The music streaming industry is growing exponentially as the choices available for accessing and listening to music have doubled over the past decade. The revenue in the music streaming segment worldwide is projected to reach $21,315 million by 2025. Music lovers of these days are accustomed to listening to music while on the go.
Music streaming websites like SoundCloud are evolving as a modern solution to age-old entertainment. SoundCloud is a perfect example of a music streaming platform that is the largest community of artists, bands, creators of audio and music, and podcasters. In fact, SoundCloud came as a rescue to the music industry that was struggling to get rid of online music piracy. Moreover, the global online music streaming subscriptions hiked 35% in the first quarter of 2020 which is driven by the increased usage of music streaming platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you want to attain a strong foothold in the competitive music industry, you must be thinking of how to build a music streaming website to provide on-demand music streaming services to your target audience.
To create a music streaming site like SoundCloud, you must know which technologies you must use, how much time it would take, and much it costs- Let’s figure it out all in this blog.
What is SoundCloud and How it Works?
Established in 2007, SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows users to upload, share, and promote recordings. SoundCloud is more than a streaming service, it is an open global community which allows musicians to publish and distribute their audio tracks. The concept of SoundCloud is a user-friendly platform that allows users to listen to the latest music.
The platform allows users to listen to songs from popular music artists and labels just like the music you hear on the radio. For music artists, it’s a great way to upload original tracks to share with fans and for fans, it is easy to tune in to their favorite artists. Apart from music tracks, SoundCloud is also great to stream embeddable audio pieces for sports and new media outlets.
Besides allowing artists to upload their creations and music lovers to listen to songs, SoundCloud allows users to share recordings in popular social networks like Facebook using the URL or specific widgets. It also allows users to leave comments on any audio files. Another great feature that is used by a lot of artists is to browse their favorite artist’s playlist to listen to on the go. SoundCloud has a desktop version in addition to music streaming apps for Android and iOS devices. While the applications are free to download, it also offers 2 paid versions called Pro and Pro unlimited.
There are mainly 2 types of users for SoundCloud- Artists who want to promote their music and music tracks and those who want to listen to these audio tracks.
Contributors can post and organize their music on SoundCloud and track the demographics of listeners. They can also offer links to listeners to either download or buy their tracks and post public updates on other social profiles whenever they post new tracks.
People can browse, listen to audio tracks, comment on what they listen to, and share it over other channels. Listeners can also repost the tracks marking it as favorites to their own profiles or post it to a group. They can also build their own custom playlists and even download songs that contributors have posted on the platform.
Building an audio streaming website- Where to begin?
We cannot deny that SoundCloud is one of the most popular music streaming services and there is a valid reason for that. SoundCloud is a comprehensive audio streaming app that provides a truly enjoyable user experience. Developing an audio streaming software is not an easy task, you have to be consistent and motivated to make it a reality. And, there are many aspects you must keep in mind which are as follows.
No music streaming service can thrive in the competitive industry with attractive UI/UX and that is why it makes an integral part of your success.
To thrive in the industry, every music streaming service needs to have the right business model to monetize their efforts and to grow their brand.
The audio tracks you are going to stream in your streaming app costs money. Hence, it is important to manage the licensing part to avoid getting in trouble with the copyright owners.
Your audio streaming service must offer a basic set of audio functionalities to your users along with some extra features to stand out among competitors.
How to build a music streaming app like SoundCloud?
To create an audio streaming app, there are some features to consider before getting started with your SoundCloud like app development. Firstly, you have to determine the type of service you are going to create. A music streaming website is a quite general term. There are different types of streaming music services like:
Music sharing websites like SoundCloud offers your users access to a vast collection of audio tracks and music. You can either offer the service for free, flat rate, or partially free access with ads.
This allows users to store the tracks and stream them from anywhere, anytime.
Theme radio stations
This type of service connects radio stations by certain themes that can be streamed to home audio, PC, or any mobile devices.
Key Features to start a music sharing websites like SoundCloud
Creating an audio streaming service greatly depends on the type of streaming app you want to build. Another significant factor to consider is the set of features your service is going to have. Here are the essential features to consider if you want to build music platforms like SoundCloud.
While a music streaming service must have registration as a feature, it wouldn’t be right to say that streaming services need registration. You can allow users to access your service without registering and creating an account. However, if you want to offer premium features, ability to create playlists, you must include registration and signing in features when you create a website like SoundCloud. You can also include the option to log in via social profiles like Google and Facebook accounts to make it easy for them.
Once the users register in your application, allow them to create their user profiles to input their personal information which can be edited later.
Search is another important feature any music streaming service must have as users not just listen to their favorite tracks but also might want to discover new ones. Search also helps them to search for music tracks by title, artists, album, genre. When you create a music streaming website, think of offering your users with recommendations based on their browsing history or something based on their playlists.
Consider your SoundCloud website as a digital version of a typical mp3 player. Make sure your streaming app includes the standard set of music player’s features like play, pause, skip, fast forward, stop, etc. Your users will appreciate it if you offer full control over your website or app.
A feature to create playlists is an essential addition to a music streaming website. Your users would appreciate it if you allow them to store their songs, albums, and playlists in a library.
This is an additional feature that your music streaming website needs if you want to allow your users to upload their own music tracks.
Offline Access and Download
When users have access to the Internet they are likely to use the streaming service on the online mode. In case your users can’t go online, the offline model helps them to access the music library. This feature is useful if users want to minimize bandwidth usage as well. Allow them to download the music of their choice as well.
Your users will love it when you offer personalized features that recognize them as unique individuals. You can also offer the ability to customize the user interface by allowing users to change the design themes according to their preferences with different color palates and element alignments. You can integrate song suggestions based on the user’s mood, weather, place, or anything similar. Integrate the right controls when you create a website like SoundCloud to offer the right amount of personalization. Recommendations must be based on a user’s musical preferences.
Adding an event calendar is a great way to add an advantage to concert-goers. You can help them to track their upcoming concert dates or fan club meetups. In addition, add a discussion board for your users to communicate with each other and to have fun on your platform.
Push notifications are another important feature to engage music lovers. It not only does inform your users about new updates but also facilitates better engagement with the streaming website. For example, if there is a latest song release from popular artists, you can use push notifications to inform your users about the latest track which can be relevant for our users.
The best way to make your music streaming website popular to gain more users is through social media. It is no secret that mobile users are strongly active in social networks. So there are high chances for your users to share their playlists and tracks in social media, especially if you use social network authentication. Adding social sharing functionality is a great way to gain more users and popularize your service.
When you build an audio streaming app, offer the functionality of advertising for the music artists and bands to offer an extra promotion. It also makes an excellent way to earn extra income for your music streaming site.
Monetization Features when building an audio streaming app
Users of this age tend to pay for music streaming services rather than buying music tracks. Therefore, monetizing your music streaming website doesn’t require any special efforts. Even though late, SoundCloud now offers opportunities for artists to make money from songs with SoundCloud Premier. SoundCloud started out as a free online music streaming service that allowed everyone to upload and stream music without any monthly fee or interrupting ads. However later, it launched a new creator partner program called On SoundCloud. SoundCloud is similar to Youtube’s partner program that will allow artists to monetize their content through paid advertisements. The paid ads will either show up on the video player or within an audio file.
Here is how Soundcloud monetizes its services.
When the program was first launched, there were no clear terms to outline how revenue sharing would work. However, now the service depends on paid advertising and tiered paid subscriptions to monetize their services.
Here are some of the best monetization methods for you to implement when you create a website like SoundCloud.
Subscriptions can be effective for audio streaming apps as users would be willing to pay more to unlock new features. Most music streaming services earn the maximum from paid subscriptions.
Advertisements are a significant part of the monetization strategy of music streaming websites like SoundCloud. Fortunately, most users prefer watching ads if free access to music library is provided. As audio ads are growing in popularity, audio streaming websites of all sizes can efficiently offer upon their inventory to advertisers.
Most users will be willing to make in-app purchases to access exciting additional features especially if the price is small. This means you have to offer some extra features within the streaming website and apps which need to be paid for.
A mix of monetization models
When it comes to monetization models, there is no rule that you must only a single monetization model to power your services. You can experiment with a mix of monetization methods and can yield positive results regardless of the model you choose. For example, while offering ad-based music streaming to your users, you can additionally offer a premium version for those who would like to enjoy an ad-free experience. Including a variety of monetization methods actually helps in increases the revenue you can make.
How much does it cost to create a website like SoundCloud?
The exact development cost of an audio streaming software greatly depends on its framework, features, and functionalities. As we have already covered the basic and essential features of a music streaming platform, let’s have a look at the technical essentials for uninterrupted music streaming experience.
Storage is an important factor that determines the performance capability of an audio streaming platform. Cloud storage like Amazon S3 bucket equips music streaming sites with the capacity to store and transcode an unlimited amount of data. The security provided by cloud storage also ensures that your data remained secured form any kind of third-party theft.
Content Delivery Network
Content delivery network (CDN) plays a crucial role in setting up a live audio streaming server that offers a seamless streaming experience. An efficient CDN features a large number of local and global servers to store highly requested data in corresponding geographical locations and deliver them at a faster rate. This also helps in decreasing the buffer time and any typical delays.
If you look into the ins and outs of how to make a website like SoundCloud, you will get to know how important it is for streaming sites to have great platform infrastructure. Way before the launch of Platform as a service (PaaS), creating a portal that could execute commands in the way they were expected was a major challenge. This one factor consumed most of the resources in a small time frame and restricted music streaming app development to large brands alone. However, as the accessibility of cloud computing services increase, it gave space for startups and small businesses with limited resources to create their own audio streaming services.
Video players with advanced features allow audio streaming websites to be cross-browser compatible thereby resulting in great user experience. This component of building an audio streaming app helps in proving the efficiency of the app by making striking features a reality.
The player is obviously an important feature where you play audio flies locally or will stream it from live Audio Streaming Server, you need a player secret to a user to gain control of things. A player is not just the name of a current song or creator. It also has important features like the album cover, album track information, player controls, list of songs that will be played next, additional features like adding to the playlist, saving a song, liking a song, etc.
On average creating a music streaming website will at least take 950-2700 hours including desktop version and android, iOS versions. Considering an average of $50 per hour as development cost, a minimum of $47,5000- $ 135,000 or even more.
Is there any easier and cheaper way?
Now that you know the total cost involved in creating an audio streaming software from scratch, why not look out for a quicker and cheaper way. When the solution is already created for you, why do the work all over again? A SoundCloud clone script can be a great alternative to build your audio streaming site instead of building it from scratch. With a SoundCloud clone script, you can get the features and overall idea behind the existing system and create a customized version of it with added features. The cost to build an audio streaming app using a white label solution would cost you just $299-$699for standard and deluxe version respectively. If you want to play safe and take calculated risks, using a clone script is a great way to create your music streaming website. It lowers your business investment considerably.
We live in an era where streaming music is pretty much easier than ever. Technological advancements have made things easier especially listening to music. The emergence of music streaming apps like SoundCloud is transforming the way how users interact with music.
Whether you are a popular music artist with thousands of fans or a beginner, consider having your own music streaming website like SoundCloud to take full control over the content you publish. So how to create a music streaming website for you? It deserves special attention and we are here to help you out. Of course, every project is unique and the features, requirements, and estimations can vary considerably. We offer a fully customizable white-labeled solution that comes with a full package including mobile apps to launch your own music streaming website. We have got you covered!