How to make a Music Streaming App?
There has never been a better time to create your own music streaming app. There, I said it. Revenue from streaming accounts for more than 75 percent of the total music industry revenue, and it’s not going to stop growing anytime soon. Combine the revenue from physical CDs, digital downloads and even licensing deals together and the streaming revenue would still win by a mile. So, you’re right if you are looking to make a music streaming app.
Such is the growth of the music streaming industry and increase in its adoption by users across the world that subscription prices of various platforms such as Spotify, Tidal etc don’t seem to take a dip around the corner. Investors and VCs across the world, too, seem to be more inclined to invest when it comes to startups and music streaming apps. Another indicator as to why the business model of streaming music apps is booming and more can be seen as the decline of 27 and 41 percent revenue of digital downloads and physical purchases.
In this post, we are going to discuss the process of how to make a music streaming app. We will also discuss the various apps that are dominating the music streaming space. Following that, we will also discuss the legal and tech considerations when it comes to building a music streaming app.
Types of Music Streaming Apps
While it may seem very simple to understand the working and how music streaming apps operate, it is important for you to cautiously understand the dynamics and constraints for a different type of music streaming apps. Before you set out to make a music streaming app for yourself, make sure you understand the different types of music streaming apps. Let’s have a look at them here:
On-Demand and Interactive Music Streaming Apps
These are the most important and prevalent type of music streaming apps. And if you are looking to make a music streaming app, there’s a good chance that you’ll go for this type itself. In the on-demand music streaming apps, the users are able to search songs for them and then play songs of their choice. By the very definition of “On-Demand”, these apps are able to play songs as per the demands made by users. Some of the most popular on-demand music streaming apps include the big-guns like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and much more. These apps have to partner and/or strike deals with the music labels which then allows them to let users stream the music. For striking these deals, they have to pay a certain amount, which they’re able to collect from the users itself.
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If you choose to create on-demand music streaming app, you will be able to cater to the unique tastes and interests of music lovers from across the world. Since everyone’s busy and don’t really have the time to search, sort and select what songs they want to play, it is an amazing idea to give them a mobile app that lets them play whatever song they want, whenever they want, on-the-go
Pandora and iHeartRadio are the best examples of radio station mobile apps and they’ve been quite popular in the western part of the world, too. However, they’re not as popular as the on-demand counterparts such as Google Play or Spotify. The users are not able to play songs according to their likings in these apps. Before you finalize the type of music streaming app you will be making, make sure you understand the dynamics of radio stations and broadcasting apps. This will allow you to take an informed decision on how to make a music streaming app.
Quite obviously, since these apps call themselves radio stations, they play songs for you which they think you might like. Say a person listens to Iron Maiden and Metallica more than other bands, a radio station app would then assume that he/she would like a song by Megadeth.
Even the licensing agreements are different when it comes to the radio station apps, as they don’t have to stream the songs on-demand. This is a great option since the licensing costs are not a lot in this kind of apps.
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Song and Lyrics Identification Apps
While these apps don’t really qualify as music streaming apps, but they’ve gained a considerably large user base over the last few years. Shazam is probably the best testament to the success of these apps. While Shazam dominates this segment, there are a number of other apps that have garnered tremendous success in the past. Some of these include Musixmatch, SoundHound and TrackID.
Playing songs from the phone memory or even streaming functionalities can be easily added with these songs and lyrics identification apps. Now that we’ve discussed the various type of music streaming apps, let us discuss the important features that you must take care of while planning to make a music streaming app.
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Must-Have Features in the Music streaming App.
Large Music Library – At Sodio, we are about building products that are meant to dominate their respective industries. And for a music streaming app to truly garner user base from across the world, having a magnanimous music library is of utmost importance. A music library and how you manage it probably something that trumps every other metric. First of all, to make sure that you won’t be winding up in legal problems, make sure that you have licensed music with the various labels. Following this, the songs and tracks need to be stored somewhere, from where the app will have to fetch them whenever it needs to be played. Any cloud service such as Amazon S3 with the content delivery network will be great for this purpose. All the points and their due consideration is very important for your project to make a music streaming app.
Onboarding the users – In the last few years with almost each and every music streaming app, on-boarding the users is a big part of the battle. Personalization and customization of the user experience is done completely through this step. This acts as the part where we get ahold of user’s musical preferences and their virtues. This data can be further used to make your recommendation engine better with every user.
Not only this, some apps even go as far as to asking the genres, singers, and bands that the users like. This gives them straight away indicators as to what the users prefer. This data and it’s power can be leveraged by using AI and ML in your apps, thus making your recommendation even better.
Make the “Search” seamless – Since the app is about music, like every other entertainment mobile apps, the users are going to search a lot. And by a lot, I mean enough to make you worried. You will have to come up with a really incredible search engine for your music streaming app to be successful. Apart from letting users search for various songs, playlists, tracks, and genres; you can also make your search engine capable of searching for music by mood and activity.
Give the best recommendations – Whether you’re trying to make on-demand music streaming app or a radio streaming service, your music streaming must be great with recommendations. As a matter of fact, despite being many steps ahead in other parameters, Apple Music faces incredibly tough competition from Spotify and Pandora because the other two happen to have an amazing recommendation feature. Always remember that building a great recommendation feature would be the deciding factor for the success of your project to make a music streaming app.
Once you know what to include in your music streaming app, there remains the small matter of actually designing the app. Music app designs are as diverse as the music itself. Looking at the popular music streaming apps such as Spotify and Apple Music, we can see that the possibilities are endless, but what matters most is having a clean, usable and easily understandable UI. The visuals while your app plays the best music are as crucial to your platform as the music itself. Tell me, what’s the use of having over a million songs in your database, only to be let down by the actual designing of the app, thereby making it unusable?
Design approaches include three main stages if we look at it broadly.
Designing the core experience of the user
This may be called as the first step towards the design of the app. Here, we need to recognize the type of content we are offering, and what actions/buttons/features we need to design in order to make the most of that particular feature. Apple Music, for instance, focuses on people populating their libraries with whatever music they like. They build the user’s music library in such a way that it is more of a tool to discover new music. In this way, Apple caters both to people who rely on consuming curated content, and those who want to broaden what they listen to, and are open.
Giving your brand a visual presence with the design
Keeping your brand visible on the screen at all times, yet so subtly hidden that a regular user may not be able to spot it is the way to go here. Designing to give your brand a visual presence also relies heavily on designing around the artwork displayed on the screen. This includes mainly album art, covers and other artist feature artworks. Treating this as part of the UI experience would be a good approach to designing for your brand identity.
Subtle animations, design elements cleanly designed, and easy flows of action are what makes UI and UX top notch for any app, and are very important to understand if you look to make a music streaming app, be it music or anything else. Talking about music apps specifically, it is all about taking small steps to ensure an enriching experience for the user. For instance, the app should automatically display online or offline music depending on the availability of the internet. Customizing the app based on the user’s pattern of consuming content is also important. You might have seen Spotify or Apple Music give you music suggestions in a separate “For You” section, curated just be recognizing and analyzing what kind of music the user already loves. This customized section is the heart of all music streaming apps and is an X-factor for many of them. Learn from the best and make this your own. Also, since you’re looking to make a music streaming app, reading this post would be highly recommended.
Two types of contracts and licensing agreements will be needed for the final execution of your project to make a music streaming app. These include sound recordings and compositions. These sound recordings and compositions come with rights and can be owned by multiple holders.
Every radio station and streaming service provider needs to pay copyright holders for the right to produce and make copies of their content. These payments are called royalties. Labels, music publishers, and songwriters need to be paid in the licensing transactions.
Get in Touch with Sodio
Sodio has been working on projects with cutting-edge technologies and incredible scale. If you are looking to make a music streaming app and need help with it, feel free to get in touch with Sodio. Our team of developers and incredible designers will be happy to help you regarding anything related to your music streaming app development. As soon as you get in touch with us, our solution architects and product managers will communicate via a discovery call following which the plan is devised as per your requirements and expectations. So, feel free to get in touch with us.