How To Start An Audio Streaming Website Like SoundCloud?

How To Start An Audio Streaming Website Like SoundCloud?

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. 

Monetization Model

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. 

Application 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 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 Library

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. 

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. 

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.  

User Registration 

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. 

User Profile

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 Music

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. 

Music Player 

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. 

Creating Playlists

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. 

Event Calendar

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

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. 

Social Sharing

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.

Audio Ads

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. 

In-app Purchases

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. 

Platform Infrastructure

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 Player

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! 

How Audio Sharing Websites Make Money? Understanding The Business Model

How Audio Sharing Websites Make Money? Understanding The Business Model

With advancements in technology, streaming has completely transformed and taken over the music industry. Over 100 million users are paying for streaming services including music streaming. 

The amount of money coming from the streaming world is a hot topic of discussion for a long time and that is why a lot of businesses are investing in the industry to make money using live streaming apps

If you have quality audio content but still unable to secure a profitable revenue from your music streaming platform, building an audio sharing website is a great option to enter the race and the heights of popular streaming services like Pandora or Spotify. It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? 

In this blog, we will discuss the ins and outs of how to make an app like Spotify and how to earn an impressive income from the same. To start with, let’s see how the most famous music streaming service Spotify works and what makes it special. Learning from the giants in the market will help you to pave the right path in the competitive music streaming industry. 

How Spotify Works

Spotify takes a new approach to music streaming by offering a library of millions of songs and podcasts to users. In addition to accessing songs, it also facilitates the purchase of tracks and creating playlists and a lot more on desktop and smartphones. Spotify is a legal way to stream music online and listen to podcasts. 

The company licenses music tracks from both major and minor record labels to include in its vast music library and pay the right holders an amount based on the number of plays for each track. Users can listen to music albums on Spotify in addition to playlists curated by Spotify, artists, and other users. 

Listening to music on Spotify is free, but all users have to go through banner ads and audio ads between songs. However, to remove ads, users can pay for Spotify premium, its paid membership plan that removes ads from the app and enables song downloading for offline listening as well. This is a great idea to make money using a live streaming app for music. 

Spotify Business Model

The business model of Spotify is simple and works just like other freemium services such as YouTube. Premium subscriptions are the major revenue source where the ads and download limits are removed and a high song bit rate of 320 kbps is offered to the users. 

There are four different types of Spotify plans. 

Free Version


This is the most basic Spotify plan where users can access all the content with certain limitations like advertisements, lack of offline listening option, shuffle only access, and more. 

Spotify Premium

The premium version of Spotify is priced at $9.99 per month. It is free from all the limitations of the free version and offers more features to users. 

Spotify Family

Spotify offers a family plan of $14.99/ month with perks like ad-free music listening, offline playing, on-demand playback, etc.

Student Plan

It offers a special price of $4.99 for eligible students in the university with benefits like offline playing, ad-free music, and on-demand playback. 

Spotify Free vs Premium


Using the free version of Spotify is a legitimate option for most people who enjoy streaming music and don’t mind the occasional interruption of ads between songs. Whereas, Spotify premium has some additional benefits that may appeal to a certain set of users and are as follows. 

Better Audio Quality

While free streaming plays songs at 160kbit/s, Spotify premium offers an improve quality playback at 320kbit/s.

No Ads

Spotify premium completely removes both banner and audio ads from the listening experience.

Offline Listening

The premium plan unlocks the ability to download songs and facilitates offline listening.

Hulu Plan

All Spotify premium users are offered a free ad-supported Hulu subscription

Showtime Subscription

Users who sign up for the Spotify premium students plan to gain access to the ShowTime cable channel and streaming apps.

How Audio Sharing Websites Like Spotify Makes money

Before getting to know how to create a music app like Spotify, let first understand how audio sharing website like Spotify makes money. We will focus on Spotify itself. As discussed already, Spotify runs on a freemium model and most of the revenue it earns comes from subscription and advertisements. 

Over 91% of its revenue comes from subscriptions and ads make up the remaining 9%. Out of the total revenue it generates, Spotify keeps 30% and divides the remaining between, paying to artists, music deals and licensing. It spends over 70% of its revenue on royalties.

Spotify offers on-demand access to their music library, but this offer isn’t available on mobile devices. This along with the interruption of ads in both platforms drives users towards subscribing for its premium plan. Additionally, users can also cut down the cost by subscribing to a family plan for a minimum of 25%-75% cost reduction. In this way, Spotify makes it obvious to free users to convert into premium members.  

Spotify earned around $2billion last year and they have over 200 million total subscribers and 110 million paid subscribers worldwide. Another interesting thing they do is using their own ad inventory. One of the most commonly promoted products in Spotify is Spotify itself. Users are urged to upgrade and get rid of interrupting ads. 

So the following are the two main sources of income for Spotify.


Spotify premium comes for $9.99 per month and premium for student’s plan costs around $4.99 per month. Spotify also offers premium families pack for $14.99/month. This subscription plan gives premium access to up to six people who live at the same address. The free version offers unlimited ad-supported music streaming, access to videos and podcasts, shuffle-only playback of songs on mobile. The web version has access to on-demand streaming as well. 


While ads are only a small part of Spotify’s revenue share, advertisements of Spotify are quite impressive and include different types and custom solutions for large publishers. 

  • Branded Moments

Brands can choose a moment they associate and with and users get a 30 mint of uninterrupted music playback session for playing your videos. 

  • Sponsored Session


Sponsored sessions work in a similar way like branded moments. Users have to watch a video to activate the 30-minute ad-free listening session. 

  • Sponsored Playlist

Users can listen to playlists with the brand logo as the cover picture and the ads will only be displayed from the same brand for the entire duration of the playlist. 

  • Homepage Take Over

The homepage of users will be taken over by full-width banner ads. 

  • Video Takeover

Viewers have to listen to full focus video ads. 

  • Audio Ads

Audio ads give the brand a 100% share of voice followed by a clickable display unit. 

  • Display ads

Ads that are displayed at the bottom of the Spotify client. It displays clickable images for 30 seconds. The most successful advertisers on Spotify are brands that include the platform in a bigger campaign it is around specific artists or playlist, for example, an album launch of a music show. 

For example, Rebook introduced a custom Spotify app where music and exercise with the help of different playlists for different types of activities like running, cross-fit, yoga, dancing, etc. curated by their sponsored athletes. 


Royalties of Spotify are a bit complicated as they vary with each artist, label, and country. Spotify pays an average of $0.006-$0.0084 per stream to artists. The amount differs with the type of users. For example, the royalties of premium subscribers will be more as they are considered high-quality music listeners. 

How Spotify Tackles Piracy Issues?

According to surveys, Spotify has helped to alleviate the illegal downloading of music. We all know many people download music illegally from sites like the Old Napster as it comes free of cost. However, with Spotify joining legal music sites and popular artists, illegal downloading seems to become less popular. With the availability of great streaming quality and authentic music free or for a reasonable price have significantly reduced the tendency of illegal downloading among people. To stop illegal downloads in almost every country Spotify focuses more on localizing content to the taste of people based on the country they belong to.

What Makes Spotify Stand Among Others?

With its presence in 59 countries, Spotify is one of the first of its kind to offer users access to a large catalog of music in just a few clicks.

Great Product

People prefer paying a small amount of money for ease of use and good service even if there are plenty of free alternatives in the market. Spotify is a brilliant cross-platform music streaming product that comes with an enormous library of titles and offers users with always accessible, high-quality audio streaming service. Having a great product to sell, always works. 

The Popularity of Music Streaming Service

According to data, over 55% of the entire US population is online radio users. On average, user’s under 25 years consume 15% more data than people aged between 25-45. The number of people subscribing to music streaming services is also on the rise.

Improved Internet Connective For Uninterrupted Streaming

With mobile network operators investing more on the infrastructure to offer high-speed internet services, accessing seamless music online is actually possible for millions of users. The hike in the number of internet users is also giving rise to music on-demand services like Spotify.


Compared to other music streaming services, Spotify offers a vast library of approximately 40 million songs and a massive number of playlists created by Spotify’s own algorithm system and users. You will find a variety of specially created musical content. Spotify also has invested in the podcast industry and is looking to become the one-stop-shop for all the music streaming needs of users.

Discovery Through Data

Spotify has set itself apart from other competitors by leveraging mobile app data for customizing the overall user experience of discovering and listening to new music. From its mobile machine learning, AI, and data shifting technology, Spotify analyzes the listening habits of users and suggest personalized recommendations like music suggestions, playlists based on the genre and artists they listen to regularly. They have a very useful feature called “Discover Weekly” playlist, which is refreshed every Monday with new songs.

Make Money Using Audio Streaming Software

Music streaming websites allows users to stream music, podcasts, and videos online through a web platform or a mobile app. The success of such businesses greatly depends on how well they can match the preferences of music fans by offering their favorite tracks. With the rise of platforms like Spotify, entrepreneurs are trying to build similar apps. If you want to build an app like Spotify, it is essential to understand how to make money using audio streaming platforms. 

Freemium Model

A freemium model is the basic business model to start with to build a good relationship with your audience. It is designed to offer a free service to your users while reserving exclusive content for a premium price, alter. For example, Spotify offers its freemium service to over 50 million free tracks to its users but with the support of ads. Therefore, users get access to the songs but they will are interrupted with ads between the tracks. 

While a freemium model will be free to your users, you get a lump sum amount of money from brands that sponsor you to promote their business. Incorporating a free business model will bring in more people to your audio platform as they can be streaming multiple tracks with no costs. As your user base increases, it appeals to brands as your platform has the great potential to reach millions of people. The more free subscribers your platform has, the more sponsors will be interested in collaborating with you. Additionally, your chance of acquiring more paid subscribers also increase, which will increase the total revenue again. 

Advertisement Model

Incorporating ads in your music-streaming platform can open up a completely new way to gain revenue. There are two major ways to do this- by placing in content ads and display ads. In in-content ads streaming, short audio ads play during an ad break between songs. If you have more freemium subscribers on your music-streaming platform, the frequency of playing ads will automatically rise. The more impressions you create; the more money you get from advertisers. 

Likewise, display ads are the ones that you can place on your home page of your music streaming website or app. When your users click on display ads or take a valid action through them, you get paid. Again, the more people visiting your platform, the more are your chances to make money. While this strategy may seem like very basic, many audio streaming services like Spotify are earning revenue with ads alone. 

Hence, you can build your audio streaming platform with a good Ad-supported audio-streaming server software and deliver different types of ads to your users based on their streaming preferences to make money. 

Paid Subscriptions

Once you have a large user base through the freemium model, it is time to get into the real business. Convert your free subscribers to paid using premium plans. Convince your free users to upgrade to the premium ad-free plan for minimal costs, say $9.99 per month. There are millions of music lovers who do not mind paying for uninterrupted listening experiences.  

In the premium plan itself, come up with three or four varieties to target different audience like- students, families, etc. just like how Spotify does. Incorporate attractive features in your paid plan like high-quality streaming, shuffle play, unlimited skips, no ads, track downloads, etc. so that customers would be happy to enter your paid plan. You will be surprised to know the success of your audio streaming service will be mainly from paid subscriptions. 

Offer Cross-Platform Support

While this exactly is not a monetization model, being present in multiple platforms will actually help with increasing the number of users. Be it desktops, smart TV, gaming console, or mobile devices, ensure that you are present on all the available platforms to reach out to maximum users. The more people start discovering your service on their preferred platforms, the more likely they are to subscribe to your audience. More subscription equals more revenue. 

There are many audio streaming services in the industry that are accessible only on the web, which makes it difficult to target people who are dedicated users of smartphones or smart TVs. Take the example of Spotify. Why it is so popular? We have already discussed it in one of the above sections. One reason is definitely it’s available on all devices like smartphones, desktop, tablets, gaming consoles, Smart TV, and speakers running across iOS, Android, and Windows devices. 


Build An App Like Spotify

If you want to learn how to create a music app like Spotify, you need to understand the basic things required to build an intelligent app with the same features and functionalities. Let’s dive deep into this to give you better insights. 

Consider The Essential Features of Spotify

An audio streaming app like Spotify must include features like registration, login, user management, music search, push notifications, social sharing, and music library and other basic features.  

Choose License Type

If you take Spotify, it has two types of license including the musical composition license agreement and sound recording license agreement. 

Develop An Audio Streaming App With Great UI/UX

Once you have made a well-researched plan, you are ready to build your audio streaming app. You can hire a team to build the app for you, but it involves a time consuming and expensive process. Instead, you can actually build your music-streaming platform using a white label audio live streaming software. With such solutions, you can easily develop an audio streaming platform with the same quality UI/UX design as that of Spotify and customized it according to your requirements and goals. 

Accurate Recommendation

Offering accurate music recommendations and suggestions can actually help users to find new music easily. This is an essential feature of an audio streaming app. Spotify also has an intuitive recommendation engine with the help of which the majority of users consume their daily dosage of music. At the same time, a lot of Apple music users are not very happy with its recommendations that can cause users to switch to other audio streaming services as there is no scarcity for new players. 

To offer an intuitive recommendation, your audio streaming service must have strong technical support. For example, Spotify relies heavily on machine learning algorithms to make the best musical suggestion and matches. Leveraging a professional audio streaming software will help you to incorporate his particular feature into your music app. To understand the patterns, you have to analyze and collect data about the musical preferences of your target audience. 

You can ask users to choose genres and artists they like after registration. Alternatively, you can also conduct surveys to learn more about the local music tastes of people. Spotify also makes use of collaborative filtering where it focuses on finding users with similar musical preferences. For example, if two regular users listen to similar songs, they can recommend songs to each other.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is very important; you must clearly communicate the value of your service to stand out from the competitors. If you take the example of Spotify, one of its value propositions lies in the number of personalized playlists it automatically generates including discover weekly and release radar. You now know how to make an app like Spotify; it’s time now to enter the audio streaming entry. Offer unique features for both artists and users to compel them to use your services regularly for the best experience. 


Everyone loves music and there is no enough time to go through an entire list of music tracks and purchase or download the ones you like. Fortunately, audio streaming websites have changed the way we listen to music. With modern technologies, we get effortless listening experience and receive music in a matter of clicks. The popularity of smartphones and the availability of high-speed Internet connection will only complement this trend in the coming years. 

If you want to learn more about creating an audio streaming software, get in touch with us, now. We would love to help you with building a fully customized music-streaming platform like Spotify, monetization strategies, and other technicalities of the same. 

How to sell your music online as an unsigned artist?

How to sell your music online as an unsigned artist?

If you are an independent artist and looking for a way to sell your music, this guide will give you a head up. The music industry has been through a complete make-over and everything has changed drastically over time. From musical instruments, modus operandi of music recording, distribution channels, to the devices used for listening to music, everything has become more accessible as compared to the past.

One of the perks of this evolution is the online distribution of music that boosted the range of global music to every conventional music lover. I am referring to the incentives that tag along with internet and the ability to share your creations with a global audience via online platforms.

In this article, we will learn everything you need to know about music distribution and making money as an independent music artist. We will explore every other possibility you can leverage from online media to earn money, royalties, and fame with your creations. Let’s begin with the basics.

How to distribute your music independently?

The physical distribution of music was a luxurious task which only labels could do for you. Before online media became this popular, the most difficult task was getting in terms with a label for your music release and distribution. Many talented artists did not come in the limelight and we missed out some great music because of the hassles and limitations of physical labels.

Now that everyone is well connected with the internet, and there is no shortage of online channels to share your music. You get unlimited options to sell your music online and make money with independent music distribution.

Who are independent music distributors?

The best way to sell music online as an independent artist is tagging along with an independent distributor. They eliminate your over-dependence on big labels to sell your music. These companies facilitate the ease of release through online distribution by connecting unsigned artists with mainstream music platforms.

They are also the aggregators who are experts in delivering content to different music streaming platforms. For a fee, they can correctly format and deliver your music to the streaming service’s/sellers’ specifications.

These distributors provide a complete online mode for event planning, which includes a digital partnership to get everything managed by them. You can choose a distributor, sign up on their website, upload your track, and plan the release schedule. You can then wait for the event when they will release your music on different streaming platforms based on their terms with them.

How to tag along with a music distributor?

The traditional music distribution involved distributors and sellers. The distributors offered the label that encouraged people to buy your tracks. The sellers sold the physical CDs, cassettes, and records through their channels.

This system still exists in digital media. However, the accessibility and the modus operandi have simplified. Today, the distributors have gone digital and sellers have gone eCommerce. With this ease, many new distributors have come along who don’t mind distributing your independent creations. Before choosing the right distributor for your unsigned music, consider the following aspects:

  1. Commission: Some distributors take a commission cut from your revenue, while many others give you 100% of your earnings and charge just a fixed cost. Depending on the model, they can demand anyone or both of the payment systems.
  2. Extra Services: Some distributors also provide value-added services along with the distribution. These services also include promotion and pre-release sale. Example, iTunes pre-release and SMS keywords.
  3. Exclusive distribution: Some distributors demand exclusive partnership, while many others allow you to partner with multiple distributors at a time.
  4. Distribution channels: Some distributors sell your music to one exclusive platform, while some prefer selling rights to multiple music platforms at a time. Depends on their terms with different music streaming platforms.
  5. No middlemen: Some popular music streaming platforms offer direct distribution services. You can partner with them to sell your music at once on these platforms and eliminate the middlemen from distribution. iTunes is a great example. It allows both independent and aggregated content; only the content needs to be in their format and in the instructed specifications.
  6. Market reach: Some distributors are good for a certain market only, while you might choose many others with a reach in the global market. Some local distributors are much better than global distributors for a specific market and audience.

Choosing the right distributor for the right market can make or break or sales performance. Always consider the above aspects before choosing a music distributor.

Some well-known names for distribution and selling

Just to give you an idea here is a list of some popular music distributors and music streaming platforms. You might want to check out the best platforms and distributors in your local market too-

Well-known online music distributors-

  • TuneCore
  • CD Baby
  • Symphonic

Well-known music streaming platforms-

  • Apple music
  • Amazon Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora

Well-known music streaming platforms with direct artists uploads-

  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • iTunes
  • Google Play Music,
  • YouTube
  • Tidal

Well-known music labels for branding-

  • Warner Music Group
  • Sony Music
  • BMG
  • Universal Music Group

How to plan your music release?

Planning your release involves everything from scheduling a date, choosing a target audience, to selecting a release platform. A simple strategic move can get you exposure of millions and good earning. Whereas a wrong move can end up in breaking the sales, piracy and all sort of things you wouldn’t want your music to deal with.

You may want to consider the following aspects to sell your music with a proper release plan-

  1. Besides mainstream: While a release on mainstreaming streaming channels would simply get you good exposure, you should also consider some niche platforms based on your music genre. For example, if you are an independent DJ and have created some nice beats, platforms like Beatport can give you additional exposure and earn.
  2. Appropriate date: Choosing an appropriate date is also an important determinant. Choose a nearby date that can give an additional push to your music. For example, you might want to release a romantic song in Valentine’s week. A party song in the Christmas to New-year season.
  3. Leverage social media: Make sure to collect as much social media coverage before the release. Social media is full of opportunities to make an unsigned artist a celebrity. Memes, hypes, controversies, social media has every ingredient gain massive coverage.
  4. Pre-release sales: Platforms like iTunes offer various marketing tools that help in promoting a release. You should consider using iTunes’ pre-release booking and SMS keywords to sell your music in unique ways.

How to boost post-release sales?

Now that you know how to sell your songs online, the next big thing would be learning how to boost your sales. It’s an important step for an unsigned artist as it leads away to the mainstream media.

  • Hopping along with an independent music distributor carries its own benefits. They give access to tools like iTunes Pre-release SMS keywords, which boost sales. In fact, these tools are often used by even the biggest labels.
  • With iTunes Pre-lease, you can start selling your music before six months of the scheduled release.
  • With SMS keywords, users can purchase your tracks by typing a keyword with a selected number. It removes all the hassles of searching, purchasing and downloading by directly adding the purchased track to your list.
  • You can promote your newly released song in the live events. It will boost up your songs PR when it is still fresh. Additionally, you can sell the rights to use the songs in TV Shows, Ads, and other events.
  • Customize the geographic accessibility of your song. It will help you avoid the hassles in some regions. For example, if you are releasing a remix version of a popular song, the geographic restriction will let you avoid the copyrights claims in the areas where re-mix is not allowed without rights.

How much money can you make selling unsigned music online?

Honestly! Not much. As an unsigned artist, you cannot expect your music to go viral overnight like those popular artists with big banners. Even the compensations you get from different music streaming platforms is not enough to pay your rents.

Here is how much top music streaming services pay to music artists-

  • Groove Music- $0.02730 per play
  • Napster- $0.01682 per play
  • Spotify- $0.01284 per stream
  • Apple Music- $0.00783 per stream
  • Amazon music- $0.0074 per play
  • Google Music Play- $0.00611
  • YouTube Music- $0.00074 per stream

Here is an image from the thetrichordist’s report to explain in detail-

Even the top music streaming platforms don’t pay much per stream. Moreover, when this revenue comes with deductions from the distributions partners, it becomes even lower. Only when you can secure a million views, the earnings will be considerable.

It’s not about revenue through

Even if these platforms pay you some money, selling as an independent artist is not about passive revenue. It’s about the other doors you open after being featured on popular streaming platforms. It’s also about other benefits that tag along with fame you get.

  • Being featured on a popular platform lets you get into the playlists of new fans and music lovers. Ultimately comes fame and sets a path for further releases. This fame would also help you get a following on social media, and opportunities to create your own music streaming platform once you are famed.
  • Being featured on these platforms improves your credibility with a more professional approach. With this exposure, in no time big labels might want to work with you. Who knows, giant distributors might purchase the rights to use your track in a movie, TV ads, or a live concert. You should aim for this earning rather than limiting yourself to the pennies/stream.

Sell your music now

Once you are ready with your track, you have so many options for spreading it to the music lovers. You just have to understand the process and steps needed to be followed. Hopefully, this article could explain the same. Now you can make an informed choice.