How To Create A Video-Streaming Mobile App Like Netflix?

Long back, there used to be a constant tug-of-war between family members for the TV remote. They would all argue over what to watch next; however, with many online video streaming apps available at our disposal, that ongoing banter is now a thing of the past. With a plethora of movie streaming services available, now people can watch anything, anytime, from any device. Today, the global video streaming market will be worth over $125 billion by 2025. And if you are willing to step into the video streaming business, no time is better than this.

When it comes to video streaming apps, most businesses today desire to recreate the success of Netflix; in fact, Netflix is the reason why most companies are keen to invest in this segment. They all want to create a video streaming app like Netflix, so let’s dig into a little information on this platform.

How Did Netflix Become A Household Name?

Netflix is a leading video streaming platform, which started as a DVD-by-mail company in 1997. Then in 1998, Netflix launched its web page, and it changed from a ‘pay-per-rental’ to ‘a monthly subscription model. Then in the early 2000s’, Netflix put its focus on online streaming services, and its efforts were fruitful as in 2008, it finally launched the Netflix streaming service we know today. It is famous for its television classics, movies, original shows, documentaries, etc.

Today it is more than 118 million paid subscribers. More than 50 percent of households use the Netflix service in the USA itself, while its revenue was as high as $17.63 billion in 2019.

What Is A Video Streaming App?

Video Streaming App

Streaming is a way to transmit data using the internet in a continuous flow that enables playback to start as the remaining data is still being received. The invention of this technology has offered a new way for people to watch whatever they like without downloading it. Today, the other names popular in video streaming are Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and Hotstar. And such is the popularity of this service that people can have enough and are constantly seeking an alternative.

Why Are Video Streaming Apps So Popular?

Why Are Video Streaming Apps So Popular?

With video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, users get access to many TV shows, movies, and documentaries catering to various genres all in one place. And it was mainly during the pandemic that demands for these apps rocketed, as people needed something to stay sane, motivated, and entertained, and at that time, these video streaming apps came to the rescue. Speaking of Netflix, the app attracted worldwide users as it got 16 million new signups during the lockdown. Other video streaming platforms like YouTube also noticed a surge in their usage during the lockdown. People head to these apps to stay entertained, learn more, and keep themselves busy.

Things To Keep In Mind While Creating A Video Streaming App

There are a few aspects to be considered while creating a Video Streaming app. They are:

Creating A Video Streaming App

Discovering Your Niche

In the market, there are various types of content available, like entertainment, fitness, education, etc., and this is why it is vital to come up with your specific niche to offer something unique from the others.

Monetize Your App

  1. As you decide on your monetization model, ensure to keep it audience-oriented.
  2. Consider monetizing the app with free subscriptions with advertisements or product placement.
  3. At the same time, keep in mind the multi-currency requirements of creating a streaming platform that runs worldwide.

More Than Just Video Streaming

These apps are not just about streaming videos but involve user engineering & recommendations to keep the users engaged with the app. As you plan to develop an app like Netflix, focus on user personalization and data analytics aspects.

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Manage Various Roles In The App

User viewing is only one user role in the Netflix app, and one must plan for multiple users and their access, like video, admin, moderators, partners, etc.

Crucial Parameters That Must Measure For Netflix-Like App Development

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

This metric states the acquisition cost of a new subscriber. For calculating the CAC, you must:

  • Choose a specific period
  • Divide marketing costs by the number of paying the subscribers
  • The lower the CAC is, the better it is.

Retention Rate

This metric assesses the percentage of active users and those who stopped using the service over a specific period. The retention rate is calculated in the following manner:

  • By subtracting the number of new subscribers at the season’s end.
  • Then, divide this number by the number of subscribers the season started with.

Here, the goal is to keep the retention rate as high as possible. Still, the metric differs as per the industry.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

This metric shows the revenue received from repeat customers and helps evaluate product quality. When able to keep your average user for a year, then the income brought by such users during the year is your CLV.

Which Are The Essential Features Of Video Streaming Apps?

If your goal is creating an app like Netflix, then go with the feature that enhances engagement. And here, we discuss some of the features that you can add to your video streaming app to ensure its high performance that leads to higher engagement:

User Registration

This is the first yet most important step. It is essential to keep the registration process quick and straightforward by merging it with email and social media signup to help users in a seamless boarding experience.

Multiple Payment Integrations

The significant monetization model is video streaming app is a subscription strategy. Hence your app must offer various payment options to offer a good user experience.

User Profile

This feature works great for app subscriptions offering multiple screens. Hence, users can create separate profiles and enjoy a personalized app experience.

Content Search

This option is not only about searching titles based on their names but also searches based on the genre and the content. The app must provide Filter options.

Group Watch

This functionality enables the users to form a room and watch some movie or series in the room; hence it allows users to watch the same title simultaneously in a group.

Push Notifications

This feature helps send alerts or push notifications to the users to notify them about any new release based on their watch history. It is also used to send information for recently launched titles.

Video Control Settings

This functionality allows users to set video quality, volume control, change language, play/pause/forward/rewind, etc., to have a personalized experience.

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Multi-Language Support

It is a fantastic feature to attract many users to the app from diverse backgrounds. Even consider adding various language options in subtitles as well.

Screenshot Blocking

For copyright protection, this functionality restricts users from taking screenshots or recording any movie/video by turning a screenshot or video into a black screen.

Admin Panel

It is a must-have functionality for any video streaming app, as here, the admin has control of all content and users, and they can set maturity and even block users if required.

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Monetization-Based Categorization Of Video Streaming Apps

Free Video Streaming

In this category, the app allows free content viewing to the users when the app is launched or when the user is new to the app. Later, to get the most out of the app, they make users purchase any plan or app subscription.

Paid Video Streaming

In this category, the app offers a feature subscription where users can buy a plan that’s added to their account as a credit, so they continue watching, streaming movies or videos, etc.

Profit Earning Video Streaming

This category is for content not available at any other video streaming platform of sources and content with copyright. Competitive apps use this strategy to show that content, particularly on only their apps, and if the users desire to watch that content, they must pay a specific sum or purchase the content. This way, it brings profit for the app providers.

How To Create A Video Streaming App Like Netflix Or Amazon Prime?

Here are the steps you must follow to create a media and Entertainment App

  • Create a strategy
  • Put a team together
  • Get a PaaS account
  • Apply for a Cloud Streaming service
  • Determine your project scope
  • Identify the pattern of your software architecture
  • Apply for an MBaaS account to operate with mobile phones
  • Create a strategy to manage client subscriptions
  • Publish your app on iOS/Android apps stores
  • Create an Android app and test it before submitting it on Google Play
  • Do coding for a web app, test the app and deploy it
  • Enable in-app purchases using eCommerce APIs
  • Use PM tools to manage the project properly
  • Create an iOS app and test it before submitting it to the Play store
  • Create a user interface design for the app service
  • Facilitate web app development using Node.js

The two popular platforms for smartphones are iOS and Android, while Windows is the dominant platform for laptops and desktops. To ensure a broad user base, focus on both. Also, consider making the app available on other platforms to increase its popularity.

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Technology Stacks Useful For Video Streaming Services

App makers can employ several strategies to create their streaming platform, and the best is to focus on the technology stack as that’s the primary building block of video streaming apps. The technology stack to employ can be:

Content Distribution Network (CDN)

The motive of this strategy is to put content as close to people as possible. As a user requests a video, the app finds the nearest server with a video. Then the app streams that video from there to the user’s device. The speed and reliability are the unique attributes of CDN, and as close the video source is to people, the faster and more reliable the viewing experience will be. Apart from page content & libraries optimization, CDN usage also ensure a shorter load time for an app. It loads the content from the nearest user location. Using AWS Cloud-front can significantly affect the loading speed and support caching strategy.

Third-Party CDNs

Several streaming services can have their CDNs, but that’s only possible when the video catalog is pretty small. With lesser videos, one location can store all the content. However, creating their CDN makes more secondary sense as the businesses grow. It is better to rely on third-party CDNs, which instantly allow a global reach using existing services. As distribution networks are outsourced, services get more and more time to work on high-priority projects. They can utilize that time to develop algorithms to adapt to changing network conditions.

Open Connect

In 2012, it launched its dedicated CDN solution to increase network efficiency. It has been quite beneficial for Netflix to have its purpose-built CDN. Mainly, Open Connect is way less expensive than the other third-party distribution networks, and it enables controlling the entire video path. So, now Netflix has control over transcoding, clients, and CDN. It has even made the app more scalable, which allows it to offer its service across the world. Their CDN helps them know who their users are, and they also have a computer system to store videos known as OCA (Open Connect Appliances). With its high-performing CDN, Netflix can deliver a high video viewing experience.

How Much Does It Cost To Create A Video Streaming App Like Netflix?

It is challenging to offer an exact development cost to create a video streaming app. The app cost depends on several factors, like the number of app platforms, features integrated into the app, the development region chosen for app making, and several others.

However, to give a rough idea, the total cost to create a Netflix-like app can be between $10,000 to $25,000 per platform. The price might comprise Android, iOS app development, front-end, and back-end development.

How Much Time Does It Take To Create An App Like Netflix?

Creating a video-streaming app can take somewhere around 20 weeks. However, the development time can go up to 30 weeks depending on various functionalities and platform supports.

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If you are willing to jump into the video streaming app business, creating such an app can be pretty complicated. However, by getting the right help, the app-making process will be a cakewalk. You can contact reputed and experienced video streaming app development firms like InventColabs to create the best video streaming app for your business. We have expertise in creating video and moving streaming mobile apps for different platforms and have highly dedicated developers who help at every step of app development.

Jitendra Jain

Jitendra Jain is the CEO and Co-founder of Inventcolabs. He is among the most endeavoring leaders in the space of advanced computing and information technology. He has been at the forefront of the tech innovation taking place at Inventcolabs, and his domain insights, ideas, and viewpoints on the latest IT trends and traits impact change through his words and works in motion.