How to make a music streaming app like Spotify? Features, tech stack & cost

8 min readMar 24, 2023


How to make a music streaming app

How to make a music streaming app

Do you use any music streaming apps?

Most of us will be using Spotify to listen to our favorite songs.

Image Source: MIDiA Research

Have you ever wondered how music streaming apps like Spotify work?

If so, this article will help you to understand some exciting details of popular music streaming applications like Spotify.

Music streaming has revolutionized the way we listen to music. Now millions of songs are available at your fingertips. You are the ability to create personalized playlists.

The music streaming industry expects to witness significant growth in the coming years.

By 2027, experts predict a rise of 1.12 billion users.

Top Leading Apps Of Audio Streaming Market

Names of top music streaming apps

Spotify App

  • Spotify is the leader in the music-streaming industry, with 205 million premium subscribers and 489 million monthly active users.
  • The app offers a personalized music experience.
  • Spotify’s integration with Facebook makes it easy for users to share music with people.
  • Spotify generates revenue through ads and premium subscriptions.
  • The app is available in 79 countries and continues to dominate the music streaming market.

Apple Music App

  • Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming app.
  • The app generated $8.3 billion in revenue in 2022.
  • The app has 88 million subscribers as of June 2022.
  • But, in comparison with Spotify, the application needs robust sharing options.

Amazon Music App

  • Amazon Music is a more advanced version of Amazon Prime Music.
  • The app recommends playlists based on the user’s listening habits and displays song lyrics on the “now playing” screen.
  • Users can access many songs and albums and create their own playlists to share.
  • Amazon Music has plan tiers for hi-resolution lossless audio called HD and Ultra HD, which is unavailable on Spotify.

Tidal App

  • TIDAL is a global music streaming app that is famous for its high sound quality.
  • The app features an extensive music library, offline music capabilities, and personalized recommendations.
  • TIDAL’s estimated revenue ranges between $100 to $200 million per year.

How Do Music Streaming Apps Like Spotify Work?

Working principle of Spotify

  1. Music streaming apps use servers to store and distribute music content to users.
  2. Users can access the music content by downloading it through the app.
  3. When a user searches for a song or artist, the app sends a request to the server.
  4. The server then searches its database for the requested music and sends it back to the user’s device.
  5. The app may use caching to store frequently accessed music on the user’s device to improve performance.
  6. The music is typically encoded in a compressed format like MP3 or AAC to reduce file size and improve streaming speed.
  7. Music streaming apps also use algorithms to suggest new music to users based on their listening habits.
  8. Apps may also use social features to allow users to share playlists or see what their friends are listening to.
  9. Music streaming apps often offer both free and paid subscription options with different features and limitations.
  10. Finally, these apps rely heavily on data analytics to track user behavior and preferences, which helps them to improve their services and recommendations continuously.

Features of An Ideal Music Streaming App

  • Account Registration

Registration allows users to create a personalized profile. Thus, users can enjoy customized recommendations based on their listening history and preferences.

  • Social Login

The social login feature provides users with a quick and hassle-free way to log in to the app using their existing social media accounts.

  • Easy Navigation

The app should have a simple and intuitive user interface to allow users to navigate different sections of the app easily.

Ideal features of a music streaming app

  • High-Quality Audio

The app should provide high-quality audio streaming with options to adjust the sound quality based on the user’s internet connection.

  • Extensive Collection

More users will download the application if the library includes a vast selection of songs from various genres and languages.

  • Personalized Playlists

Users must be able to create and save personalized playlists based on their moods, genres, and artists.

  • Push Notification

Push notifications are an excellent way to engage users and keep them updated on the latest happenings in the app.

  • Displaying Lyrics

The use of AI can help continuously display lyrics during playback to keep customers engaged with the app.

  • Download Option

Offline availability of music allows users to listen to their chosen tracks at any time without an active internet connection.

How To Create A Music Streaming App Like Spotify?

Find the right team

Finding experts is crucial to create a music streaming service. Two options are available for developing your app

Hire an in-house team

Hiring an in-house team requires a large budget and time for recruitment and management.

Outsource to a software development company.

Outsourcing involves studying the vendor’s portfolio, collecting client feedback, and signing a contract. This method will have a promising price-quality ratio. The provider will offer qualified specialists and monitor their work.

Companies like RaftLabs can deliver your dream projects in alignment with budget, timeline, and expectations.

Type of music streaming services

To create an audio streaming app, you must determine the type of app you want.

There are three common types of music streaming apps:

  • A music library app offers access to music under certain conditions, such as paid subscriptions or free access.
  • A cloud storage app allows users to store their music in the cloud and stream it from anywhere.
  • A radio station app has various radio stations arranged by specific themes and can provide streaming services to different devices.

Obtaining the license

  • Music streaming services allow users to listen to music without purchasing, but owners need a license to use music content.
  • To create a music streaming website or app, you must obtain Public Performance Rights.
  1. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) in the United States handle Public Performance Rights.
  2. In Europe, apply to the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) for Public Performance Rights.
  3. In India, two organizations, PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) and IPRS (The Indian Performing Right Societies Ltd) issue music licenses.
  • Spotify obtains two types of licenses for streaming music:
  1. Sound Recording License Agreements.
  2. Musical Composition License Agreements.
  • Streaming music without permission can result in a fine from a minimum of $30 K up to $150 K per song played, so do not skip licensing.

Choosing the right tech stack

We suggest using the following tech stack for building a Spotify like app:

Develop an MVP

It is important to develop an MVP for your project. It helps you determine whether the app’s outcomes meet your expectations.

The MVP of your audio streaming app must have the following:

  • A user-friendly music player that allows users to create playlists, add albums, etc.
  • Offer multiple options, such as integrating signups via social networks like Facebook or Google.
  • Provide a search function that allows users to search for music by artist, title, etc.
  • The provision to browse and download their favorite tracks.
  • Create, share, or delete playlists.

Developing the MVP requires careful planning and execution. You will have to

  1. Locate the target audience.
  2. Plan on the essential features to implement.
  3. Integrate with third-party services if required.
  4. Get feedback from early users.

It will help you understand your app’s glitches and create the best final version to release in the market.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Music Streaming App Like Spotify?

The key factors that can affect the cost of your music streaming app development are:

Platform: The cost varies according to the platform you choose. The cost of developing an iOS app differs from that of developing an Android app.

Features: The more features you want to include in your app, the more it will cost.

Design: To create an app with a more visually appealing and user-friendly design will cost you more.

Integration: Integrating APIs, SDKs, and other third-party services into your app may increase the development cost.

Maintenance and updates: Once your app is launched, you may need to maintain and update it regularly. This will incur additional costs.

The cost of developing a music streaming service typically ranges between $15K and $25K, but can increase to around $50,000 for an app with more advanced features. The final pricing will depend on your specific requirements.

How to Make Money Using a Music Streaming App Like Spotify?

There are several ways to make money using Spotify like app. Three of the most popular methods are freemium, subscription, and advertisements.

Freemium model: This app offers basic app features for free and advanced features for a fee. Spotify uses this model to attract users and upsell premium subscriptions for ad-free listening, offline playback, and better quality.

Subscription model: This app charges users a fee for unlimited music and personalized features like playlists and offline playback. Apple Music and Tidal utilize this model because it provides a steady revenue.

Advertisements: Music streaming apps like Spotify also earn revenue from targeted ads played before/during songs. Ads are vital for free/freemium services, but too many or intrusive ones can drive users away. Balancing revenue and user experience is key.

Revealing The Secret Elements Behind Spotify’s Success

Spotify’s success is due to its extensive user account customization and hyper-personalized features. The app encourages users to create their own playlists and build a music library on their accounts.

Spotify uses specially developed algorithms to analyze enormous amounts of collected data to understand users’ preferences. Python, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, and a memory caching system make the fundamental components of the Spotify technology stack.

Spotify’s true fame comes from its discovery algorithms, which analyze user data and behavior to provide a personalized user experience. Users can like or dislike songs; the app stores this information in their preferences section along with the artist, album, and song details. Spotify also analyzes what tracks users skip or listen to until the end to offer tracks that suit their taste.

Wrapping Up

Thanks to its cutting-edge technologies, Spotify currently dominates the market, providing users with personalized and relevant music content. However, this presents an opportunity for new players to enter the market and capture their share of success in the field.

Choosing the right development team is also critical to ensure that your app stands out from competitors and delivers an exceptional user experience. At RaftLabs, we can provide you with the expertise and experience you need to create a successful music streaming app that meets your users’ needs and expectations.

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