Who said people don’t read books today? They do, but in a pretty specific and advanced way – people listen to books. These days not everyone can allocate some time to get the pleasure of reading, thus, audiobooks happily lend a hand.
Wherever we are, we can enjoy audiobooks of our choice. Someone might ask why not simply download the file to the smartphone… The thing is that mobile apps provide much more options than just listening to books. Besides those services are convenient, so it’s not surprising that such applications are turning more and more in-demand lately.
We shall figure out what to think through when making an audiobook platform.
Actually, when it comes to the development of an audiobook application, startuppers shall think through 3 sets of features: for users, for admins, and premium features. The last point is for monetizing purposes. Let’s determine what parameters are critical to provide for attracting a wider audience and keeping people interested and satisfied.
Features for users:
- Registration. Every mobile solution needs such a possibility, and audiobooks aren’t the exception. The objective is to keep it nice and easy, so login via social media would be the best choice;
- Personal account. This is the right place for users to store some basic info, say, literature preferences, etc.;
- Catalog. People shall be able to see what literary works are available on the e-market, so they know what to choose from. Helpful thematic categories will be highly appreciated by the audience;
- Search. If you decide to create a lifestyle mobile app, and online audiobook services belong to this specific segment, you’ll need to properly consider searching and filtering instruments for listeners to easily find the book they want;
- Description. It’s a great idea when each product is supplemented with a short description helping users figure out whether a book is exactly what they’re looking for (or not);
- Library. It’s essential to allow customers to add books to their libraries. You’ll manage to win the hearts of your clients, if people get the books in their possession for good;
- Playback. It’s critical to let your customers move forward and backward faster;
- Background playback. Some people prefer listening to book and writing messages or performing some other actions on their smartphones at the same time. It would be great if you think through such an option as well;
- Bookmarks. A great possibility is to be able to mark certain places in the book. The mentioned tool is important to provide;
- Sharing. When people like something, they want to share it with their family and friends. Why shall it not be the case of audiobooks? By implementing this feature, you’ll give the audience one more reason to take advantage of your program;
- Payment. No matter which business model you decide to go for, occasionally listeners will need to transfer you the money to purchase a book or to extend the subscription. So, in any case, you need the given feature;
- Reviews & Ratings. Those are to help users choose a specific audiobook. The audience will like a chance to share the impressions after having “read” a specific book;
- Pushes. Why not help people stay in the loop? You could inform them about the appearance of new books, send reminders on approaching time for subscription renewals, and much more.
Features for admins
Every audiobook service has to be managed by admins to ensure its smooth and proper operation. Thus, administrators are supposed to have all the tools they’ll require to handle various issues, say, content (adding and deleting audiobooks), subscription, users, financial transactions, etc.
Clearly, the admins’ level of access has to be much higher compared to usual users who just listen to books online.
The audience can enjoy those functions for extra fees, and usually, they represent a part of the monetization model. Here are a few options for you to implement to drive revenue:
- possibility to manage playback speed, slowing down or accelerating it, so users can listen at the speed they’re comfortable with;
- a chance to return the books people don’t like;
- tools to accompany audio with the corresponding text;
- opportunity to listen to books on different devices, meaning, the app has to be compatible with various gadgets;
- a chance to automatically halt the listening process at the specific time;
- possibility to find out the latest news of a particular book, check the interview with an author, and more amazing stuff that might interest users.
That would be a pretty intriguing point to review. Let’s be honest, to make a great audiobook application, you’ll need to have a sizeable budget. It won’t be actually possible to save a lot, in case you’d like to build something decent. However, there could be some ways to reduce the costs.
In general, the below points are the ones to affect the expenses:
- Features. The more of them you’re eager to deliver, the bigger budget you’ll require to implement them. Moreover, it’s not only about the number, as their complexity also matters;
- Development technique. You have to decide whether you’re to create a service from scratch or apply for certain ready-made templates. Each approach has its pros and cons;
- Service type. Android or iOS? Native application for every platform or a hybrid one for all? The choice has to be made before you start the development;
- Developers rates. Most likely, you’ll need some professional assistance. Clearly, famous companies have high rates. Moreover, the price also varies depending on the geography, say, the UK and US programmers charge the most;
- Marketing and maintenance. Each application needs a decent promotion campaign. And, when it’s up and running, there’ll be certain support and maintenance expenses as well.
The most affordable approach is to employ Eastern European developers and start with an MVP version. That will cost you roughly $15.000-$25.000. Once again, remember that those are approximate estimates for you to understand the overall pricing.