A stream come true: a simple way to keep users and make money from your music streaming app

Where were you when US boyband N-Sync released their second album No Strings Attached?

Can’t remember? Well, perhaps you should. Because March 21st 2000 – the launch date of No Strings Attached – was the day the music industry changed forever.

Here’s why. No Strings Attached was the fastest-selling CD album of all time. It sold 1.1 million copies on its first day, 2.4 million in the first week and 10 million CDs by the end of the year. These were extraordinary numbers. The record business must have thought the good times would go on forever. But actually, No Strings Attached was the beginning of the end. Its records would never be broken. No Strings Attached represented the peak of the ‘old media’ before physical products gave way to digital downloads. Now, 17 years on, even downloads are old news. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), streaming music is now responsible for over half of all US music industry revenue.

This is excellent news. Why? Because streaming has been a savior for the record industry. Music labels once worried about piracy. Today, hundreds of millions pay around $10 a month for the wonderful convenience of instant access to the world’s music catalogue. In 2016, streaming earned the industry $5.4 billion.

Of course, most people in mature markets associate streaming music with mega brands like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, Tidal and Deezer. However, there are many more alternatives to these providers – especially in emerging markets. The Google Play store is home to dozens of music streaming apps offering products tailored for niche tastes and regional content. There’s plenty of room for growth here. Meanwhile, access to streaming is growing thanks to the emergence of new channels such as in-car entertainment systems, mobile messaging platforms, voice assistants (Echo etc) and wearables. This too will accelerate the spread of streaming services.

For developers of music streaming apps, the challenge is to monetize their products. In emerging markets where incomes are relatively low, many developers choose ad funding. Here, Calldorado makes a compelling choice of partner. Calldorado is a caller ID platform that developers can add to their apps. The service displays details about a caller on the phone screen, and also serves ads. Obviously, users see these ads many times a day, so the revenue is vastly more than from in-app advertising.

Calldorado also lets developers add information about app updates on the display screen. So a music streaming app developer could alert users to new product features around 15 times a day. And the app doesn’t even have to be open for this to work. Studies show up to 10 % of users re-engage with an app when Calldorado is installed.