotify app clone becomes more complex.
Now you have all the necessary information about the cost to create a music app. Use it wisely.
According to Statista, music streaming has all the chances to cover 86% of the Digital Music Market of Europe by 2021. Moreover, streaming profits has already increased by 98%. You should think about it seriously! Maybe it's time to take action and join the ranks of leaders while it’s still possible.
Just figure out how to make a music streaming app, and you’ll be okay. We hope our article was helpful in this respect, and we're happy to provide you with even a higher level of assistance.
Our experts have a wide work experience, as you’ll see by visiting our portfolio. In addition, we are able to compromise and ready to meet the challenge of any complexity level!