Isn’t it impressive to see how much technology has advanced over the last few decades? Walkmans, CD players, etc., used to be a luxury just a while ago and are now just things of the past. Streaming online audio is the go-to choice today.
Downloading music to your phones or listening to the radio was the only way you could listen to audio back then. Now, all you need is an active internet connection and a device, and you can search for any audio and play it.
Things have evolved tremendously now, where Spotify and a host of other similar apps are available for users in almost every part of the globe. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic sent the global audiences indoors, the number of audio streaming subscribers has grown to surprisingly new highs.
Table of Contents:
What Is Audio Streaming?
Audio streaming is a one-way audio content transmission that happens through a device connected to the internet. The audio content can be retrieved and played as per the user’s wish and does not require them to download the content to play. For example, when you listen to a song on YouTube Music, you are streaming the audio.
What Are Audio Streaming Platforms?
Audio streaming platforms are dedicated OTT platforms providing on-demand and live audio content to their subscribers. All you need is an active internet connection to stream and play the audio content.
What kind of audio content can you stream on such platforms?
You can stream music, podcasts, audio broadcasts, live sports commentary, radio, talk shows, and much more. Audio streaming platforms have changed the way people listen to the radio, news channels, sports commentary, etc. They are not just heard while driving to and from work or other places. Users are listening to their favorite audio channels at any time and anywhere.
Based on the method of audio content transmission, the audio streaming platforms can be of two types.
What Is Meant By On-demand Audio Streaming?
On-demand audio streaming to the delivery of audio content through data streams that are prepared in such a way that the user can play the content of their choice at their preferred time.
Once the selected audio content is streamed and played, the user can pause, rewind, start, stop, or change to the next, at their discretion.
Examples of on-demand audio service providers include:
- Apple music
to name a few.
What Is Meant By Live Audio Streaming?
Live audio streaming refers to the streaming of audio content in real-time, where the content is broadcasted while it is being recorded.
In a live audio broadcast, the audio content is only transmitted to those who opt to listen to the stream. Several users can listen to the live stream at any point in time.
Live audio broadcasts can be of two types:
- 24/7 linear stream
- Live audio stream of an event
Examples of live-audio broadcasts are:
- Capital FM
- Live streams on YouTube and Facebook
and so on.
On-demand V/S Live Audio Broadcast
Wondering which one is better?
There is no real winner between the two, as they both come with a unique set of benefits.
Benefits of on-demand audio streaming:
- User retention is high because users can pick the music they would like to listen to.
- User engagement is high because audio files are recorded and the desired file can be played on demand.
Benefits of live audio broadcast:
- Can be used to play a 24/7 linear stream of music, ads, and any other audio content.
- Can be used for live audio streaming of any event for business, sports, news, etc.
Using Ventuno’s pre-designed templates, you can create the audio streaming website and app of your dreams. You get to include both on-demand as well as live audio streaming on your platform.
Global Market/ Industry Overview
Audio and music streaming apps have shown tremendous growth in the past decade. Apart from big players like Spotify, Apple Music, etc., there has been an influx of several newer platforms catering to broader as well as niche audiences.
The music streaming market is seeing dramatic growth because of the convenience it offers to its users. Let’s see what the global audio streaming market looks like:
- As of 2019, the global audio streaming market recorded a capitalization of USD 21 billion.
- By the end of 2020, global music app subscriptions reached almost 400 million.
- With the ongoing rapid growth in smartphones and streaming devices, revenues will grow beyond USD 33 billion.
- Spotify is the market leader with the highest global market share. Spotify accounts for almost 30 percent of global music streaming revenues and 33 percent of paid subscriptions.
In the next section, you will learn more about the key players in the global audio streaming industry.
If you’re new to the industry, here’s a step-by-step guide on building your audio streaming platform:
- Type Of Audio Streaming Service
First things first, you must decide on the type of streaming service you would like to offer. You have three broad classifications to choose from:
- Music & Podcast Streaming Platforms
This is one of the most commonly offered services. Here you give users access to a library of music or podcasts. Users can listen to the songs or podcasts of their choice, based on your conditions – free or paid subscriptions. Examples include Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
- Radio Platforms
Your app can feature different radio stations based on themes like language, genre, era, etc. It’s like your very own internet radio station. The users can stream the music on any streaming device connected to the internet. Examples include CapitalFM, Shoutcast, etc.
- Platforms of Distribution
If you’re creating an audio streaming platform, you need to decide on which platforms you would list for distribution to users. Apart from launching your website, you can build your branded apps for:
Though it would be advisable to list on all platforms for maximum user engagement, it could also mean a big investment in building a separate audio streaming platform for each of the above listing platforms.
Especially if you are working on a tight budget, the decision regarding which platform to start with first becomes crucial. One way to make a decision is to see how many users from your target audience use all of these apps.
- Features Of Your Audio Streaming App
You can run comparisons between the biggest players in the audio streaming market to understand what are the absolute must-have features to include in your platform.
Here’s a list we recommend you can start with:
- User Registration
Allow users to use your platform only once they have successfully signed up. You can give the user an option to use their Gmail or Facebook accounts or register separately with all their details.
- Search Bar
The most important part of any audio streaming platform is the search bar. Users can type in the audio content that they are looking for here.
- Music/ Audio Player
This one is obvious. Any audio streaming platform needs a player for streaming the audio. Your music audio player should have all the options: play, pause, stop, rewind, fast forward, shuffle, and repeat. The music player also allows your user to continue streaming content in the background while using their device for something else.
- Creating Playlists
A playlist feature allows you to create specific categories of audio. You can create a playlist for top 10 videos, this week’s trending videos, songs by a specific artist, etc.
- Playing Audio Offline
Though this is not a compulsion for all apps, it could be a convenient addition to your app for your users. The user gets to download the audio content and play it offline.
- Recommendations To Users
A great value-addition to help you with better user engagement is giving recommendations. Based on the user’s preferences and past activities, you can recommend the audio and video to them. You can let the user know about what’s trending at the moment, or which is the latest album on the block.
- Steps To Building Your Audio Streaming Platform With Ventuno
- You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and cost-effective it is to start your own audio streaming platform with SaaS providers like Ventuno.
Ventuno provides an all-in-one platform for you to manage your entire audio streaming business. You can upload & organize your content, quickly launch your streaming website and apps using our customizable templates, monetize with ads, subscriptions, & pay-per-view, and view detailed analytics to understand and improve your streaming business.
Steps to launch your audio streaming platform:
- Choose the devices
The first step is to decide on which devices you would like to allow streaming of your music. For mobiles, connected TVs, and tablets, you can work on building an app. Whereas, for laptops and PCs, streaming websites would work as well.
- Choose the devices
- Select The Template And Design
Ventuno offers an extensive set of templates and customization options. Our white-label streaming platforms allow you to set up features, monetization, designs, and branding of your choice. Just choose a template and customize it with your own branding.
- Upload Audio Content
The next step is to upload all the audio content. You can also create playlists and shows to group similar content based on genre, artist, language, etc.
- Set Up The Monetization Plans
A white-label OTT platform like Ventuno allows you to set up monetization based on your preferences. You have 3 options to monetize – ads, subscriptions, and pay-per view.
- Launch Your Platform
Moving to the final step – the launch!
We will build your website and share it with you over a temporary URL. You can map this URL to the actual URL you want to use. For your apps, we will build them and share the app APK. We can then submit the apps to the respective stores through your store account.
You can monetize your audio streaming platform through three popular ways:
Most users would ideally prefer to go for the free subscription-providing platforms. Even if that means dealing with a few advertisements in between. To maximize user engagement, while also making revenues, audio streaming platforms give our audio and visual spaces to advertisers.
To play audio ads, advertisers get a fixed amount of time to record and share their ads. These ads are then played either after an audio file is played or during the playback of the file.
You will usually get a VAST or a VPAID tag from the advertiser. You can enter this tag on your Ventuno dashboard to play the ad. Sometimes, you might also get the MP4 file of the ad directly. Ventuno support these files as well.
You can provide ad-free content to your users for paid subscriptions to your platform. The user can pay a monthly or annual premium to access your collection of audio content anytime and anywhere.
For the paid subscriptions, make sure to include various options of payments, including debit cards, UPI, credit cards, Paypal, etc. Most importantly, secure your payment gateway with a firewall to protect the leakage of any crucial data.
At Ventuno, we will integrate your preferred payment gateway so that you can collect payments directly from your users. You can even create different plans for different countries and charge users in their local currency.
This is a fairly lesser opted model, where users pay for a one-time use of the audio content. Once they have paid the fee, they get access to the specific audio content for a limited time only.
Once you have successfully launched your audio streaming platform, the most crucial part of driving it to success is reviewing the platform’s analytics. Studying your platform’s analytics can help you understand what is working and what is not working for the users on your platform.
Some key metrics to look at while studying the performance analytics of your audio streaming platform are:
- Number of listeners on your platform.
- Location of the listeners – which city, state, or country they belong to.
- The average time a user spends listening on your platform.
- The revenues generated every month, quarter, and year.
- Most popularly heard content.
- Streaming devices used by maximum users.
- Know where your revenue is coming from – ads, subscriptions, etc.
By launching your audio website and apps with Ventuno, you get access to all the relevant data on your platform’s analytics. Additionally, our team of experts can guide you in breaking down the analytics and strategically planning the further course of action.
With the growth in popularity of digital media usage and the smartphone market, there is no doubt that the audio streaming market is at a tremendous upturn. Newer and more sophisticated technology has enabled audio content creators to become independent and launch their platforms.
With SaaS platforms like Ventuno, all your platform-building requirements are well-taken care of. There isn’t a single thing you need to worry about. Right from the CMS, audio player, servers, CDN and storage, ad-server, payment gateway, custom integrations, design, expert opinion, to going live – we’ve got you covered.
What are your thoughts on this article? reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss!
Launch your Audio Streaming Platform Today.