Music Streaming App. How much does it cost.

As of 2017, music streaming business is on the rise. And the request gaining the highest popularity today sounds like how much does it cost to start music streaming business. When we say music streaming, we mean Spotify. Even though there is also Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal and others, Spotify is the first one to associate with the music streaming.

Launched in 2008, Spotify has got up to 140 million users all over the globe, providing access to over 30 million songs. Spotify has changed entirely the way we now listen to music. Users no longer download music. They download Spotify and listen to their favorite songs online.

But what makes Spotify one of the most favorite music streaming apps among music lovers? Finding out what it costs to start music streaming business and develop the Spotify-like app, more info at

Number of global monthly active Spotify users from July 2012 to June 2017 (in millions)


What is Music Streaming?

The term “streaming” refers to the process of delivering information, audio or video data without the necessity to download it. It differs from downloading where the user gets the entire content before watching or listening to it.

Streaming has been gradually substituted for downloading. Users no longer wish to download media but have instant access to it online. Some advantages of music streaming:

    • No need for external data carrier such as mp3 player;

Smartphone storage is free from extra media;

You can switch easily switch between your smartphone, tablet or laptop and play music from the same place where you stopped

Music Streaming Industry Front Runners

  • Spotify. Spotify is the global market leader with more than 60 paid subscribers and 140 million of active users. Users can choose between ad-supported free version and premium ad-free, which enables skipping and downloading songs.
  • Apple Music. Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not have free service. For $9,99 per month 29 million paid users to receive access to 40 million songs.

Number of Apple Music subscribers worldwide from October 2015 to September 2017 (in millions)

  • Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon audience numbers 16 million paid subscribers. Users can get three months for $0,99 and then choose between prime membership for $7,99 per month and non-prime for $9,99 per month.
  • Google Play Music. For $9,99 per month, Google Play Music offers “All access” to 40 million songs, no ads or limit on a number of skips, offline music playback on the mobile apps. For $14,99 users can get “All access” for six family members. You can also go free and have access to 50,000 songs.

We have listed the most popular music streaming services, but there are also other like Deezer, Pandora, Tidal or Soundcloud. The last one have over 175 million users, most of them use the service for free.


Most popular streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music pay up to 58% of revenue to music labels to get song available in music library in a legitimate way. To stream music in your app, you need to have Public Performance Right. There are three agencies in the USA where app developers get rights from:

  • The American Society of Composers
  • Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI)
  • Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

If you are getting licensed in Europe, to get the rights you should approach European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC). There are many different types of music licenses. For music streaming you might need the following ones:

Public Performance License.

    • Applies to any broadcast of an artist’s work.

Synchronization License. Refers to music that is going to be paired with some form of visual media. It has a broad range of uses, including TV commercials, studio films, streaming advertisements, personal films, internal communications, and more.

Mechanical License. For playing songs written by someone else.

Master License. For streaming any kind of an existing recording that someone else made.

Print License. If you are going to display song lyrics or music notes with your stream.

Music Streaming App Functionality

Just like other the most famous apps in their categories, Spotify is not presented in many countries, which means the green light for various music streaming alternatives. The core functionality of Spotify-like app looks as follows:

Just like other the most famous apps in their categories, Spotify is not presented in many countries, which means the green light for various music streaming alternatives. The core functionality of Spotify-like app looks as follows:

Registration and authorization: users can log in with their social media accounts or register a new one using e-mail.

Audio streaming service: enables non-stop access to music files via cloud storages.

Search: search and navigation algorithm to help users find what they want among thousands of songs.

Playlists: one can choose music for sports, weekend mood, road trip, etc. Users can create their personalized playlist and share them with their friends.

Offline mode: using local storage of their devices users can save music and listen to it when they are offline.

Music social media sharing: you can share your music with your friends using social media.

Notifications: the app can send you news about artists, community or messages from your friends.

Ballpark Figures For Developing Music Streaming App

Below you will find a rough estimate of core functionality of Spotify-like music streaming app without going much into detail. The estimate is provided in working hours. This can be called an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version of Spotify-like app without extra bells and whistles.

Feature Front-end Back-end Total
Registration/authorization 24 16 40
Audio streaming 80 60 140
Search 60 50 110
Playlists 40 70 110
Offline 40 20 60
Media Sharing 5 60 60 – 70
Notifications 20 20 40



There can be different ways for you to proceed with this information. How to hire the cheapest development team in Ukraine read here, and try to repeat the success of one of the most popular apps of today. Or create your own concept that would differ from all the existing ones and make a new philosophy that would make people want it the same they want Spotify now. The niche of music streaming apps is still empty in many countries since Spotify is not presented there. So, do your best to create the brand new music streaming application.

About the author

Hello! My name is Helen and I am an IT writer at IDAP.

In my articles you can read about the most interesting search requests about IT world.




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