A step-by-step guide to building a video streaming app

A step-by-step guide to building a video streaming app


If you want to build a video streaming app, you should start with finding a niche for it and deciding on the content availability. From this article, you’ll get to know what to do next.

The competition in the sector of video streaming apps is fierce. To maximize your odds of success, you should thoroughly think over every aspect of your future product. In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on building a top-notch video streaming service app that you should be able to effectively monetize.

Select a Niche

These are the niches that mobile app development businesses work on most frequently in 2021.

  • Education. This niche isn’t limited only to online courses. It also includes video instructions and tutorials. Plus, it might feature dozens of sub-niches, from doing origami to taking care of home plants.
  • Fitness. It might include video lessons for different fitness types, be it yoga, weight lifting or dance training. Also, the app might offer video lectures on how to sleep well, lose weight, compile nutrition plans and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Entertainment. At first sight, it might seem that there is no space for new service providers in this niche. But that’s just an illusion. The entertainment market is huge, insatiable and by no means saturated.

One of the primary factors that should influence your choice of the niche is your location. You might want to take as a role model an app that is popular on a global scale and adapt it to the demands and opportunities of people from your region.

Decide on the Content Availability

You might want to either create video content yourself, or use videos from other distributors, or combine these two approaches. To be officially allowed to cooperate with video distributors, you need to get a license for public performance. This means that you should either get in touch with copyright holders or rent content from authorized distributors with licenses.

Identify Your Monetization Model

There are three ways to make money on your video streaming service app.

  • The pay-per-view model. Users pay for each video they watch. This approach is optimal for apps that broadcast sports events, concerts, trade shows, and conferences.
  • Subscription. To get access to your content library, subscribers need to pay a monthly fee. To make the most of this model, you should regularly upload new content to your app.
  • Advertising. You can charge other companies for running video advertisements on your platform. This strategy works well only for platforms with large audiences.

It would be wise to offer short-term free trial periods to all of these models.

Investigate Technical Requirements

To stream standard-definition movies, it’s enough to have a speed of slightly over 2 Mb/s. But for HD, 3D, or 4K broadcasts, the speed needs to be much higher.

To store your content, you can rely on cloud hosting platforms. They are cheaper than hard drives and give users quick access to videos. They are flexible and increase the amount of space automatically. Besides, clouds will save you from the necessity to carry out complex data migrations when scaling. Last but not least, you might want to employ cloud computing capabilities to carry out A\B testing, create caching architecture, build a search engine and recommendation system.

To broadcast videos to subscribers via a server network, you’ll need a content delivery network. Thanks to it, your product will be able to handle significant traffic.

The basic security measures for video apps include the following:

  • Network background. In the case of server failure, it will provide 24/7 monitoring and content availability.
  • Token security. Without your approval, third parties won’t be able to access your content.
  • Domain restriction. If you lock content to a specific domain, other users won’t be able to see the embedded link in the source code and insert it into another site or app.
  • Geographical restriction. It excludes selected locations because of licensing agreements.
  • Watermarking. This will enable you to maintain the rights to your content.

When choosing a payment gateway, consider PayPal Payments Pro that allows you to create and host your own checkout pages for maximum control. Otherwise, you might opt for 2CheckOut that supports payments via Visa, Discover, MasterCard, JCB, PayPal and other credit and debit cards. Braintree might come in handy too — it accepts payments in more than 130 currencies and operates in over 40 countries. Another worthy alternative is Stripe — this payment gateway supports subscription services, features premade UI components, and an API-first approach to customization.

Build an MVP and Test It

The most meaningful competitive edge of your minimum viable product is its intuitive interface. Users should be able to effortlessly navigate through the content, add videos to favorites, create lists of their favorite videos, search content by its name or other characteristics, filter content using tags and categories, and so on.

Metrics That You Should Pay Attention to

When assessing the efficiency of your product after its launch, you should focus on the following parameters.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost shows how much you need to pay to acquire a new subscriber. The lower it is, the better. To calculate it, you should select a specific period and divide your marketing expenses during this period by the number of paying subscribers.
  • Retention Rate evaluates the percentage of active subscribers and those who have stopped using the service over a certain time. The higher it is, the better. To calculate it, you should subtract the number of new subscribers at the end of a season and divide it by the number of subscribers you started the season with.
  • Customer Lifetime Value indicates how much revenue you receive from repeat customers. The higher it is, the better. To calculate it, you should check how much you’ll get from your average user if you keep them for a year.
  • Return on Advertising Spending displays the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. To calculate it, divide your sales by your advert spending.

And of course, you should consistently gather customer feedback.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this information was useful for entrepreneurs who would like to build an app for video streaming. When the product takes off, it should be able to bring your considerable income.



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