Is it worth competing with the native Music app on iOS?
The answer is a definitive yes.
And there’s proof to that – Coppertino. More familiar to you guys as Vox Music player for Mac and iPhone.
Alty team has helped this business with their music player app development and today we’d like to share some tips for SoundCloud integration on iOS, along with some more ideas of how to make a music player application that stands out from the crowd.
Long Live Music Streaming!
On-demand music streaming has witnessed an 83% growth in demand rate in 2015. And Justin Bieber’s album Purpose has set the in-demand streaming record of 100 million on-demand plays during the first week of release (Not a fan, but well done Justin ☺)
What we actually observing right now is a steady decay in music sales:
iTunes sales have dropped by 13% in 2014, yet the company still manages to maintain a fair 64% market share of paid music downloads worldwide.
And music streaming keeps growing at enormous pace. Here are some of the key stats from a recent whitepaper published by Statista:
- Music streaming will account for 86% of the European Digital Music market in 2021.
- The Chinese Digital Music market has the highest average annual growth rate of 22.2% to 2021 and will reach US$1 billion in 2021.
- Music streaming revenue in the US is expected to hit $2.3 billion by the end of 2016.
- In China, 92% of the digital music market is generated by streaming services.
- Share of streaming revenue in the Nordic countries is up to 98%. (And Sweden is home to Spotify).
- In the US streaming is overtaking downloads and will constitute 56% of the total market by the end of 2016.
So, the business case is here – users now prefer music streaming apps and services over music downloads.
And they don’t want just another music player to merely store and play their tunes, but a more robust solution, which allows storing, playing and streaming music from all sorts of different sources.
Cool Features For a Custom iOS Music Player
So, what should a modern music player app have to be market-competitive?
Music Library: the place where users can store, organize and collect their favorite tracks sourced from multiple locations – for instance, Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, YouTube, iTunes and SoundCloud.
Additionally, you may want to create your own server-based music library, where you’ll provider access for a flat/subscription fee.
Cloud Storage: Any music lover will complain about the constantly shrinking phone space, especially if they are into storing high-res lossless audio tracks. You can offer limited or unlimited cloud storage for a subscription fee to monetize your product
Music Discovery Tools: Finding trending songs, discovering new stations and performers should be made easy. You can build in a smart suggestion tool, which would pitch users new songs based on their mood, favorite themes or genres, trending tunes worldwide or regionally.
Here are a few well-designed examples:
Blend in the Social Component: Instead of building just a music player, build a community around your product. You can allow users to share their playlists of favorite tunes on social media; create public playlists to exchange with other users; follow user with similar taste and more.
Sure, blending in the social component into your product will increase the overall cost to build a music player application. But in the long run it can pay off lavishly as your user retention and engagement rates will be higher, along with the possible revenues depending on your app monetization strategies.
Fast and Seamless Search: Considering that your music player will offer different sync and import options, users should be able to find and add new tunes in a few quick taps.
In fact, one of the common users’ rants about the native Music app on iPhone is that the spotlight search bar tends to glitch and find zero results when the music library grows a tad too big.
Music Play App UI/UX Design Ideas
If you have previously browsed some of the UX/UI pattern design libraries, you’ve probably already had a feeling of how an attractive music play app looks.
Minimalistic design and a unified color palette is usually the go-to choice in this case as you want users to focus on the music in the first place. The trickiest part here is to create efficient categorization and navigation for the music library feature.
Simplify Playlist Creation: Playlists in native Music app are quite rigid. You have added manually all the tracks and are confined to listen to it over and over again (or add more songs, or manually create another playlist).
However, this frustration could be solved by allowing users to assign different custom tags to the tunes in their library and auto-generating new playlists based on their tags with a few quick taps. For instance, if the user taps and holds “dubstep” tag, the player can automatically generate a new playlist of all the songs with this tag assigned.
Minimize The Texts: Album descriptions or artist’s bios are completely unnecessary in the library/album/playlist view. Those will only take more time to scroll when a user looks for something specific.
Animated Elements May Add Additional Delight: Unusual animated elements (e.g. beat visualizations) can make your app stand out of the crowd:
And we left some integration tips for the very end.
How To Integrate SoundCloud Into a Mobile App
SoundCloud is one of the most popular music hosting and streaming web platforms out there. Pretty much anyone can create a profile there and start uploading their content for free, listen to indie performers, create playlists, collections etc:
Here are some important integration tips to consider:
Play Requests Limitations: Since June 2015, SoundCloud has implemented a bit of a frustrating limitation for developers. Third party applications are now limited to processing just 15,000 play requests per 24-hour period. You can check the respective documentation here.
Attribution in Apps: SoundCloud encourages app developers to use proper attribution to acknowledge content creators. You can create custom in-app widgets for that, credit the uploader/creator of the tune and credit SoundCloud as the source of work.
For more secure user authentication, you can use open-source SoundCloud Authenticator for Swift. It’s a wrap-manager for configuration and SoundCloud data processing. It will help you create a simpler authorization process.
Now, the best part – app development costs.
Building a simple music player app without much special knick-knacks will cost you around $15,000-$20,000 to develop.
A sleeker app with more functionality, screens (like music discovery, social components etc), custom animations, transitions and design will cost close to $40,000-$60,000 to build.
So, that’s how to develop a music player app for iOS in a nutshell. If you want to speak action and get more product ideas, design suggestions and advice on building integrations with 3rd party services, get in touch with Alty team. Music (and coding) make our world go round ☺