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Music Streaming Landscape is gaining a lot of ground with online streaming services, as the number of music streaming subscribers reaches 487 million in 2021.  And if we look into the future, the music market will keep evolving around streaming services. Digital music is the future of music and streaming is here to stay.

Everyone has a different taste when it comes to music. Genres, artists, quality, and personalization are various attributes that users look at while downloading music apps; and a single app can never cater to all these preferences. While Apple Music can stream high-quality music, Spotify is known for top music recommendations. Some apps have amusing Social sharing features but some have the best radio stations. So, it makes much sense to grab a share from this humongous global online music streaming market, which was sized at $12,831.2 million in 2019 and is estimated to reach $24,711.3 million by 2027.

Let us now discuss streaming services, their technical aspects, legal difficulties, how to start your own music streaming service, and its business scope.

What Is An On-Demand Music Streaming

On-demand music streaming allows users to listen to the songs of their choice. The Digital Service Provider (DSP) maintains a database, from which the music can be played any time, any number of times without any restrictions. The user can pause, skip, create a playlist, and use loops and rewind, etc. but copying the track is restricted. Some popular examples are Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music, etc.

There are two types of on-demand music streaming services functioning in the market.

Freemium model:

Where music is free but is supported by advertisements

Subscription Model/ Premium model is based on a monthly subscription fee charged to the users. The music here can be streamed uninterrupted without advertisements.

Kinds Of Music Streaming Services

In the current market scenario, two types of music streaming services are prevalent:

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Radio Streaming Services

Radio streaming services are similar to traditional radio broadcasts but the internet is the medium of transmission to the audience here. The users can switch between channels but cannot play, rewind, stop, pause or play their own playlist as and when they want.

On-Demand Streaming Services

In the On-demand services, the consumer can play the tracks that they want, at their convenient time; unlike the radio streaming service. The algorithms analyze user preferences and make recommendations of tracks for a better user experience. Users can choose from the list, create their own queue, shuffle between tracks, and so on.

Functioning Of On-Demand Music Streaming Services

The audio streaming platform has an endless library of tracks. These tracks are available on cloud servers and audiobooks. Recording companies charge a license fee from the music app providers for the distribution rights of their content. Instead, the app providers earn money from the advertisements and subscription fees. The music apps are loved by their users due to free access and the low pricing even for the premium model. Monthly subscriptions are as low as just about Rs. 99 for a month and just Rs 399 for a year.

“Licensing agreements’ and Copyright laws are associated with content’s property rights. It is important to acquire content’s streaming rights. There are 3 types of licensing agreements to obtain the rights:

Labels: Artists take support from labels like Sony Music, Warner Bros., in terms of resources, to record and release their songs. The copyrights and distribution rights of these songs vest with the labels and not the artists. Therefore, the label has the right to make revenue and other royalties out of these songs.

Publishers: A publisher helps the artists release the songs that they have composed and recorded. The property rights of these songs vest with artists but the publisher has the managing rights. Publishers can grant distribution rights, collect royalties, copyright claims, etc.

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Independent & Community: In this case, all the rights remain with the artist because they have composed and recorded the songs independently. They use community platforms like SoundCloud, Vimeo, and YouTube, etc. to release their songs.

How To Licence Music For Streaming Rights

To understand how to get the streaming rights, it is important to know who owns the copyright. Based on the type of your usage, you can contact:

  1. Labels like Universal Music, Sony Music, etc.
  2. Independent distributors, who are in contact with many labels and artists.
  3. Publishers who are the affiliates of the bigger labels.
  4. Independent artists

Based on the terms of the contract you may get access to the song under one or more of the following royalty models:

  1. Per-stream royalty pay
  2. Ratio Of overall streaming returns
  3. Rights for permanent streaming or Instant payment for limited-time

Get in touch with the copyright owner and discuss your project. A sample of your project helps the owner in making a decision. There can be room for negotiation and at times they let you use the music for free.

Steps to Develop an On-Demand Music Streaming Platform?

Now that you know the insights, you should be aware that building music as a streaming service is not difficult. These are some important steps to create a music app.

Know How Your Streaming App Would Work:

Music streaming apps require APIs to manage the functioning of the streaming application. APIs are used for decoding, encoding, routing, transfer of data, and media playing, etc. It helps in building and integration the application software.

Decide Which Type Of Application To Build:

Applications can be streamed on a web interface or mobile applications. You need to decide if you want to release your app on one or both platforms.

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Decide On Your Revenue Model:

Choose from among these revenue structures. These are used by the most popular Music streaming app providers:

  • Ad-based revenue
  • Subscription-based revenue
  • Packaged bundle model e.g. Amazon Prime offered with internet plans

Know What The Most Essential Features Of Music Apps Are:

Prepare a basic set of features that are indispensable to a music app. Recognize the features important to the users, admins, and social sharing requirements.

Customisation and Branding Needs:

Incorporate additional features that may be unique to your business, to make it competitive. Have a unique User Interface and create your brand’s identity.

Choose Your Web Servers To Host Your Solutions:

Choose a good web-server to host your WebRTC; and if it is a mobile app, choose Google Play Store or Apple store depending upon your app platform (iOS or Android)

Go Live And Get Connected To Cloud:

Upload the tracks on Cloud and you are good to go. For storing media files do not use a Web server host, instead subscribe to a media server or CDN

Wrap Up:

We have discussed everything about the execution and operation of a white label music streaming service. Other than this, much depends upon the marketing strategy you adopt and the differentiators of your app. Last but not the least, choosing the right partner for your business ensures favorable outcomes. Get the best technological functionalities and features for your audio streaming software.  The top-grade audio streaming solution that has to offer multifaceted audio streaming possibilities. It uses the best content management system, advanced analytics, and the best listening experience.

Shabbir Ahmad

Shabbir Ahmad is a freelance enthusiastic blogger & SEO expert. He is the founder of Shifted Magazine & Shifted News. He contributes to many authority blogs including porch, hackernoon & techcrunch.