Live Video Streaming App Development: A Business Perspective

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Over the past several decades, people’s watching habits have changed drastically. The appearance of on-demand video streaming applications like Netflix and Hulu has divided audiences into two parts: those who prefer traditional TV and those who switched to new video apps. It is worth saying that now digital services are winning. According to Streaming Observer, cable television is losing 14 000 subscribers every day in the USA.

As you can see, video is the most promising type of content for now. So, let’s move on and study deeper live video streaming app development.

What are the main types of video streaming apps?

Here is a brief overview of the widespread types of streaming applications:

Types of live video streaming apps
Live Broadcasting Apps

It’s one of the most popular types of streaming applications. The idea is pretty simple. Users can watch a video in real-time. Also, it is recorded and broadcast simultaneously. The most well-known live-streaming apps are Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Livestream, Periscope.

Audio Streaming

The idea is the same. Users can listen to music without downloading. Spotify, Apple Music is the most popular music streaming service for now.

Video on Demand Streaming (VOD)

This type allows customers to watch TV-shows or serials without downloading them. It’s different from the previous two types as users can pause content, resume, and rewind it. Usually, users have to pay for subscriptions to these streaming services. The most famous ones are Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video.

TV Live Streaming Apps

TV Live Streaming Apps allows watching TV online. Hulu, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime Video are video on demand platforms but they also have plans for TV live streaming.

Live streaming apps can also vary by focus. Some of them are used for work purposes, others for personal needs. But most of them combine both directions.

Mobile streaming market overview

Before launching your live streaming application it’s worth conducting market research and analyzing key players. Let’s start with some interesting numbers that characterizing the industry:

☑️80% of the audience prefer watching the video to reading an article;

☑️people are 39% more likely to share video content;

☑️78% of Facebook users watch its Live videos;

☑️77% of all mobile traffic will be video by 2026;

☑️by 2025, the video on demand market will reach $87,1 billion.

Sounds impressive, right? So, let’s explore in-depth the most popular live-streaming apps for today.

Video streaming industry revenue growth

What are the most popular live-streaming apps?

Here are some examples of both standalone applications and other platforms that have added streaming as additional features:

Netflix

Netflix is a video streaming application with an extensive library of movies and TV-shows including original projects. The service uses a subscription model and costs from $8.99 to $12.99 per month. It makes the app affordable for users.

Twitch

Twitch is a video streaming platform that is oriented to gamers. Thus, people can watch the best gamers all over the world as they play different games. Twitch has three different tariff plans: $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99.

Hulu

Hulu is a live streaming platform and movie library at the same time. It’s much more than Netflix. As you get access to the local channels not to mention the popular networks like the TNT, Sci-Fi, etc. The only disadvantage is a rather high price. It costs $54.99 per month.

Periscope

Periscope is a live video streaming app for Android and iOS. It allows users to record videos either to a group or publicly and share links to your live streams on social media platforms. 

Instagram

Instagram has added a live stream feature to the application. Now the app allows you to stream for up to one hour and join streams by clicking the Live tag on Instagram Stories.

Facebook

Facebook Live allows holding events, groups, and individuals to broadcast selectively. The live streaming can last up to 90 minutes and stay in the Facebook feeds.

Youtube

Youtube was one of the first platforms that added live-streaming. Unlike other applications, it has rather advanced features. So, users have access to TV seasons, sports, movies, news, and much more.

Live.ly

Live.ly is a new live streaming application. It lets users view streams from all around the world and share their life as well.

Now, when you are familiar with the key market players, it’s time to move on and study the reasons why is it worth building your video streaming app.

Is it worth building your video streaming app?

If you are not sure, worth it or not to build your own video streaming application, we have several arguments for:

  • the content available on video streaming application is higher valued;
  • users can choose by themselves when they would like to watch videos;
  • video streaming applications give customers opportunities to consume content even when they are on the go.

These are just a few of the many possible arguments. Have you already decided that you need a live streaming application? So, let’s move on to the main steps of such an application development process.

Main steps in video streaming app development

Here is a list of the most important steps you should take to create a video streaming application:

Steps to build a live video streaming app

  • Choose an online video hosting service

The very first thing you have to do is to choose an online video hosting service. All of your content will be stored there. You just need to embed the video in your app’s player.

  • Download SDK for iOS or Android

The next step is to download the live streaming SDK for your application from chosen online video hosting. You need to choose whether you want to make an application for iOS, Android, or cross-platform.

  • Load SDK to mobile development software

Then it’s time to choose a mobile development environment. Once you made the choice, upload your SDK to this platform.

  • Begin application development

Use the provided API code and live streaming SDK tools to develop your mobile application. It helps with the customization of the app and creating the best user experience. 

  • Package and submit an application

Once the application is complete, package it and submit it for approval to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

When you are clear with all development stages, we can discuss the crucial features of a video streaming app.

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What are the crucial features of a video streaming app?

There is a huge amount of possible features for a video streaming app. Let’s look through the most important of them.

Onboarding

Onboarding is critical as it helps new users to learn more about your app before they start using it. But keep in mind that the onboarding process should be simple, intuitive, and fast.

✔Registration

Registration has to be simple. If a person can’t register in a few seconds, most probably he or she will leave your application.

✔User Accounts

You don’t need a huge amount of information at the beginning. Username, full name, profile picture, and subscription plan are enough. Later you may add more options. I.e., date of birth, location, interests, preferences.

✔Video Library

The video library has to be easily accessible by the audience. Exactly this feature made YouTube so popular worldwide.

✔Watch Lists

You should make watch lists for your users. They will appreciate your recommendations.

✔Broadcast

If you want to interact with users, then a live show with someone noteworthy from your company is bound to attract some positive attention for your brand.

✔Chat

Chat is an essential feature for streaming applications. Due to it, streamers can communicate with their audience.

✔UI/UX Design

The design influences people’s attitude to the application. Make sure that your app looks nice and it’s comfortable to use.

✔Donation System

In addition to paid subscriptions, donations are the main source of income for streamers. Viewers who enjoy the broadcast can support the streamer with a sum of money.

✔Review & Ratings

Allowing users to rate content in your app increases engagement and time spent in the app. Users can view ratings and reviews received from different videos or creators before deciding whether they want to watch, download, or skip.

✔Search and Discover

This feature allows users to follow their friends and get noticed when they publish new videos.

✔Watch On-Demand

If you make a simple video library, people will easily find content that they want to watch.

We listed the most common features. For sure, if you want to get a more complex application, you can ask developers to add some functionality.

Recommended technology stack for streaming application development

Here’s the list of technologies that may be used to make a live streaming app:

  • Programming languages: Swift, Kotlin, Java
  • Content delivery network: Cloudflare/Amazon CloudFront
  • Hosting: Amazon EC2
  • API server: Node.js
  • Media processing platform: DaCast, Wowza
  • Streaming protocols: WebRTC, RTMP
  • Database: MySQL, Oracle
  • SMS, voice, and phone verification: Nexmo, Twilio
  • Push notifications: Firebase Notifications, Twilio, Push.io
  • Messaging queues: AWS Simple Queue System
  • Payments: Braintree & PayPal, Stripe, Ewallets
  • Real-time analytics: Hadoop, Spark, BigData, Apache Fink, Cisco, IBM

Programming languages are needed to create the application’s logic. They are mostly used for building custom video players, video file encoding, payment integration, etc.

The database is used to store information about users and videos of previous streams. A flawless database structure and optimized queries ensure constant access to streaming video content.

Media processing platforms transform your audio and video files into formats compatible with smartphones, PCs, TVs, etc.

How to monetize your future streaming application?

One of the most crucial goals of each startup is earning profit as there is no other way to attract investors. So, how to make money to recoup it to investors? Here is a list of the most common ways to monetize the application:

Monetization strategies for a live streaming app
Paid Apps

In this case, users have to pay a certain amount of money for downloading the application.

Freemium

Freemium supposes that the application has two versions: free and premium. So, it means that users have to pay only for the particular features.

Advertisements

This way of monetization means that you will show your partners’ advertisements in the application. It’s rather a widespread method. Unfortunately, users don’t like it. Thus, you may offer them a paid version without ads in case you do not lose clients.

You can choose one option that suits you the best or combines several ways of monetization.

How to choose a video streaming app development company

To choose a video streaming app development company first you need to understand clearly what result you want to get. Other important things are to calculate your budget and understand what skills your future developers’ team needs to have. Also, we recommend establishing objectives, determining the budget and required skills, requesting portfolio samples, checking reviews. After going through all these steps, you can start the work on the desired project with a dedicated team.

How much does it cost to create a live video streaming app?

The cost of an on-demand video streaming application depends on a list of factors. The major ones are the complexity of the project, required time, and the country where your development team is based. I.e.:

  • US-based developers: $50 to $250 per hour
  • Eastern-Europe based developers: $30 to $150 per hour
  • India-based developers: $10 to $80 per hour

According to this information, we may suppose that MVP development will cost from $10 000 to $30 000. The final price of a complex project with lots of features may vary from $200,000 to $350,000.

Conclusion

Are you ready to build a live video streaming application? Then it’s time to choose the dedicated team. The Code&Care developers are definitely what you need. With years of experience and expertise in the field, they deliver solutions that are advanced, innovative, and creative at the same time.

To get a professional opinion about your idea, send us a quote: andrew.gromenko@code-care.pro. And we will consult you for free on a cost estimate of your project.