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How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Music Streaming App Like Spotify

Ajay Kumar By Ajay Kumar | December 4, 2019

When happy- enjoy music, when sad understand music, when partying- jump on the tunes, when concentrating- indulge into it, the music got its place everywhere. 

Music is something that is an inseparable part of our everyday life. 

Indulge in any kind of music and you will always end up finding yourself in any of the situations. It is like breathing the rhythms. 

This music made its debut in the mobile app development industry too. Many businesses, startups or a person with great ideas are trying their hand to develop a music-based mobile application. 

Meanwhile, blindfolded believing just the words is like nodding yes to something not worthy to deal in. 

That’s why we got a few real numbers to get started with.

  1. Spotify in the year 2016 got 30 million paid users who are further followed by 15 million users of Apple music. 
  2. Online music streaming revenue is expected to grow at a rate of more than 20% YoY (Year on Year) to reach US$24 billion by the end of 2019. 
  3. As per the new industry report, global recorded music revenues jumped 9.7 percent in 2018 which was $17.4 billion in 2017 is expected to reach $19.1 billion. 
  4. There are more than 255 million users of paid subscription streaming accounts.

When done with these numbers, scroll down and witness something more.

revenue graph of apps

Seeing the revenue graph, there are more numbers to explore.

  • Music streaming segment revenue amounts to US$6,637m in the year 2017.
  • Revenue is about to show an annual growth rate of 12.7% that will ultimately result in the market share of US$10,691m in the year 2021. 
  • User penetration is at 26.0% in the year 2017, which is expected to reach 29.4.% in the year 2021.
  • ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) amounts somewhere to US$6.50.
  • As per the global music streaming market comparison perspective, most of the revenue is generated from the United States.

Another revenue graph is here to show you another side of music streaming apps like Spotify mobile app development- 

global recorded music industry revenues

With it, now comes the number of music streaming apps like Spotify users who are expected to hit 1400.7 million by 2022. 

music streaming users

 The upward graph is a clear representation of how the music streaming apps like Spotify market is opening endless opportunities for businessmen, startups and even for a layman. 

To validate it all the more, there is another graph waiting for you to get explored. 

time spent on mobile apps

Right after Social networking, the maximum number of times is spent on music streaming applications. Taking the second place, the domain is aggressively growing. 

So, whatever aforementioned was all about numbers, graphs, and statistics, it is now the time to indulge in the core of music streaming apps like Spotify. 

Let’s get started-

Many a time, when exploring the app store for musical applications, getting confused with different top music streaming services types is quite common. 

You must have come across-

Types of applications

  • Music Editing Apps
  • Music Learning Apps
  • Music Streaming Apps
  • Apps for Music Bands
  • Music Identification apps

Quite relatable?

To clear all the clutter and confusion, let us follow our mainstream agenda and that is music streaming apps like Spotify.

To strengthen the claim, given below is the list of apps ranking high and absolutely sound in the app store and in the users’ life respectively. 

Top 10 players in the Music Streaming industry

  1. Apple music
  2. Pandora
  3. Spotify
  4. Amazon music
  5. Google play music
  6. Youtube music
  7. Iheart radio
  8. Soundcloud
  9. Songza
  10. Beats music

Among these applications, Spotify is something you are more familiar with. 

So before flowing with the content, let us stop for a moment and figure out a bit about Spotify. 

A brief of what Spotify is all about?

Spotify that has gained widespread attention from all over the world is a Swedish based audio streaming platform. 

The app is ruling the global music streaming market share with over 217 million monthly active users according to the company’s official Q1 2019 report. Out of these, 100  million are Spotify Premium subscribers.

An app that was launched in the year 2008 is today a company of more than $5.98 billion with a net profit of $88.65 million. 

spotify growth timeline

Through its algorithms and services based on it, Spotify always managed to satisfy users accordingly. 

How does Spotify manage User Satisfaction

By using the NPS scale that measures how likely a user will recommend a product or service to another, Spotify always manages to steal the show. It is continuously scoring in the 20s from the last three quarters of 2017. 

The digit is comparatively high as compared to Apple that has managed to score more than 5 whereas Google Play Music is still on the low side. 

music streaming NPS

The figure might be low in terms of share and popularity but that does not mean they are failing miserably. 

Though low in number here but the aforementioned apps do top the music streaming platform. 

Ever wondered what makes these applications top the chart? All the applications available today on the market offering some sort of music but what really set these top 10 apps set apart.

To get the answer, keep scrolling. 

But before continuing, here is a humble request, prep your favorite beverage, take a comfy corner, play your favorite music in the background as the blog is going to answer all your interest precisely. 

Let’s get started- 

So, we were saying that what makes successful apps actually successful?

It might be the user interface, user experience, marketing strategies, or features. Among these, features are something that grabs the maximum of attention. 

Here we got you some features to be added-

10 + 1 features to be added in music streaming apps like Spotify

Now that you have decided to go ahead with music streaming mobile app development, given below are the features not to be missed-

1 – Captivating UI/UX

If there is nothing that captivates the audience’s mind in the very beginning, nothing else can do the job. 

To attract the maximum number of audiences, UI/UX of the app should be accurate, easy, user-friendly, engaging and simple. The more simple the interface will be, the more will the chances of app viraling and active users.

Also, UI/UX gets the weightage because it is something that triggers the audience’s mind in the very beginning. If it fails to do so, starting from resources, cost, hard work, time will go in vain. 

We got you a pro tip- when developing an application, do not skip Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It is a mirror that will show you if your app idea is acceptable in the market and what can be done next to make it fit in the market. 

2 – On-boarding process

Once the user is done with downloading the app and prepare himself/herself to use the app- the next is the onboarding process. 

This is the page that will redirect the user to the core of the app. Thus, the user should be given the option of registering to the app through various different sources. The various sources could be social media account, Gmail, facebook account and many more. 

Apart from that, the information that is meant to be given by users like name, country, age, gender, contact number and photo(optional) can later be used for future scaling and music Streaming industry analysis. Also, it becomes easy to keep track of the user’s music taste for offering better music recommendations. 

Checkout how user persona can help in this. 

3 – Home page and music playlist

Have you ever used Spotify? The app enables one to select their choice of songs once they are done with the login process. 

Giving users to choose their taste of songs from the collection of different categories and language categories can help in more user engagement. 

But that does not mean that users are bound to shuffle between those options only. The choices are just what interest users the more. Apart from that, the app should be developed in such a way that it allows users to go beyond the boundary to let them listen to anything they want. 

For example- today’s hit, romantic beats, etc can make enhance the overall user experience. The flexibility aspect here is stealing the show, lack of flexibility can be a huge turn off for the users. 

4 – Let user search and discover

Anything that is left unexplored is the most important thing. Taking the same thought ahead can add some weight to the app. 

Thus, the user should be given the option of exploring as they are using music streaming apps like Spotify. Through the option, users are given the option to filter music from the pool of music libraries and databases. 

To ease the effort and minimizing the hard work, app developers can mark filters with albums, artists, mood, song names and year too. 

Check out time tested strategies to increase User engagement level

5 – Let them share and stay socially active

It is the era of social presence. You can use the chance to make the user do some social marketing for your app too. 

Let users share what they are listening to their friends, social circle, social networking sites, etc. 

Apart from letting users share, making them follow their favorite artists from within the application would make them remain updated on a new album or song. 

The freedom of sharing things on social media can actually help in boosting the app’s performance and app’s visibility in the market. 

6 – Nothing new should be unnoticed

It is obvious, those who share tracks on social media would like to get updated on anything new coming in the app. 

To serve what came, push notifications can do the job. Push notifications are the way through which users remain connected with each other while getting constant updates in the app. 

Remember, not sending push notifications is like missing the scope of communicating with the users. 

Also, check out the right time to update the application to remain ahead in the league always. 

7 – Offline music under reach

There comes a time when users are in the out-of-network zone. And there are many a time when they want to listen to the same old track on loop. 

Thus, the app should be designed with the option of offline music support. Offering the option of offline music would make a difference between your app and the app skipping feature. 

Allowing users to listen to their favorites even without an internet connection will engage more users to the app. 

8 – Everything matter so does Bitrate

Delaying in offering the best music streaming service demanded by the user can affect the app for a longer time period.

Sounds bad? Well, there is good news too. 

When developing a music-streaming application, ensure that your mobile app developer is using a particular platform that can make users download the app within seconds. Not just that, ensure that buffer-free music experience is available to the users. 

9 – Do not forget about the quality of the music

Indulging in quality and not quantity can cut maximum barriers, max music-streaming apps often fail to admit. 

There are formats like Lossless and FLAC are capable of offering good quality but lacks when it comes to streaming due to massive size. Thus, choosing an MP3 instead of these formats can do magic. 

Meanwhile, for every kind of user, keeping options on the size and working smartly is favorable for the long run. In the midst, do not forget to offer the best to the premium users too. 

10 – Personally Personalized

This feature entirely revolves and focuses on enhancing the user experience. 

To enhance and engage users all the more, app developers can design the app with different options for themes. By offering different themes will give users the chance to engage fully with the app again. 

Furthermore, appealing virtualization when media is playing is also a plus point for the application. 

*to make app all the more engaging, try recommending songs as per the current location of the user by using the right controllers. The audio widget should not be left untouched. 

An additional feature to indulge in

There are numerous features that can also be added to give more edge to the overall music streaming mobile application. 

Those additional features are-

  • Giving users the chance to book tickets for the upcoming music fest in the city. The idea can bring more revenue. 
  • Calendar placed with events.
  • Integrating chatting or messaging option within the app.
  • Do not miss to offer radio stations
  • Options for selecting and marking favorite songs and music. 

Wrapping up this segment, we are to take off to another music streaming apps like Spotify destination called architecture. 

Nothing works without a layout or architecture and the same goes for the music streaming application. 

This is how the architecture of music streaming apps like Spotify looks like- 

We have reached to back-end technologies.

Back-end technologies music streaming apps craves for

For making the music streaming application perfectly compatible with both web and mobile platforms, developers can make use of Cassandra, PostgreSQL and general caching systems of the memory. 

Meanwhile, here is a list of tools that can effectively lower the impact of complexities and the Cost to Develop a Music Streaming App too- 

  • For processing and managing real-time data- Kafka Software
  • For storage and caching- Amazon S3 is a great pick
  • For integrating the app with Python services and model-based testing, go ahead with GraphWalker.
  • Google Cloud Platforms or Datapro is an opt-in choice for primary platform structure.
  • Chromium Embedded Framework can be a great option for desktop-based UI.
  • Use Bootstrap for making the music streaming apps like Spotify look sleek and classy for a number of websites. 
  • Nginx for HTTP and proxy server.

Apart from that, there is a list of tools used by these applications to reach the level they are in today- 

What is the Music intelligence algorithm to include in

There are three ways to track or curate the recommendations algorithm mobile app developers can look at- 

  1. Music data curation through human 
  2. By using audio analysis algorithm
  3. The amalgamation of both of these things

To understand the algorithm properly, let us give you the example of Spotify- 

The popular app uses the music intelligence platform Echonest & eMusic for synthesizing billions of data points. The points then transform into musical understanding as per artist, fan, song while offering API & more. 

The algorithm is important because when a user dislikes or likes the song or a particular track, it keeps track of the feedback. Through the feedback, the algorithm automatically pushes up and below the songs too. 

Apart from that, these algorithms are so strong that they can track users’ preferences through the skipping pattern. 

These algorithms are the powerhouse because, without it, the scope of improving the overall listening experience for the user cannot take place. 

Reaching here and missing out on other miscellaneous yet important technologies is a sin. 

To escape the sin, let us indulge ourselves with these miscellaneous technologies.

Miscellaneous technologies that need your concern

  1. For data management- Datastax
  2. For Voice, SMS and Phone verification, choose Nexmo
  3. For programming, go ahead with GWT
  4. Push Notifications are best with Bandwidth and Twilio
  5. For payments, nothing is better than PayPal and Braintree
  6. For everything associated with the email is Mandrill.

Considering these steps, let us come to the promising part about the cost

Cost of Developing on-demand music streaming mobile app

To make you understand how much does it cost to make a streaming app, we have broken down the costing factors into different phases- 

Here we go- 

  1. Planning and estimation
  2. Finding reliable mobile app developers
  3. Designing the application 
  4. Choosing the right platform
  5. Getting the license
  6. Developing features and functionalities

Now, let us touch them in great depth- 

Planning and estimation phase

Before starting with the actual development process, prepare a detailed planned concept of the project. 

Look why and how your competitors are succeeding and figure out a way to overpass their success growth with your application. 

You might be wondering, when your competitor is succeeding, it means people are liking what they are offering.

But in reality, users might be waiting for something that can actually change their way of streaming and listening to music. When finding out what is missing, tailor your application’s features and functionalities to match the user’s needs. 

The first phase might look as if it is free of cost, but in reality, it is a time-consuming and costly affair. And both the things are worthy to indulge in. 

Finding the right and reliable mobile app developers

Once you are done with what you want in your application, the next step is questing for the right mobile app developer. 

Make sure you are considering factors like rates, location, language, demographics, cultural differences, etc . when considering or appointing mobile app developers or the on-demand music streaming app development company.

Outsourcing your mobile app development can be proven as a great solution. 

Meanwhile, figure out how much does it cost to develop a mobile application before jumping in how much does it cost to develop a music streaming app as per the location. 

hiring developer rates based on location

After that, there is a list of things you should ask the mobile app development company before yes to them. 

Planning to develop an app like Spotify

Once finalizing the right mobile app development company or reliable mobile app developers, it is time to jump to the next step called wireframing of the project. 

Wireframing will showcase how skeletally your app will look like with features and every action required. It is basically a visual guide representing your app. 

When doing so, remember that users love to use apps that are easy to use followed by the easy on-boarding experience. 

Prototyping will be the stage that will take the responsibility of testing the app- something that will incur costs too. Make sure you are thoroughly done with your competitor’s research along with putting the best part. 

Deciding platform like Spotify

It is the next factor that will determine the Cost to Develop a Music Streaming App. 

It is often recommended to go ahead with the native applications rather than choosing a cross-platform application. The reason here is if you go ahead with a native app,  there will be higher chances of offering a seamless and smoother experience to the users- something that will also match the existing operating system too. 

Spotify’s SDK is available for both iOS and Android. 

Bonus- check out the cost of iOS mobile app development.

Getting your application licensed

No matter how awesome music you are going to share with the audience, not taking the copyright and not following the legal procedure can take you behind the bars. 

To safeguard you from legal conditions, there is a lawsuit is in the store stored for you. 

To go ahead with the same, you need to have a Public Performance Rights License. Moving on to the other side, there are 3 agencies in the USA namely ASCAP.com, BMI.com or SESAC.com. 

Furthermore, certain sort of revenue or royalty needs to be paid to the artists or musicians sharing their composition and things in your application.

*just like licensing, NDA is something that can safeguard your idea from leaking.

Features to be developed

  • Authentification 

To understand this point all the more, take the example of Spotify. The app utilizes the freemium business model along with offering a trial period before finally paying for the subscription. Not just that, the app is connected to the social media platform called Facebook allowing users to sign in through their accounts. 

To go ahead with the same feature, 24 hours are required to develop front-end whereas 16 hours are the need for attending the backend part. 

  • Music streaming 

For making the music streaming uninterrupted and smooth, you can go ahead with simple MVP. 

MVP generally takes 60-80 hours for front-end whereas a minimum of 50 hours is dedicated to the back-end part. Moving on to the music streaming feature, around 600 hours are strictly required to develop the app. 

  • Search 

Spotify makes users choose among playlists and select the one that suits their mood currently. Apart from that, users are free to search as per the artist, album or a particular genre. 

Its MVP generally required 50-60 hours for developing the front-end and around 50 hours to go ahead with the back-end. 

  • Sharing music

It is all about sharing the tracks and seeing the playlists. Its front-end will take 5 hours for each platform whereas the back-end will take 60 hours to develop.

  • Playlists 

There is a team of developers who work to set playlist as per the mood and expectations of the users. Apart from that, users can also set their own collection of music and also with their friends. 

Its front-end would take 40 hours whereas the back-end will take 70 hours to take place. 

So, these are the things that will affect the cost of developing on-demand music streaming mobile app.

Just like on-demand music streaming apps like Spotify, the on-demand taxi industry is also flourishing. Check out the most famous on-demand taxi booking apps that are ruling the market. 

When this was the final answer to the costing part, we have got you further reading to let you know how to earn money through music streaming apps. 

How to earn money from Music Streaming mobile application

Reaching here must have given you something to grasp. Here is something that needs your attention now. 

Before indulging in the steps to earn money from music streaming apps, master the art of how to earn money through an application first. 

Hope you are done with the basic understanding of how to earn through the application, with it, let’s get started with the promising part- 

How to earn money through music streaming mobile application

Charging the customers

  • Subscriptions  
  • Ads
  • Additional sources of revenue

Charging the artists

  • Monetizing the songs
  • Promotion

Let’s start from the beginning-

Charging the customers 

  • Subscription – there are basically two ways to manage the subscription model.

The first one is about letting the user use the basic features of the app and charging them later if they want to use additional functionality. 

The second belongs to providing access only to the users who are holding a premium subscription. 

Apart from that, music streaming apps like Spotify are also integrated with another business model that derives revenue called advertisements. 

  • Ads 

One of the most traditional ways to charge users to earn money. When listening to music, users are open to banner ads on the screens or audio ads in between the tracks. And if users are convinced to use the app, they can later be asked to upgrade to paid accounts.

  • Another source of Revenue

For an additional source of revenue, you can let your users buy concert tickets through the application. The buying of tickets will become profitable for both users and app owners. 

Take the example of Pandora that has received $76 million from its ticketing service. 

Also, you can also introduce karaoke in your application to attract a number of users and thus, earn revenue too. 

Google Play Music and Apple Music ask for a fee when a user wants to listen to a song. 

When this was all about how you can earn by charging your users, there is another scope that lets you earn money by charging artists. 

Scroll down and see how you can do it. 

Charging the artists

  • Monetizing the songs

For new and emerging artists, it is often seen that SoundCloud is the best platform to promote the songs in. 

The app monetization in it includes artists to promote their free in the first phase, whereas the second phase is all about promoting the song by paying some amount as a fee. The third phase or the plan is given to artists to schedule their track releases. 

Now that you have already made up your mind about launching your music streaming apps like Spotify, make sure to include this feature too. 

When talking about free, there is a secret through which free apps make money. Indulge into it too. 

  • Promotion

There is nothing best than targeting Spotify to understand how the app promotes their albums and songs. 

In the middle of everything, it is still a challenge to develop a music streaming apps like Spotify that can offer what a user asks for. 

To go ahead in the same direction, you need to have a thoughtful business strategy and advanced technology. 

Congratulations, you have grasped everything you should definitely know about music streaming apps like Spotify. 

But if you think you are done with it, unfortunately, you are wrong…!

After launching your mobile application, its maintenance is something that needs to be taken care of like a child. After all, your idea is your brainchild, do not let it malnourished.

Do you know why to maintain your application?

We got you 3 reasons to understand why app maintenance is required- 

  1. Once the app is published and launched in the app store, you still need to create new content as per changing Music Streaming industry trends and requirements. 
  2. After that, tracking how your app is performing is also important. 
  3. Bringing in something new and engaging to make users happy, engaged and keep coming back to your application is absolutely mandatory. This is something that requires maintenance of the app.
  4. We get you another bonus to enjoy. To let users pay for the service without any glitches, ensure that you are upgrading the payment options too. 

These are the 4 most important points to see apart from the list of other requirements. 

We believe that we have answered the maximum of your queries. If you think you are still not filled with enough information, feel free to connect with us.

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.

⚡️ by Appventurez

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