Spotify Developer Create App

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  1. Spotify Developer Console

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Once logged into the Spotify Developer portal, you should see something like the following web page screenshot which is the Spotify Developer Portal Dashboard. Create a Spotify App in the Spotify Developer Dashboard. Now that you are in the Spotify Developer Dashboard, you can create a Spotify App. To do this, click the 'Create an App' button.

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From a startup in 2008 to 100 million monthly active subscribers in 2017, Spotify has claimed the throne of music streaming business. Having a smartphone is synonymous to listening to music, practically. With customers in such abundance within reach, how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify is a hot topic.

Music streaming business is on the rise, as people do not have to download anything anymore. Vinyls and record collectors is a different story of itself. Our subject here in is how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify. Music just about equals Spotify and/or iTunes for millennials. What does it mean for mobile app development industry? Finding out the cost to create a music app.

How does Spotify work

Spotify Developer Create App

Spotify is a music streaming and playlist social sharing service available in 60 countries. It has over 30 million songs in its library and works across almost all devices. Users do not have to download songs and store them on a hard drive to listen. In Spotify users just find a song or album and play it online right away.

You have to be a registered user first to have access to basic Spotify features for free. But you’ll see in-app advertisement and won’t be able to listen to music offline. Paid Spotify subscriptions grant you full features, like downloading, no ads, or hi-fi sound quality in Premium. More Q&As below.

How much does Spotify cost?
There are 2 versions: free and Spotify premium for $10/month.

How to download music from Spotify?
Available only in Premium account, go to Library, select song or album. Then slide the Available Offline button to the right.

How to listen Spotify offline?
Select a playlist, tap Edit, and check if the arrow-icon next to it is grey or green. Tap grey ones to turn it green, which means a playlist is synced to your device. Press Done afterwards.

How to make playlists in Spotify?
Library > Playlists > Create new playlist. Name it, add tracks, or edit it at any moment.

How do you share a playlist on Spotify?
Select a song or playlist, tap the 3-dotted icon, and tap Share. Choose between Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr options and tap Post.

Next in our agenda of how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify are app features. Both basic and extra. So what makes up a music streaming business?

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Spotify features

Currently, Spotify is not covering all the existing markets. In many countries users get the “Not available” notification. Hence, opportunities for music apps or to create music streaming website are still open. And the cost to make an app like Spotify would, of course confide in features and type of app. Here are core features of Spotify app:

What sets Spotify apart from other music services and radios is audio streaming. This technology allowed to enjoy music as easily as never before. More on that in our next section. Now, to make a music streaming app like Spotify one would have to implement the following features:

  • User profiles and authorization: forms for users to register and login, using email address or social media accounts
  • Audio streaming service: to enable constant online access to music files through cloud storages
  • Search and organize options: search and navigate algorithms to find songs by titles or artists, and save favorite tracks
  • Playlists: that users can save, edit and listen and share both in online and offline
  • Offline availability: saving music to users’ devices or computers, or caching files
  • Social sharing: options to share songs/playlists with friends and see what others are sharing, privately or publicly
  • Notifications: to get news from friends, artists and community.

In addition, you would almost definitely need to create subscription plans for a music app. The main way to earn money on Spotify-like app is to grant access to cool features with paid subscription. Or if you make a free music app, you can monetize on ads.

Let’s move on to specific ingredients to start your own music streaming service.

Technology stack for music streaming app

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Simply put, Spotify stores all the music on servers and sends requested songs to users’ devices. All files are cached on smartphones or laptops so there’s no need to retrieve it again from servers. For this, and all other features, Spotify use Cassandra, PostgreSQL and general memory caching system.

To make a music streaming app you can build your tech stack around Python and JavaScript, like Spotify team does. PHP is used to some extent on server side, though Spotify backend structure is mainly built with Java. Also, consider these tools that impact the cost to make an app like Spotify too:

  • Kafka software: to manage and process data in real-time
  • GraphWalker to conduct model-based testing and integrate with Python services
  • Amazon S3 (or similar) to store audio files, caching with CDNs
  • Dataproc or other Google cloud platforms for platform infrastructure
  • Chromium embedded framework (CEF) to build UI for desktop application
  • Bootstrap and/or HTML5 for web app development
  • Nginx as open source HTTP and proxy server

Cost components of Spotify-like app

There’s no plain and precise way to answer how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify. As you may know, mobile app development is a lengthy and complex venture. Consider dev team hired, hourly rate (or fixed price), business strategy, type of mobile app, features and app infrastructure, timeline, etc.

In most cases, developer rate is a defining factor to app cost. To make a music streaming app, or any mobile app, takes hundreds or thousands of hours. So, $25 per hour or $150 per hour rate for same app would make a fortune in between. As we’ve settled earlier with Shazam, Starbucks or Instagram cost articles, let’s use median $50 hourly rate for estimation.

For music app like Spotify the biggest chunk of work would be backend (20%) and app development (40%).

Though do not dismiss design/UX, web/front-end and quality assurance. These tasks are critical as well to make an app similar to Spotify. And together, it all suggests hiring a team of 7-10 experts, at least.

Backend for app like Spotify

The architecture (backend) to an app like Spotify could quickly turn quite entangled. This is due to use of many supplementary services, like Spotify apparently does include hundreds of them. Most of them are written in Java and Python, others with Clojure and HTML5 languages. Less of PHP, used primarily for server-side logic.

Spotify team utilizes C++ for Mac/Windows client, Java for Android and Objective-C for iOS applications, nothing new here. The main principle behind Spotify backend is partitioning by features. Each app feature has a team of developers assigned. To make an app like Spotify you would also need to link the JS and backend with so called ‘access point’.

We’ve also prepared a chart of broad architecture for audio streaming app like Spotify:

Backend development estimation: 200+ hours.

Related topic: How to make an app in 10 steps.

Android/iOS platforms

Now comes the most time-consuming and costly part of actual mobile app development. Developers you’ve hired would start programming a music app for Android, or a music app for iPhone. Our issue of how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify is resolved here.

Spotify Android SDK and Spotify iOS SDK are now available publicly. It aims to ease developers work a bit for features like music streaming and authentication. Though services like Android Multimedia Framework can help integrate audio/media files, you still can’t make it quick.

Here is our time estimate breakdown by features to make an app like Spotify:

FeatureAndroid (hours)iOS (hours)
App skeleton5050
Main screen6055
Music player150150
Video player150150
Social integration4040
Push notifications4030

These are only essential features not to bore you with too many details.

Native platform development estimation: 1400 hours.

Conclusion: the cost

And now we are ready to reveal how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify. Note, we are outlining only a generalized estimation of costs, based on features and tech stack for a music streaming app. Also remember, we’ve used $50 hourly rate to evaluate the cost of Spotify-like app. Though, we have skilled app engineers to hire at $30 hourly rate at ThinkMobiles .

iOS applicationAndroid applicationApp for multiple platforms
Desktop app$5.000$5.000
QA / PM$7.000$10.000$20.000
Total cost (approx.)$90.000$105.000$185.000

WIth all those variables in mind, a music app like Spotify would cost you:

  • $70.000 for MVP with basic functionality only
  • $90.000+ for iOS music streaming app
  • $105.000+ for Android app similar to Spotify
  • $185.000 for multi-platform full feature application.

In conclusion, the fact that $14 billion was floating around as Spotify acquisition deal says volumes. About the value as well as music streaming business prospects. Spotify alternatives are already on the march – Pandora, Deezer, iTunes, Soundcloud, Grooveshark, Google Play. Wouldn’t you want to join?

Spotify Developer Console

Let's Build Your App like Spotify

Provide us with your contact details and we will contact you today

Thank you for feedback.


In category

Now that music apps like TuneWiki, Pitchfork, Songkick and Rolling Stone are emerging on Spotify, we wonder if developers and brands will flock to Spotify.

In the 'What's Next for Spotify' event today, Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek said that while developers won't get any revenue from their apps, they can get value in earning clout simply by being visible on the Spotify platform.
Now, any developer can build an HTML5 app for Spotify's desktop version. But similar to the Apple App Store process, Spotify will approve each app before making it available on the platform. Unlike Apple and Android, however, all of the apps will be free meaning that developers still can't monetize apps on the platform.
While Spotify apps could pose a threat to Apple, Amazon and Google, the company might have a hard time attracting developers to the platform without monetization opportunities.
'Developers are happy to mess around with these things but people want to see a return on the investment,' founder of tech website Pocket-lint Stuart Miles told BBC. 'If you can't charge for your app, that's going to put a lot of people off.'

CNET reporter Greg Sandoval recently wrote that apps for Facebook and iTunes succeeded because they are all-purpose platforms.
'Will I really go to my music service to keep my calendar or store my phone numbers, post my resume, or organize my life?' Greg writes. 'I suppose I might, if I weren't already doing those things at Facebook and iTunes.'

But the apps on Spotify seem to be strictly music-related. For instance, Spotify offers an app for concert tour date tracking and discovery, Songkick, and we wouldn't be surprised if the app added ticket-buying options as an in-app purchase or if Ticketmaster created an app for the Spotify platform.
Back in November, we reported how Ron Conway hinted that Twitter will soon sell tickets for music concerts but Twitter has yet to make an official announcement.
Developers have been able to create apps powered by Spotify for a while and in August, started letting iOS developers embed Spotify on top of iOS apps. Some of those apps include Spotibot, Spotiseek for iOS and Stalkify.