How to Start a Streaming Service Easy and Fast

How to start an online video streaming business? Our experts believe streaming is the media technology of the future. Popular streaming platforms have already become irreplaceable, and their profits are measured in billions. So if you are interested in how to start a streaming service, now would be the best time to learn.

How to Start a Streaming Service

Best Online Video Streaming Services

The largest online video streaming services are examples of great business success.

Netflix

Starting price: $7/month.

An American multimedia streaming web service for movies and TV series. The main feature of Netflix is the ability to watch videos at any time, while other services show one episode a day or week. Due to this, users stay on Netflix much longer, watching two or more episodes in one session, with many watching the entire season at once.

If you are wondering how to start a business like Netflix, first you need to figure out what makes Netflix attractive:

  • a trial version;
  • parental controls;
  • a huge database of films and TV series;
  • a lot of unique content;
  • intuitive interface.

From a simple streaming service Netflix has grown to funding movies and TV shows, many of which are very niche projects whose development would never have paid off on the big screen and TV. Netflix often buys out franchises that other companies have abandoned. The service does this to expand its audience and diversify its content, and many fans are very grateful for it. It’s not a guarantee that you can create your own Netflix, but you can surely try!

Twitch

Starting price: $14,99/month.

This is the largest streaming platform, according to Streamlabs. Twitch.tv grew out of justin.tv, which did not limit itself to video games, but also broadcast streams about animals, sports, and politics. However, in 2011, justin.tv executives realized that there was a great future for computer games, and switched to specializing in the gaming theme.

Twitch is available through a browser on any device, including iOS and Android. The platform streams esports tournaments and cooperates with the largest conferences and world championships in the gaming industry.

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HBO

Starting price: $14,99/month.

HBO positions itself as a premium content platform. Due to this, the company abandoned the HBO Go version and offers users the HBO Max service with the original shows, the Studio Ghibli library.

Disney Plus

Starting price: $7/month.

This streaming service, which costs only $7 per month, offers users a grand library of the best family videos from Disney. Note, most of the content is presented in 4K format.

“Mulan” is available to registered users for $30 starting September 4. Disney promises to make all subsequent blockbusters just as accessible.

Hulu

Starting price: $5,99/month.

Hulu is the popular solution for those who want to watch the latest network shows without connecting to cable networks. The platform provides access to cable shows the next day after the broadcast. Hulu subscribers can watch not only the current seasons, but the entire show.

Amazon Prime Video

Starting price: $12,99/month.

Amazon Prime is a great choice for those who prefer to shop online. Pay $119 and get free access to an amazing library of video content with the best TV series and shows for a whole year. On Amazon Prime Video, you can not only watch but also buy and rent any video content you want. Children's programs and comedy shows on this platform are considered the best.

Choosing a Website Business Model

All existing streaming services make money either from paid subscriptions for all content or from promotional videos. Paid subscriptions, consisting of several tariff plans, are practiced by Netflix, Hulu, and many other services.

In the case of a website with free content, premium features are a source of additional income. For example, disabling ads or adding the ability to chat is a paid feature. Note that the user can also disable ads on your website, which reduces the profitability of the business. Blocking users who have an ad blocker enabled works, but only if the content is unique. More often, blocking pushes the visitors away.

YouTube and Twitch have launched mobile apps where ad blocking doesn't work - this is something worth considering when you set out to create a streaming service.

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Functionality

Here you need to decide on the functionality for the administration and visitors, and on the universal tools. The latter category includes the following features:

  • Home page with the features of the streaming platform, terms of use, recommended content;
  • Registration on the site, login for authorized users;
  • Personal account with access to user settings, tools for customization, integration with social networks, payment;
  • Contextual hints with a choice of language.

Functionality for viewers:

  • Video search with the ability to autocomplete requests, various filters;
  • Video library for the user to arrange videos in "shelves";
  • The video player should be as functional and presentable as possible. It needs to have settings for video quality and speed, with display of streams listing;
  • The ability to subscribe, track new products in the channel, access to chat, comments, likes, dislikes, etc.;
  • Integration with payment systems.

Functionality for the supplier:

  • Uploading content from various devices, including a screen- or webcam. Content processing;
  • Video library management - sorting and editing files, adding information to accompany the video, setting access rights and copyrights;
  • Monetization tools - inclusion of ads, banners;
  • Analytic tools.

The administration should have tools to control all processes occurring on the website, advanced analytics, monetization settings, moderation, etc.

Prototypes

Based on the established functionality, design prototypes are created taking into account the physical dimensions of the screens of user devices:

  • A user flow prototype is a simple diagram that shows the steps needed to perform an action;
  • Sitemap with a structural display of navigation, organization of content into sections or "screens";
  • UX prototypes with typographic and visual details of the streaming platform;
  • Interactive prototypes are meant to demonstrate how the interface works.

Software development

After the prototype is approved by the stakeholders, we can move on to the software development stage as well as QA and testing.

When your product is released, we often provide support and maintenance services to further improve the software, fix new issues, and introduce the necessary updates for best performance and security.

For more information on the technical side of how to create a streaming service and the approximate prices of building a streaming platform, contact us for a consultation.

Top Services for a Streaming Resource Development

There are a bunch of readymade solutions that allow implementing great video streaming opportunities. You can use the following services, which are WebRTC servers and APIs in nature, to start building a streaming solution of your own.

Twilio

The platform is primarily focused on implementing voice and messaging features for websites and apps. However, it provides extensive programmable video capabilities as well. Twilio offers the following benefits:

  • It is developer friendly, enterprise ready
  • Provides high-quality connections regardless of network conditions
  • Ensures end-to-end control of the customer journey
  • Enables to deploy secure cloud-scale video applications
  • Provides complete control of quality and layout.
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Janus

This is an open-source WebRTC server that can be used for streaming services as well. The solution is preferred by many for its simple, lightweight nature, with no excessive parts involved. Janus boasts:

  • an extensive selection of extra plugins;
  • easy-to-integrate nature;
  • sturdy server capabilities;
  • well-structured documentation;
  • wide app implementation opportunities (due to plugins of any shape and size available)

Kurento

Kurento offers an authentic WebRTC media server along with a bunch of client APIs for creating complex video streaming web apps. The solution offers advanced features and wide capabilities like:

  • the use of computer vision, AR, and speech recognition;
  • easily-integrated APIs;
  • full optimization for web development;
  • passionate online community;
  • open source code available on GitHub.

Jitsi

Jitsi is a video conferencing solution above all else, which provides no less efficient features for good streaming software. It is secure, flexible in use and configurations, and absolutely free to use. Other advantages include:

  • easy integration;
  • open source code;
  • stable server connection;
  • scalable software opportunities;
  • all the needed basic functionality out-of-the-box (ling-sharing, audio controls, etc.).

How to Calculate the Cost of Developing a Video Streaming Platform?

If you want to develop a complete streaming solution, consider the following expenses:

  • iOS App Development - $18,000- $25,000
  • Android App Development - $18,000- $25,000
  • Back-end development - $27,000- $38,000
  • Front-end development - $23,000- $32,000.

Thus, the total cost ranges between $86,000 and $120,000.

If your own funds are not enough to create a streaming service, start with a Minimum Viable Product - a version with minimal functionality. The MVP will present the service to potential investors. Thus, you can gather funds for the entire project for about 40% of the cost.

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Read how we approach software development for startups.

When designing the main MVP features, consider the time required for creating each feature:

  • Registration and login via Google or Facebook or email - 32 hours or more.
  • A user profile with the ability to edit data, upload files, create your own collection of selected films, actors, etc. - 16 hours or more.
  • The subscription after a trial period, adapted to payment systems - 80 hours or more.
  • Search option for various categories: movies, TV series, shows, actors, ratings, etc. - 20 hours or more.
  • Notification function - pop-up windows with information about the expiration of the subscription, new releases, etc. - 24 hours or more.
  • Participation in the assessment and ranking of content viewed - 44 hours or more.
  • A unique design - 100 hours or more.

The total time is at least 316 hours.

The most efficient way to create a streaming service is to buy a Netflix clone. To fully customize and prepare it for work, it will be enough to change the code in accordance with the design and functionality. The price is around $7,000 - $8,000.

Why Do You Need Chats for Streaming?

An extremely important element of live video streaming app development is adding a chat. If your own online streaming service offers live streaming, the content suppliers can’t stream without a chat. It increases engagement and customer satisfaction.

Some viewers expand the stream to full screen on a computer or watch broadcasts from mobile devices, so it is more convenient to see the chat right on the broadcast screen.

How to Start an Online Video Streaming Business?

Requestum offers live video streaming app development. Just decide on your goal and budget and contact our manager in any convenient way, and we’ll take care of the rest. We are ready to help you in solving all pressing problems and do video streaming app development in accordance with the specifics of your vision. Contact us with your project idea to get full consultation and project estimate.

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