Radio app development: create your own streaming application

ThinkMobiles Team 26/05/2017

Internet radio is becoming more popular among smartphone owners, as mobile internet spreads around the world. As a result, the internet has become a major way for the radio industry to reach their audience. In the end, in this case, mobile application consensus has major advantages in comparison to website radio streaming services.

According to XappMedia research mobile radio has oblivious strong trends in the future:

  • 79% of music listening time occurs on internet radio.
  • internet radio users would grow to 183 million in 2018.
  • 95% of internet radio listeners access it via mobile.
  • 67% of all music listeners access streaming services weekly.
  • over $4 billion profit only by advertising (subscription is not included).

Moreover, there is no need to create a complex application with tons of features and world class design. As for radio industry, it is obvious that only its content really attracts and keeps audience active. Hence, simple and intuitive UI, few really useful features and stability – all you need to start off your mobile radio app.

Benefits

So, do you have already a radio station and want to join the trend and move to mobile fields? Or do you plan to launch a new music streaming start-up? But are you wondering what benefits contain a mobile streaming app for you? We would give you some extra benefits that you may get from the mobile application in addition to trend statistics we have admitted above.

The world is open

For now on you are no longer limited by the antenna. Internet connection is the only requirement for your listeners to stay in touch with your station. Hence, they are reachable 24 hours a day, while most of the people have their smartphone nearby the whole day around. Moreover, for now on the whole world is your field.

Be personalizable

There is no need to launch one mainstream for your listeners. And Pandora Internet Radio is a clear example for it. More simple use of customizable options greatly increases user engagement:

  • Possibility to choose preferred genre and music for listening.
  • Options to affect the auto algorithm by simple “like” or “dislike” buttons.
  • Ability to skip the unpleasant track.

As a result, users don’t waste their time on music they don’t want to listen and that positively affects user experience.

New source of revenue

While for terrestrial radio stations advertising is the only real way to make money, internet radio has some extra options. Decreasing advertising time, or total dropping it about, only buff user experience, because most of your listeners don’t want to listen an ad instead of music.

  • Subscription. Be reachable for small monthly payment to keep your advertising content low, or even free from ads.
  • Play royal-free music. In this case pay lower bills.
  • Escape to tax heaven. Become an offshore. Some would not like it, but it is still an option.

Quality of sound

While terrestrial radio signal is affected by dozens of factors, internet streaming app is safer in this case. Moreover, traditional radio is limited by tons of cases, while internet radio is totally free from it.

  • A traditional radio signal is affected by weather conditions.
  • It would be poor while autumn is on a large distance to a listener.
  • It is also hardly compressed in order to reduce the impact of high passages and make quite passages clear to hear.
  • Good internet connection is the only matter. Moreover, it can be slow, but would still have good quality.

Be global and stay local

If you target to earn world spread audience, you may still keep local topicality to your listeners. Geolocation is a simple and spread feature, so identifying a common user would not become a problem. Moreover, it would open great options to you.

  • Sell your advertising time to local market and provide your users with relevant ad content for their region.
  • Launch local news streams with the latest information for users to buff their experience by relevant content.

Additional profit opportunities

Provide users with the possibility to personalize application view by extra customize content like new UI styles and features.

Online listeners are worth their weight in gold to Webcasters and advertisers targeting the Internet audience

Bill Rose

vice president/general manager, Arbitron Internet Information Services.

Features

The same as for any other application, there are two features categories. Those ones you can not ignore and should integrate into an app. And those ones where an app may be easy done without, or integrate with later versions.

Streaming

Audio streaming is a must have feature. Internet radio mobile application simply can’t exist without it. It allows listeners to bring your wave wherever they go. As more advanced streaming options you may add:

  • Live studio. Now listeners may follow-up your studio shows, news and discussion.  
  • Video streaming. Allow users to watch video clips, live concerts or studio actions.

Track search

Track on demand is simply the most preferred option for most of the users. Losing it would heavily hurt user experience, so don’t ignore it. Provide users with an in-app search, to simplify the music they love.

  • Add genre, artists, album, year and other filters to make search more comfortable.
  • Divide your tracks into different categories.
  • Video on request. Allow users to look for video clips, as they search music.

Polls

Pick-up algorithm that would choose the next music track for each individual user. It depends on the latest track genre and artist, as well as on user previous preferences.

  • Personalize. Allow a user to affect on pickup algorithm by assessing its choices.
  • Recent tracks. Allow a user to explore a few latest music tracks they have listened recently.

Community

Any community options would increase engagement. Even the most common actions like comments, ratings and reviewing tracks greatly buff their experience and increase interest.

  • Social share. Provide users with the possibility to share or recommend a track via their social accounts.
  • Social login. Sync your music streaming app and user social account to make it more comfortable in use.
  • News and event. Keep users in touch with relevant or preferred content.
  • Favorite lists. Give users an opportunity to create and edit some favorite lists. Save chosen tracks to soundcloud or make it available offline.
  • Fans clubs. Enable users to join fun groups of preferred artists, or genre, chat, share and discuss various themes.

eCommerce features

In purpose to manage with app maintenance and make some profit your app obviously should make some money. While there are standard free app business models, you still may use a specific one for internet streaming app.

  • Subscription. A simple and the most popular business model among internet radios.
  • In-app purchases. Allow users to buy extra content or features. Such as more skips, new interface styles or addition cloud space.
  • Buy track. Lead a user to Amazon, iTunes or any other your partner to purchase the chosen track.

RSS Feed

Use RSS to keep local topicality for your listeners. Inform them about important local news, upcoming events and shows.

  • Sale your advertising time on the local market.
  • Launch local shows and live streams for your listeners around the world.
  • Add different useful features like local weather, calendar or reminder.

Analytics

Support your app with advanced analytics services to collect and manage information about users activities and preferences. It would help you make your news and live streams and the whole other content more relevant for your community preferences.

Have an amazing radio app idea?

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Best radio app examples

TuneIn Radio

The radio app with 14 years history pass. Its audience is large and they are really loyal to radio stations. To view big picture TuneIn may be described in few words:

  • Broadcast over 100,000 different global and local radio stations.
  • Contain over 4 million podcasts and shows.
  • It’s available on most popular platforms,
  • Its monthly audience hit 60 million listeners. Finally, reach content and features list and make it highly customizable and comfort to use.

TuneIn Radio focuses on broadcasting local radio stations to provide a user with the most relevant content. At the same time, paid subscription opens the way to thousands of audiobooks, exclusive radio stations and live play streams from sports games. Moreover, subscription cleans ads from the app.

Pandora

A large and famous internet radio in the world. Unfortunately, it is available only in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Despite that, Music Genome Project bases on preferences of 81 million users and their 75 billion actions, provides the best user experience ever. Moreover, Pandora includes even more advantages:

  • Music Genome Project chooses the next song depending on user preferences and 2,000 focus traits (each track has up to 400 traits)
  • Total audience is over 85 million listeners.
  • It contains over 1 million tracks.
  • Flexible subscribe plans in addition to the free user version.

In fact, 91% of users access Pandora via mobile. In addition to advertising profits, 5% of users are subscribes. And its total budget gets close to 1,5 billion per year.

Spotify

Spotify is perhaps one of the largest purveyors of online music, touting roughly 15 million paid subscribers and whopping 60 million active monthly users. The application is available on the most territory of Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia.

  • Users can create, edit and share playlists, share tracks on social media, and make playlists with other users. It’s totally a free feature.
  • Spotify provides access to over 30 million tracks. And, nowadays, Spotify is an absolute leader in this number.
  • Its active audience has grown over 100 million listeners, while there are also 50 paying subscribers.
  • The best quality of content received only by subscription. Free users are limited in many cases.

Total revenue of Spotify grows over $2 billion, but 70% of it has been paid as royalties to rights of the owners.

Check our research about how much does it cost to make an app like Spotify.

How to make radio app

There is no ideal way to build your music streaming app idea. As a result, it is all about your time, technical skills and budget opportunities. So, whatever you may choose, it would contain its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Do it by yourself – the cheapest way to choose from. But it isn’t so easy unless you have no coding or designers skills. Even with templates and radio builders apps you won’t get far from averageness.
  • Find freelancers – hire someone to build an app for you is a seductive idea. Especially if it costs you cheap. However, cheap freelancers are mostly students, amateurs and poor workers in real. So, be ready to spend tons of time in measure to find some good ones.
  • Outsource it – non-Western development companies may make quality apps up to 5 times cheaper than Western companies. Despite they have little issues with communications (not native English, time differences), they do the same work as westerns.
  • Brand development company – Money is the only matter in this case. If you can afford pay over 100 dollars per hour to each person in a development team, it’s your choice.

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