How to Build a Music Streaming App?

Why exactly have radio stations become so popular and essential in our everyday lives? Even now when we have TV sets and music players, we still listen to radio programs and streaming music. It’s simple – this concept gives us up-to-date information about the modern world and its tendencies.

So how can one put this huge amount of content into one small mobile device? Here it comes – one more field of activity for developers. Radio app development is a branch with its own history of formation and an imposing list of leaders.

A radio application is a bridge between a radio station and its listener, and there is no wonder why this construction should be beautiful and pleasant to walk on. To start from the very beginning, read How to Build a Mobile App in 7 Easy Steps. Now let’s figure out, what exactly you should know before making a streaming music app?

Music in the digital world

According to the latest Global Music Report published in April 2016, music streaming is basically a mainstream for a modern society. Yes, downloads remain a significant part, but the strongest driver of growth for the digital sector is streaming. Its revenues have been higher than download sales in 42 countries, and they account for more than 40% of global digital revenues.

Music Streaming App's Growth

Music streaming has become a new music revolution transforming the industry of recording. Now listeners dictate the direction of movement – and so one person changes national music markets.

Head of Digital Strategy at EMEA about Music Streaming Apps

If you have an idea of creating a streaming music app, it seems like you have a strong feeling of current tendencies. Let’s overview basic tips you need to know, which are adjustable for both Android and iOS platforms.

Choose the type of an app

You have to choose twice at the beginning of creating a radio station app. First, you’re looking for a single-tenant or multi-tenant app. And second, you need a streaming app or engagement app.

Single-Tenant or Multi-Tenant

Single-Tenant means that an app is made for one concrete radio station brand. This variant is more common for middle and large radio businesses. Multi-Tenant apps are those which include several stations. This choice is more appropriate for startups and small businesses.

Comparing single-tenant and multi-tenant apps

Streaming or Engagement

A streaming app is a part of an engagement app. Both of them give a listener access to a radio stream. But engaging makes this process interactive and keeps listener’s interest. We may say that basic streaming apps are the first step when you create your own application. And with time it would be preferable to include the option of conversation between your custom and station.

  • Engaging content includes:
  • Contests;
  • Song voting;
  • Games;
  • SMS integration;
  • Push notifications;
  • Weather and traffic, etc.

Basic features of an online radio app

If you decide on creating a single tenant engaging app, there is some basic knowledge you need to consider and use in your work sooner or later.

1. Best quality of streaming

The best codec solution for streaming audio to smartphones is AAC. While MP3 is friendlier on desktops, AAC provides a good quality stream even at 64Kbps. And this codec fits both Android and iOS software.

Due to the tests of Dolby Laboratories:

  • AAC file at 96 Kbs have better sound than MP3 at 128 Kbs
  • AAC file at 128 Kbs have much better sound than MP3 at 128 Kbs
  • AAC is the only broadcast format that gets “Excellent” at the test projects of the European Broadcasting Union

2. Registration option

Yes, we’d agree with you that it’s not necessary for a listener to sign up every time he uses a radio application. However, using this option, a person shares his or her preferences with you. And not only you can know better which music is more popular on your station, but also a user can create his own content adding everything he likes to playlists. So registration is the place where people’s loyalty begins.

3. All possible information about the song

Guess what happens when a person hears a song of his dream and doesn’t know its name? We all have been there. You look at your mobile screen and want to know everything at once. A task for a developer is to make this dream come true, and don’t be afraid to go further: include links to buy the song on iTunes or Google Play.

And this feature automatically becomes broader if you want listeners to see the songs that are coming up or have been already played. Let the station’s schedule be accessible and understandable.

4. Social activities

There’s no need to remind you about the importance of social networking and various types of communication. Music is one of the constant subjects for discussion. How would you apply it in your work?

You can help listeners and yourself if you add a “thumbs up” button just next to the name of the playing song. With this function, people share their opinions the fastest way. As for you, now you know better the list of the most popular and “likable” music and have free ads in users’ accounts. That’s how it looks in iHeartRadio application (including the name of the song, a link to iTunes and “thumbs up” button):

Favorite Music Streaming Apps

5. User notification

We’re already on the fifth item but even here we’re going to mention a registration option. Again, when you create an online music radio app, the best choice is to make it communicative. Knowing users’ tastes, you can sustain a conversation with them. Here we mean personalized approach based on push notifications.

People want to know more about their favorite artists, and with music you can give them another value – information. This additional data influences on customer’s loyalty and makes your app more attractive.

How can a push notification look on the example of Pandora application:

Pandora Music Streaming App Example

Additional options you might want to add to your radio application:

  • Music search with several filters: titles of songs, artists, albums, genre, recording studio, and so on;
  • Online and offline access to the music database;
  • Event calendar – this option is great for concert-goers;
  • Opportunity to upload music written by users.

Cost to build a radio station app

To create a good reputation for your app, you should inspire customers’ trust with a so-called “legitimate environment”. If you decide to stream music, you need to have a license which surely influences on the price of the product.

As for the radio app development cost, for now it is about $ 25000. And our developers are ready to discuss any of your ideas to create the most favorable price.

Final thoughts

Online streaming music app development becomes more and more popular year after year. The thing is, mobile radio applications are the easiest way to get to the music that people love. Moreover, with their iPhones or Android smartphones listeners have an influence on music tendencies.

This situation seems the most auspicious for developers to work on a streaming app. Primarily, there are several user’s tools that should be in the application. Quality of streaming, registration option, integration with social media, information about the songs, and push notifications are among them. And after you know how to develop a radio app, consider carefully particular qualities of its design. It should be most pleasant and unobtrusive at the same time - so the user would have a longing to come back as soon as possible.

Developing a streaming music application, you have a splendid opportunity to work with an eternal art form and, at the same time, create an embodiment of the modern music industry.

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