The music industry is growing rapidly and the options available to browse music have doubled over the past 10 years. The industry holds an international value of $11,110 million in 2019 and marketers expect it would grow to acquire at least $13,051 market by 2023.
In an era where listeners have grown accustomed to listening on the move, on-demand music streaming apps like SoundCloud are modern-day’s solutions to an age-old problem of music piracy and need for entertainment sources at affordable costs. SoundCloud is a perfect example of an easy-to-use music-streaming platform that came to the rescue when the music industry was struggling to get rid of online music piracy.
If you are looking forward to having a strong foothold in the music streaming industry, you must be thinking about ways to launch a dependable service capable of offering the best music streaming experiences to the user on demand.
Nevertheless, if SoundCloud intrigues your attention, and you wonder how to make a website like SoundCloud, which technologies to use, how much time it will take, and how much can it cost to build –this article is a one-stop guide for all your questions.
What is SoundCloud?
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 platform allows users to listen to songs from major labels just like the music you hear on the radio and other proprietary music streaming platforms like Apple’s iTunes or Amazon’s Prime Music. For music artists, it’s a great platform to upload original tracks and share with others; just like YouTube is for videos. For music fans, it is easy to tune in to their favorite artists anytime they want.
Apart from music tracks, SoundCloud is also great to stream embeddable audio pieces and podcasts related to sports and news media outlets. In short, it’s a heaven for independent audio content creators.
How SoundCloud Works?
Besides allowing artists to upload their creations and music lovers to listens 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 many artists use 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 two paid versions called Pro and Pro unlimited.
There are mainly two types of users for SoundCloud- Artists who want to promote their music 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. There 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.
What is SoundCloud Premier?
SoundCloud premier is the direct monetization program of SoundCloud that empowers creators to grow their career by earning a leading revenue share. With its premier version, SoundCloud offers the power of direct monetization than any other audio streaming service. This is a great step by the open audio platform to empower as many creators as possible to monetize their creators. SoundCloud premier offers leading revenue share, direct connection with fans, instant availability, and fast payouts for independent creators.
Creators and artists who meet the following criteria will be eligible to join the SoundCloud Premier program:
- SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited subscriber
- Must own control over music tracks
- No copyright strikes at the time of joining
- 18 + years
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 has a comprehensive audio streaming software that provides a truly enjoyable user experience. Developing an audio streaming software is not an easy task; you have to be consistently motivated to make it a reality. Moreover, there are many aspects to keep in mind:
Functionality – Your audio streaming service must offer a basic set of audio functionalities to your users along with some extra features to stand out among the competitors.
High-quality UI/UX– 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.
Monetization model– To thrive in the industry, it is important for every music streaming service to have the right business model to monetize their efforts and to grow their brand.
Licensing– The audio tracks you are going to stream in your app costs money. Hence, it is important to manage the licensing part to avoid getting in trouble with the copyright owners.
Music Licensing is Important
One major point in favor of choosing audio live streaming software is music discovery without having to purchase songs. Audio streaming services offer an authentic environment for users to stream their favorite music and audio tracks. Licensed audio services facilitate a trusting relationship with users. If you want to build your audio streaming service, you need the Public Performance right. Ensure that you choose some reputable and authentic agencies to obtain a license for your streaming service.
You can have two types of licensing to stream music:
- The Sound recording license agreements to cover the rights to specific music records.
- The musical composition license agreement that covers the people who own the copyrights of the music tracks.
If you break down the modules of development, SoundCloud has a direct licensing program that targets independent artists. It has licensing deals with music bands that cover many top artists. For copyright reasons, only original music having rights can be uploaded on the platform.
How To Build Music Streaming App Like SoundCloud?
To create a music streaming website, 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 library– This type of audio-streaming server software offers your users access to a vast collection of audio tracks and music. You can offer either the service free of cost, a flat rate, or partially free access with Ads.
- Cloud storage– 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.
Essential Features of a Music Streaming Website
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 create a website like SoundCloud.
How to make your music streaming website appealing to your users? The visual design plays a great role in this. A simple addition of appealing visual effects will help your app to stand out and increases the number of users.
Registration and Authentication
While it is mandatory for a music streaming service to have registration as a feature, it wouldn’t be right to say that streaming services don’t need registration. You can allow users to access your service without registering and creating an account, too. 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 Google and Facebook profiles to make it easy for them.
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 look for music tracks by title, artists, album, and genre. When you create a music streaming website, think of offering your users with recommendations based on their browsing history or something inspired by their playlists.
Standard Set of Music Player Features
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 user will appreciate 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 give them the opportunity 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.
Online and Offline Access
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 mode helps them to access the music library. This feature is useful if users want to minimize bandwidth usage 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 platform. For example, if there is the latest song release from popular artists, you can use push notifications to inform your users about the latest tracks.
The best way to make your music streaming website popular enough to gain extra 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.
How to Monetize Your Music Streaming Website?
Users of this age tend to pay for audio streaming services rather than buying music tracks. Therefore, monetizing your music streaming website doesn’t require any special effort. 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’. ‘On SoundCloud’ is similar to Youtube’s partner program that allows artists to monetize their content through paid advertisements. The paid ads will show up either on the video player or within an audio file.
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 you can implement when you create a website like SoundCloud.
This is the basic monetization model, which is recommended for new players who are just entering the industry. Offer free access to your users as long as they don’t mind listening or viewing advertisements. Start with a free model as a way to grow your user base. Once your music streaming service grows, you can expand into other business models.
Advertisements are a significant part of the monetization strategy of the biggest music streaming website 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.
Subscriptions can be effective for audio streaming apps as users will be willing to pay more to unlock new features. Most audio streaming services earn the maximum from paid subscriptions.
Most users will be willing to make in-app purchases to access exciting additional feature 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 use only a single monetization model to power your services. You can experiment with a mix of monetization methods and 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 Make An Audio Streaming 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 from 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 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 the minor frame and restricted music streaming app development to large brands alone. However, as the accessibility of cloud computing services increased, 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 files 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 taking at least 950-2700 hours including desktop version and android, iOS versions. Considering an average of $50 per hour as development cost, a minimum of $47,000- $ 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. 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 in which 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 of WebRTC and mobile apps to launch your own music streaming website. We have got you covered!