How to make a music streaming app like Tidal

It seems that the internet has made our lives simpler in many ways, and one of those ways is by making it easier for us to access and listen to music. Online music streaming services have now dominated the experience of using CDs or cassettes.

YouTube is a major source of music streaming, but it has its drawbacks. For example, it’s difficult to download music, and you have to stay online constantly.

This led to many music streaming apps like Tidal, SoundCloud, iTunes, Grooveshark, Spotify, and Google Play.

What is a music streaming app, and how does it work?

A music streaming app is a place for users to search and play any music online for free. If the user wants to download the music or stream offline, a paid subscription will be required. The app also allows the user to search based on the album, genre, artist, and more.

The reason behind the popularity of music streaming apps

  • Quick accessibility
  • Affordable
  • Plenty/ unlimited storage
  • Social integration

Market Overview

Music streaming apps are well known for the comfort that they offer to their users. 

  • The dynamic industry is evolving quickly and is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2023.
  • The median revenue per user is approximately $26.
  • The music streaming market is even more crowded than a year ago, with many new players entering the fray. Spotify has 36% of U.S. music streaming subscribers, according to a recent PwC report. That’s up from 25% two years ago and 18% in 2013.
  •  Apple has approximately 60 million paid subscribers for its music streaming service Apple Music.

Current market leaders


If you’re a fan of music, chances are you’ve already heard about Spotify from friends or followers on social networks. What makes it different from other streaming services is that you can listen to any song in the same way as a radio station – it’s a whole new way to discover and listen to your favorite songs.

Also read: Spotify Stats – What Makes A Music Giant?


Pandora is changing the way people experience music and podcasts—forever.

A personalized music and podcast discovery platform that captivates and keeps your audience, Pandora is free and easy to use. Based on a user’s musical tastes, they curate inspired, high-quality personalized radio stations that sound just like the music they prefer.

Also read: Build Music Apps Like Pandora

Apple Music

The Apple Music service not only offers you to stream on-demand any track from the iTunes catalogue but also access all your music in one place, whether purchased from iTunes, copied from a CD, or downloaded from the web.

App Development Process: Points To Consider

There are multiple things to consider before starting off the app development process. The top 3 are mentioned here for you. 

Types Of Music Streaming Apps

It is important to determine which type of music streaming app you want to build. Here are the three common types:


Music Library Offers a server-based music library that the users can access either for free or via a paid subscription (whichever you choose to build in the app)
Cloud Storage Offers users to store their songs helping them access their library anywhere, anytime.
Radio Stations Offers a range of radio stations that can be categorized in themes and streamed on multiple devices.


Since Tidal is a server-based music streaming app, we will learn how to build a music streaming app with server-based music library.

Data Storage

It’s important to take care of streaming data storage before you begin developing a music streaming app. One option is to stream through third-party APIs.

If you’d rather not use a third-party service, you can also host your own app on a server. In this case, you upload your songs to a directory somewhere on the web.


It’s too difficult to develop applications for two platforms (iOS and Android) at once, so you should start with the one that makes the most sense for your business. For example, Apple Inc. created an Apple Music app for Android devices because Android users account for almost over 80% of app users around the world.

If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to choose a platform for your app based on your target audience and their preferences. For example, in the US, people prefer iOS devices. While in Europe people prefer Android devices.

Features of a music streaming app like Tidal

When it comes to music apps, Tidal is king for a reason. Music services with only average features don’t stand a chance in the market. These are the top features you need in your music app if you want it to rank.

User Profile

Your app needs to create a profile for each user and recognize the user across all devices.

Search Bar

The app must allow users to search and play songs. Thus, you need to add filter options based on track title, artist name, or genre and save their favorite music.

Real-Time Notifications

Users will be able to receive push notifications about the latest song tracks, updates, and more.


The most important feature to add is the ability for users to save their songs in their playlists, edit, and listen to them online and offline.

Cost (according to the features)


Feature Back-end development hours iOS development hours Android development hours
User Profile 27 hours 38 hours 38 hours
Search bar 24 hours 51 hours 51 hours
Real-time notifications 11 hours 140 hours 140 hours
Playlist 83 hours 61 hours 61 hours
Total 145 hours 290 hours 290 hours

Few more factors that can affect the cost structure of your music streaming app

  • Advanced admin panel (adds around 430 hours more)
  • Design 
  • Advanced features like recommendations, preferences, personalized notifications, social sharing, trending artists, etc.

Tech Stack

To start off your app development journey, you need to assemble a team of tech genies, namely in the following specialties:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • QA engineer
  • Developers

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The tech stack of music streaming apps requires various programming languages, for example, Swift and Kotlin, as well as a scalable database.

As an inspiration, you can consider the tech stack used by Spotify:

  • Programming languages: Python, Java
  • Frameworks: Hadoop, Apache Storm, Hub Framework
  • Server: Nginx
  • Cloud storage: Amazon S3, Google BigQuery
  • CDN: Amazon CloudFront
  • Database: PostgreSQL, Cassandra
  • Tools: Bootstrap, Kafka, Google Analytics
  • DevOps: Docker, Datadog, TestFlight

Monetization methods

How can you make your music streaming app profitable?

Apart from offering the users what they want, there are two common ways of monetizing a music streaming app:

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertisements


Monetization through in-app purchases and subscriptions enables companies to get revenue on a regular basis.


Similar to YouTube and Spotify, you can earn a good revenue via in-app advertising.



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