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How To Build A Live Video Streaming Service: Business & Technicals?

By June 10, 2020December 18th, 2020One Comment
how to build live video streaming service like netflix, hulu, tiktok, disney by agiletech

During this time, as many people are practicing social distancing, entertainment activities are more limited. And with all of the uncertainty ahead, everyone is very seemingly to save money. So they prefer paying for cost-effective video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Tiktok, and Disney+.

These days, with on-demand video streaming platforms, you can watch anything, from anywhere, via any devices. Now, major video streaming services are securing millions of subscribers.

Source: Statista

Moreover, in 2020, the sector is expected to generate revenue of close to $26 billion, with an annual growth rate of 4.1%. Even video streaming is a big business, but how to start a movie streaming service like Netflix?

In fact, it’s not a simple task. Not only complex back-end architecture, video streaming protocols, a live streaming website need also network connectivity and security, etc.

If you want to grab the success of your future platform, let’s dive into this article. Based on our experience, we will give you a complete guide that explains how to build your own streaming service!

The success story of Netflix

The factor behind Netflix’s success is an inspiring tale for many young entrepreneurs. According to BusinessofApps, at the end of 2019, Netflix subscribers numbered 167.1 million.

Instead of relying on advertisement effort, Netflix focused more on unique content. Production was solely circumscribed on the extraordinary genre. And this strategy is the key contributor to the success story of Netflix.

Netflix business model

Since Netflix has advanced to streaming technologies, it is the world’s seventh-largest Internet company by revenue, ranging its presence on a global scale. This over-the-top media service provides its viewers the ability to stream a variety of TV shows, movies as well as documentaries and much more.

The following is a compilation that comprises specifications of Netflix’s business canvas model and its core operations.

Why Netflix is so popular?

  • Flexibility. Using Netflix, customers can watch any video online on-demand and on any screen. Moreover, Netflix gives its customers a great personalized experience suited best for each individual taste.
  • Accessibility. They deliver video across different platforms, operating systems, and devices including websites, mobile applications, tablets to maximize its fan base.
  • Variety of options. Netflix approaches a wide range of movies, TV show series, and documentaries by distribution partners. This allows Netflix to attract millions of customers, with interests of difference.
  • Original content. Exceeding its competitors like Amazon, Hulu, or HBO Now, Netflix puts in the top spot on customer-satisfaction surveys. Netflix broadcasts exclusive programs and third-party publisher’s shows. Besides, the streaming media service offers some in-house shows which are not available on other platforms.
  • No ads. Everyone likes watching movies without interruptions. That’s why they provide an ad-free experience to its user base. This prevents users from annoying and irrelevant ads.

Building a successful startup is hardly possible without a positive customer experience and useful functionality. Let’s go further and figure out what minimal set of features is needed to building a streaming service.

How to start building a streaming service?

When you start developing a subscription video platform, you face a lot of challenges: how to find the right strategy, which is the core features, monetization, and how to create personalized video streaming experience for users? 

1. Find your niche

Getting your project success can be a difficult task. First things first: decide what you want to achieve. You should understand one main goal and a number of smaller goals.

During this stage, you need to choose a service name and domain based on your location and decide which product you will be developing. Of course, you can create your own streaming service like Netflix with all potential viewers. But your unique content as well as the personal specificity of your service may become your punch line.

First, you should decide what content of your platform to users. To give you more clue, we have gathered several ideas below:

  • Entertainment. TV shows streaming apps like Netflix or HBO are very profitable. TikTok also tries to conquer the competitive world of music streaming services. According to CNN business, TikTok users spent a record $10.8 million within the app in June, with US users accounting for more than 20% of in-app purchases.
  • Fitness. Fitness is another niche for video streaming app. People would love to access to fitness-related videos anytime. Besides, you can deliver different audios, video categories about yoga, dance, or a healthy diet to enhance a wider audience.
  • Education. Nowadays, people need to work. People need to study. But rather than traditional ways like reading tutorials and instructions, you can choose from skill sharing, cooking or even origami.

2. Build your content

Because content is the foundation of your on-demand streaming service. So, when building a live streaming platform like Netflix, there are a few important questions you should pay attention to:

  • What your content will be?
  • How often you will update your content?
  • Do you want to create unique video content?
  • Or do you use videos from other distributors?
  • Is your streaming website for pay or for free?

3. Get licensing

Next, if you want to launch your product on multiple markets, you may need to translate it into multiple languages. In addition, if you want to cooperate with video distributors, you need to get a license to the public. Depending on the type of video streaming app you’ve chosen, how to get a license is different.

For example, there are two ways to deal with that:

  • Renting movies from the authorized distributor with licenses
  • Contacting the copyright holder directly

In the USA, if you choose the first option, you should contact a distributor that is authorized:

As a second choice, you need to get in touch with the right studio holder of specific content as well as negotiate with them.

4. Decide on the monetization model

But how many ways to generate revenue?  Mainly, monetizing streaming video utilizes three methods :

  • Subscription. Subscribers are charged weekly, monthly or yearly fees to access a content library.
  • Pay-per-view. Some content is delivered for free. While users still have to pay an additional payment for each video to watch.
  • Advertising. You can charge other companies for placing advertisements inside your platform. Still, this monetization strategy works only if your video streaming service is famous among users.

5. Hire a quality software development company

If you can’t do everything on your own, looking for a reliable vendor is a good idea. Outsourcing can save up 70% of your budget. Your software development team will help you create a test version of your platforms with only essential features. After developing the test version of your video streaming platform, it’s time to show it to the world.

You’ll need a development team including:

  • Project manager
  • Web designer
  • Frontend developer
  • Backend developer
  • UI/UX designers
  • QA engineers

But how to find the right outsourcing partner? There are 2 options:

  • Select vendors from leading review platforms like Goodfirms.
  • Study portfolios and experience.
  • Analyze tech specialization and capabilities.
  • Sort companies by countries, their hourly rates, and read reviews from previous clients.

6. Key features for video streaming platform

The last past of our guide on how to builds sites like Netflix is the development stage. During this stage, you must specify all the features that an online video streaming business may need.

Additionally, pay extra attention to platforms. If you plan to build a website like Netflix, you should keep in mind to create a mobile app as well. Everyone likes spending most of their time using their mobile devices rather than PCs.

  • User registration. To get started, every user needs an account. Users can log in to their accounts via email, Google, or Facebook for the most convenient experience.
  • User Profile. Users can edit the name, upload photos, choose preferred genres, actors, directors, movies, shows, etc. Besides, it also a place where users will be able to save favorite videos, view their watch history, save for later.
  • Payment Gateway. After signing a free trial version, users will choose from some subscription options and pay for it via credit card, PayPal, AirPay, MoMo, etc.
  • Content search. This is a must feature to let users find their favorites by actors, movies, TV shows, ratings, genres, user reviews, and more.
  • Push notifications. For example, users receive a notification when their subscription is about to expire, they decide to upgrade their subscription or a new TV series or show is released.

Additional features

  • Reviews & ratings. These features collect user feedback by allowing them to write reviews and rate the videos.
  • Settings. According to clients’ requirements, they can choose the sound level, activation of subtitles, play and pause options, or selection of video quality for advanced solutions.
  • Screenshot ban. Users can’t take screenshots or record videos from the content.
  • Multiple language support. The more languages you integrate in a video streaming app, the more users you will attract.
  • Admin panel. As an admin, you can access all content to manage videos and users as well, edit videos, block users, and so on. You also analyze user behavior and improve service operations based on the data received.
  • Social sharing. With a sharing feature, users can share favorite ones with friends through social media.
  • Recommendations. Users will see a personalized experience based on their movie preferences.

Note: The more functionality you add, the more time and budget you need to spend for Netflix alternatives website development.

How much does it cost to create streaming  platform like Netflix

As you can see, the creation of online video streaming services is a complex task that takes a lot of time and resources. To clarify, the cost of streaming app development depends on many factors, including a feature list, the hourly rate of a software development company you choose.

It varies from country to country:

  • United States: $50 – $150/hour
  • Western Europe: $40-60/hour
  • Eastern Europe: $25 – $50/hour
  • Vietnam: $10-25$/hour

In addition, the average time for video streaming service (MVP version) is 1,500 hours. So, if you make a decision to hire a developer from Vietnam, the price ranges from $15,000 ‒ $37,000.

About AgileTech

What is more? AgileTech will help you fully understand how to create a video streaming website and mobile app. Especially, we will figure out all the ins and outs of building a complex back-end architecture, setting up a video streaming server and so on.

We also develop additional features and create custom design of your web app to help your product stand out. So let’s get started now!

By providing multiple needs and services, AgileTech is here to ensure your technology project as a successful element of your omnichannel strategy.

We have expert Project Managers along with excellent teams who have delivered the best products to customers in more than 10 countries, namely the U.S, U.K, Germany, France, and Singapore.

As a leading mobile development company in Vietnam, we have huge experiences in many fields including e-commerce, car-sharing platform, health care, Livestream, and many more.

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