Mobile technologies has definitely changed our narrative on listening to music. The fact is that everything in our life is going mobile, music is not an exception. So not only music production has changed but its’ consumption too. Now we have gadgets and almost permanent Internet connection so we can listen to almost every song using music mobile apps.
In this article we are going to talk about how to make music apps and overview current music app market.
People usually split down the middle speaking about music apps. One side belongs to musicians that consider music apps as apps for music creation (digital audio workstations, huge variety of gear simulation software, etc.) and other camp consists of music fans who fairly reckon music apps like content playing software. I need to put a remarque that in this article we speak about apps for fans. So, dear musicians, sorry.
Now let’s have a quick look at what features a good music application should consist of.
Streaming instead of downloading
First thing to illumine is that music is no more a content you have to keep on your device. The reason is that a lot of music applications turned to streaming system. So how does it work? Surfing the app you find a fancy catching song and you can listen to it instantly without waiting for it to download. App sends request to perform this command to a server and server transmits the signal of a concrete song to your phone. The only disadvantage is that streaming music apps need a constant Internet connection to play new songs. But Internet is like everywhere today and you can save cache files of the song to your phone, so even without Internet connection you will be able to listen to favourite music. Cache files consume far fewer space on phones’ hard drive so win in any case.
This is true not only for music apps but for almost every app. In fact, users would wish to create playlists, share their favourite songs and pay subscription. Actually, your app needs a rough registration only if you want to gain profit from in-app purchases or providing premium features, because users will need to enter their credit card data somehow. If you don’t need such features, you can implement authentication via Facebook or Twitter or use users’ email and phone number.
Let users explore new horizons
As we decided above, users can listen to every music they want and the thing is to let them do it in your application without third parties (competitors). So allow them not only to listen their favourite songs (songs have a tendency to lose their “favouritness”) but discover new ones. It will definitely force them to stay in your app for a long time because searching for new artists is a time-consuming process. Customers should search music by title, artist, album, genre, tag or else. It’s also a good idea to implement recommendation playlists: users will be offered new music according to their taste and preferences (if user likes Metallica, offer him Iron Maiden).
Creating libraries and playlists
A lot of people don’t listen to music album after album. Usually they like one or two songs in album so there’s no need to force them to listen the whole plate. Allow them to create their own playlists, so they could just turn “random playing” mode and go jogging or to work.
It’s a good to allow people to share their playlist and to boast of their elegant music taste. It will also help people that want to explore new music genres but don’t know what artist to start from (something like “best progressive rock” of “top AC/DC like bands/songs”).
Make your app social
No, social in this context doesn’t mean totally free. It’s about allowing people to share their favourite or recently discovered music content through social networks. It fact, it’s a golden ticket for you to lure new users. It’s common practise for people to advise something good to their friends. For example, “Oh, how Astonishing by Dream Theater is amazing. Where did you find it?” and the answer is “The X app offered it as a recommendation, I like it very much too”. So this situation is +1 customer for you.
It will be a great feature for those who love listening to live playing music. So it’s a good idea to implement a live show calendar or send push notifications about concerts nearby the user. You can actually allow users to organize their trip to concert or after party (allowing to create chat conferences, something like “Rihanna, Boston 20.10.17, autograph session raid”) It’s a common practise in social networks but implementing such a feature to your app will increase users’ activity.
Top music apps
Knowledge about market leaders is the first checkpoint on the way to make music app that will conquer the market. This kenning is useful to match competitors advantages and disadvantages and in future outstrip first and avoid second ones.
Apple Music. Although, it’s newish in the music app field, but it has already received status the best audio streaming platform. It has over 30 million songs in its’ library and an around-the-clock radio streaming. You can also upload music and stream it through your device. The key feature of Apple Music is that it allows a variety of subscription plan including discounts for students and a family plan for 6 users.
Google Music can boast of one of the most charged content library. It has over 35 million songs to listen. Subscribers are offered with ad elimination, ability to create their own playlists and as a bonus - YouTube Red subscription.
Pandora. It’s also one of the music app market leader. The biggest advantage of Pandora is that it’s available not on smartphones but on practically every platform including vehicles. In fact, because this app is widely cross platforming, it has a bit non-interactive interface so everything you can do is to skip tracks, like and unlike them. Free users are offered with a limited amount of skips but paid subscribers forget about this limitation.
Spotify is also a music app giant and it stands in one line with Google Music and Apple Music. Their secret is that you can use its’ huge library at absolutely no cost. Of course, free accounts have limitations like new album delay and ads. The key feature of Spotify is that it allows to post music a user listens to on Facebook. More about Spotify like app development you can read here.
Licensing and copyrights
Maybe the biggest advantage of music streaming applications is that you are allowed to listen to music without need to buy it. So you want to implement streaming service in your product, you should care about so-called Public Performance Rights. In USA you can handle it from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and in Europe you should deal with Society of European Stage Authors and Composers.
How much does music app development cost
Maybe the most interesting in our article. There is no need to say that costs differ from developer to developer and project complexity.
Let’s assume features that we were talking about and pick up the most indispensable features and their time-consuming rates. We should also mention necessary parts that are crucial for every app.
- Project setup: 15-25 hours
- Registration: 15-20 hours
- API implementation: 20 hours
- Searching filters: 10-25 hours
- Basic frontend: approximately 250 hours
- Basic backend: 400 hours
As a conclusion, let’s think about music industry as one entity. Your music application should somehow amplify this entity so don’t discover the continent again. If your product can do anything your competitors can’t, it’s already a win and a good charge.
Thunderrisу Dev Team is on board to develop your music app, contact us for more details.