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How to Build a Video Streaming App: Features, Monetization, and More

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How to Create Your Own Video Streaming Application

People consume large amounts of video content and prefer to use streaming video services as they are convenient and affordable. Consequently, building a video streaming mobile app is a good idea for a startup. The market has already become huge and will only grow in the future.

This article contains the necessary information and some tips to help you develop your own video streaming app.

Why Build Your Video Streaming App Now? Facts, Stats, and Trends

Ten years ago, Netflix spent just $0 on its own content creation. The amount reached impressive $17.3 billion in 2020, and the figure is expected to exceed $19 billion by 2021. Moreover, there are many other players in this market like HBO Max, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and new services like these are appearing on a regular basis.

  • 43% of Americans have a subscription to TV and streaming services.
  • 80% of consumers prefer watching a live video to reading an article.
  • By 2022, live videos will account for 82% of internet usage.
  • The global video streaming market size is expected to reach USD 223.98 billion by 2028. The market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 21.0% from 2021 to 2028.

Video Streaming App Market
Image: Research and Markets

The video content distribution cost gets lower, and the market entry threshold becomes more accessible. If you have a sufficient budget and a good team of developers, you can develop a streaming service in just a few months. At the same time, the potential audience is growing, especially due to developing countries. The available entertainment time is also becoming longer for consumers.

You do not have to aim at entertainment and a wide audience, striving to develop an app like Hulu or Netflix. The matter is that the video streaming platform can be a hot ticket in different niches like healthcare, education, corporate training, or e-commerce.

If you build a startup focused on a specific niche, you will increase your chances of success.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

How to Make a Video Streaming App? 5-Step Checklist (in Plain Words)

We can describe the algorithm for working on such a project as follows:

  1. If you are not a technology expert, you have to find a team of developers before you start. They will help you build a video streaming app from scratch. The overall project success largely depends on this issue. Please, read our article “9 Tips for Choosing the Right Software Development Company.”
  2. Conduct a discovery phase. Make up your mind about your target audience and the platforms on which your app will become available (a website, a video streaming app for iOS/Android, smart TV, or desktop OS). Based on your choice, you will know the technology stack necessary to build the product.
  3. Decide on the content availability. Depending on the project type, you can offer users both content provided by third-party distributors and created by you. In any case, it is necessary to think over copyright protection mechanisms and possible legal aspects.
  4. Decide on the monetization model for your streaming service. To create a sustainable business, just a good technical solution is not enough. You also have to make money on it. Read more about this aspect in our article “8 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Mobile Application.”
  5. Start your video streaming platform with developing an MVP. It may prove risky to invest a lot of time and effort in building a product based on an untested hypothesis. If you launch a website or video streaming app with an MVP, you can validate your idea in the real world faster and reduce overall risks.

The work on each of the steps can certainly take weeks or even months. Nevertheless, if you describe this process as briefly as possible, it all comes down to these five steps anyway.

Key Features for Video Streaming App

Your streaming video app’s success depends on multiple aspects like the quality and variety of content offered to consumers, its user interface friendliness, and available features. Let us recollect the main ones that you have to include in your streaming platform.

  1. Authorization and onboarding. You can use different authorization methods starting from the classic one by email and finishing with social network account authorization. A well-thought-out onboarding in your mobile product allows you to help users quickly understand how your app works.
Types of onboarding for mobile application
  1. User profile. That is a crucial element if you are planning to create a streaming video platform able to effectively win the competition for audience retention and monetization. This section displays user activity, recommends content based on it, provides the possibility to edit personal information, allows users to change payment credentials, etc.
  2. Playlists. As it is with YouTube, playlists allow users to easily organize the content, add videos to favorites, schedule what they would like to see in the future, etc. All these features help you increase audience retention rates.
  3. Smart search. When you provide a huge amount of content, you should make sure users have a handy tool to help them find what they need. In case they cannot see what they are looking for, they will just leave.
Search algorithm in video streaming app
  1. Video player. This feature allows users to watch their favorite movies, videos, and other types of content available on your platform. It can play back videos on-demand or allow watching live streaming.
  2. Offline viewing. If users could download their favorite videos and watch them offline, it would prove useful for them when they travel or find themselves in locations with no or slow internet access.
  3. Multilingual capability. You can localize the whole platform or its separate elements like interface, voice acting, subtitles, etc. If you want more detail on this topic, we recommend you read our article “What is Mobile App Localization and How to Do it Right: Best Practices and Useful Tips.”
  4. Feedback and ratings. That is the basic feature necessary to get user ratings and involve users in the interaction with your service.
  5. Recommendation algorithm. This is the very feature that is quite popular among users of renowned streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. It can be based on a variety of criteria, AI, and ML technologies.
Video recommendation algorithm
  1. Push notifications. The technology allows you to alert users about new releases of favorite shows, offer them interesting recommendations, tell them about editorial selections, inform them about a new app version release, etc. The feature is especially useful for a mobile app.
  2. Feed. Similar to social networks, the feed shows the latest news, new content availability, and other potentially interesting information to users. Provide people with certain possibilities to control and customize their feed.
  3. Payment methods. The most common way to monetize a video streaming website is a paid subscription. That means you have to make sure you connect some payment gateways and work out payment procedures, using your website or mobile app.
Netflix in-app payment
  1. Custom settings. This function includes a set of different features allowing users to interact with your platform and adapt it to their needs: control playback settings, select a voice language, activate subtitles, and other things.

Finally, you should certainly pay special attention to the interface because that is the first thing your users will see. It should be pleasant, user-friendly, and not bloated with unnecessary elements.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Video Streaming App?

There is no straightforward and definite answer to this question. Any IT product will have its development budget that depends on several factors like software developer rates, specific functionality implementation complexity, off-the-shelf or custom design, connected third-party APIs, etc.

There is one unobvious point you should take into account — if you hire experienced developers to work on your project, their hourly rates may seem too high to you as a customer. However, by doing so, you will actually reduce the overall project cost. Qualified IT specialists will help you find the optimal technical solution, work faster, and make a lot fewer mistakes.

You can study this topic in more detail in our article “How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App?”.

Are You Ready to Make Your Own Video Streaming App?

Now when you clearly understand what it takes to build a quality mobile video streaming app or website, you can start working on developing an MVP. The market still holds enough promising niches and opportunities in stock for new players.

If you still have questions or are looking for experienced developers who could help you implement these ideas, contact us and let us discuss the details.

November 05, 2021

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