Today, people can watch their favorite shows and movies on their devices at any time. With the help of Netflix, they can binge-watch their favorite shows and movies on their terms. The platform's wide selection of movies and documentaries keeps us entertained for hours.
According to Grand View Research, Inc.: the global video streaming market size is expected to reach USD 330.51 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 21.3% from 2022 to 2030.
Despite the increasing popularity of online streaming, many businesses are still looking to create an app that can stand out from the crowd. This article will give you brief knowledge that you need about building an app like Netflix.
Brief overview of Netflix
Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix in 1997 to provide a convenient and affordable way for people to watch TV shows and movies. In 2007, the company introduced a feature that allowed users to stream movies and TV shows directly to their computers. In 2012, it started to take on a more prominent role as a producer and distributor of television series and films.
Statista published that Netflix had approximately 221.64 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the first quarter of 2022.
With a variety of plans, Netflix can cater to the varying needs of its users. Its diverse selection of content is ideal for people who are looking for something different from their usual TV. The company also generates a portion of its revenue from its own media rights and produced content.
How is Netflix app built?
Amazon Web Services S3 is a cloud-based storage system that allows Netflix to store all of its media files and videos. Through the use of its Elastic Transcoder service, they can then convert them into various formats that are suitable for use on various streaming devices.
Netflix value proposition
Through its various platforms and operating systems, Netflix can deliver video to its users in different ways. It supports all the devices. This helps the company reach its goal of having a large and diverse fan base.
It provides a free trial for a month for new subscribers and allows membership cancelation at any time.
Variety of content
Netflix has unlimited high-definition TV shows, movies, series, third-party publisher’s and original content.
Although it only shows ads to free account users, the company also allows premium subscription users to stream content without ads. This method helps it reach its goal of increasing the number of people who subscribe.
Through its recommendation algorithm, Netflix can identify the best content for its users based on their queries. Through its machine learning platform, Netflix can identify the best content for its users based on their individual tastes. It can also analyze ratings, search queries, and other factors to improve its recommendations.
Now we can talk about the various steps involved in creating an app for Netflix and give you an estimate of the preliminary cost of developing such a service.
How do you start your own Netflix?
To create your own video Netflix-like streaming service requires you to consider the following points:
1. Think about Niche
One of the most important factors that you need to consider when it comes to developing a streaming service app is the specific niche that you want to cater to. For instance, you can build a platform that's focused on documentaries, and kids' content.
2. Decide on content availability
There are two ways – original content or videos from distributers.
In the second case, you have to contact copyright holders or rent movies from authorized distributors with licenses.
3. Choose the monetization model
One of the most common types of pricing schemes that you can use is the Pay-Per-View model. This is a simple method that allows users to pay for every video they watch. It's ideal if you're planning on developing a platform that broadcasts various types of events such as boxing, MMA, and trade shows.
Another type of monetization strategies is that you can use is the advertising model. However, this method will only work if your platform is widely known.
Or as a Netflix, use a subscription model. This is a method that professional broadcasters use to provide their subscribers with access to their content library. You can also use this strategy if you plan on regularly releasing new content.
4. Hire a team
Before you start developing an app, it's important that you choose a team that can deliver the best possible service. This team should be able to use various frameworks to build an efficient app. To fulfill all requirements you need a professional team with the following roles:
- Business analyst
- Software architects
- Web developers
- IOS/Android developers
- UX/UI designer
- Project manager
A team for an application of this level needs to be really big, and it is not possible to hire one specialist for each role. It is also worth keeping in mind that it is not necessary to hire all of these specialists at once at the start since the project goes through different phases in which different numbers and variations of specialists may participate.
There are three ways:
- Hiring in-house team
Having an in-house team can help protect your data and ensure that you have the necessary resources to handle emergencies.
- Hiring freelancers
On the internet, there are thousands of software freelancers that can provide you with the ideal service. They can give you a large pool of talent, but there are certain restrictions that you should consider. For instance, some of them may not have the necessary experience to deliver the same level of work.
- Hiring a software development company
If you have a limited amount of technical knowledge, or if you have other important tasks that need to be handled in-house, you can outsource the development of your app to a reliable company. They will handle the entire process from start to finish.
For example, we at Mad Devs had developed a secure and private video streaming service and live video broadcasting cinema to provide an entertainment experience to isolated groups feeling homesick.
The basis of all work will be a properly composed MVP. Netflix falls under the category of applications that require a heavy backend due to the number of features it will require in order to process streaming data. The total cost of developing such applications depends on the number of features they will have.
You can let your users register for your service using various methods. Some of these include email, phone number, or social media. The methods that you choose for logging in and registering should depend on your audience. In addition to this, you can also provide a password restoration feature.
- User profile
With this feature, users can easily add their favorite web series or movies to the service.
Your app's settings can allow users to customize the experience of their device. They should be able to control various features: selection of subtitles on/off, language settings, rewind, play/pause, audio track, volume control, etc.
You can also integrate push notifications into your service to reach out to your customers. They can be used to inform them about new features and upcoming releases. They can also help retain their users. One of the most effective ways to increase the open rate is by adding rich media content.
- Multiple languages
You should consider supporting multiple languages if you plan on attracting international viewers. Having an app that can recognize different systems languages will allow you to change the language of the user interface as it learns about the device.
- Content search
Content that your users want to watch should be easily identified by either the name or the genre or category that they're looking for. Having an app that can predict the next show based on the first four characters of the search box will allow users to find the right content.
- Payment gateway
Most of the revenue that you'll get from your TV show streaming business will come from subscriptions. Having a payment gateway that works seamlessly across different countries is important to ensure that your users have a fast and easy way to pay.
- Screenshot blocking
Protecting the content is one of an integral part of your business investment. Specifically, if you decide to buy licensed movies from distributors. Having an app that can prevent users from recording or screenshotting their screen while it's active is vital.
- Chat and comments
It is not a necessary feature. Netflix doesn’t have it. But having the ability to leave comments on every episode or show will allow your audience to interact with you and increase their interest in your content. This will also help improve the retention rate and the amount of time that your users spend in your app.
Things to consider while developing your streaming service
Good network connectivity. The Internet speed of your platform will affect how it can stream the videos that are on-demand. For instance, if you're streaming a standard definition movie, the minimum speed of your Internet will be around 2MB/second. However, if you're planning on broadcasting 4K, 3D, or HD content, your Internet speed should be much higher.
Stable storage. Cloud hosting is the most reliable storage for any content. You can use PaaS. One of the main advantages of a platform as a service (PaaS) is that it can manage various aspects of the infrastructure, such as the storage, networking, and operating systems. A developer can focus on coding, while a PaaS provider can help manage the rest of the infrastructure.
Simple design. Having a simple and clean UI/UX is also important to ensure that your users have a quick and easy way to find what they're looking for. Make sure that the interface is simple and clean.
The cost of app development depends on the following factors:
Netflix falls under the category of applications that require a heavy backend to process streaming data. The total cost of developing an app for Netflix will depend on the number of features it has. According to many sources, the average cost of such a service may be around $30,000 per month. And app development can take from 3-6 months or several years. Let's not lie, but Netflix continues to support and develop their service, as well as release new features to this day. But in general,pricing can rely on such factors as:
App development - It varies depending on the tech stack that you choose to develop, the type of work that you're planning on doing, and expenses on the hiring team.
Thus, development may depend on the geographical location of the developers and their average hourly wage. You can learn more about this in this article:
App Features - it’s depending on the number of features that you're planning on adding to the app. If you need a lot of fancy features, then you need a lot of resources and time to make it happen.
Cloud hosting - although cloud hosting can be very cost-effective, it's still important to consider the future costs associated with maintaining and operating a live content platform. Having a good fund will allow you to continue to deliver high-quality content.
Streaming devices - The main goal of a streaming content platform is to deliver video content to various devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, browsers, TVs. Having a multi-support app is also important to ensure that you can support all of the different platforms that you're planning on launching. Having a good fund will allow you to continue to deliver high-quality content.
Multi-lingual content delivery - Having the right mix of languages will allow you to deliver high-quality content and reach a wide audience. Creating and buying content will typically cost a lot of money.
Content protection - While you're buying or creating content, you also need to make sure that you have a separate fund that's dedicated to protecting your intellectual property. A good fund will allow you to continue to protect your content.
Payment gateway - It is also important to ensure that you have the necessary tools and resources to accept payments from users. Having an in-app payment system will allow you to secure payment options.
But that's not all it's worth budgeting for, either. Remember that there is also testing, communication, documentation, normal and validated staging, after which you may need to repeat the re-discovery phase. And separately we would like to highlight other costs for licensing and content creation.
Note: Getting started is not enough to establish a successful streaming service. Having a comprehensive marketing strategy is also important to ensure that your application is well-known.
Netflix and other giant streaming services constantly work on marketing promotion through advertisement, PR events, collaborations and etc.
Marketing promotion - Be sure that you provide not only functional and user-friendly app but also compensative marketing campaign that may include:
- Paid-ads – to attract new users
- SMM – to connect with potential and current customers
- Influencer marketing – to connect with bloggers and influencers with huge audience
- Events – to promote your app offline on special meetings, conferences with target audience
- SEO - search engine optimization is a vital part of any marketing campaign to ensure that your landing pages are found in the first place on search engines.
- Partnerships - you can also partner with other companies and startups to promote your video streaming service at events
While looking into the above features, you need to choose which suits you. According to your choice, the rates may vary.
Best niche streaming services
So who managed to take some positions and successfully coexist with such mastodons of streaming services as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+? You probably haven’t heard about them but there are alternative services that's filled with more specialized content.
Acorn TV is a service that features a wide variety of British television programs. It also has a selection of original programming from other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland. It's a great alternative to traditional streaming services. Acorn TV is targeted to provide a variety of new shows from different countries that are ideal for fans of police dramas, detectives, and thrillers. It also has a selection of hard-to-find gems.
Another streaming service that's great for British television is BritBox, which has a selection of classic and current programs from the country's top networks, such as the BBC and ITV.
BritBox also has a wide variety of popular British programs, such as crime dramas, comedies, and mysteries. It additionally has a selection of BBC shows that are not available in the U.S., such as Good Morning Britain.
One of the most popular anime streaming services is Crunchyroll. It claims that it has the largest selection of anime in the world. Through various licensing deals and mergers, Crunchyroll has become a must-have for anime fans. It also has a selection of Japanese television shows and movies, as well as East Asian dramas. Its website is additionally a great source for manga and anime news. Its free ad-supported version has been very popular among its users.
MUBI is a great niche streaming service for fans of independent films. Unlike other services, it doesn't only focus on the classic and cult genres. It also has a rotating selection of hand-picked films.
It has unique business model. MUBI adds new films to its library every day, but these only last for 30 days. This means that its library always has at least 30 movies. If you're a movie lover, then you better watch it right away.
Shudder is a great service for horror fans who are looking for a completely commercial-free alternative to traditional streaming services. It has a wide selection of supernatural, horror, and thriller movies. In addition to these, it also has cult favorites and Hollywood favorites.
To sum up
The success of these three companies has been inspiring for many businesses. They're now considering creating their own streaming service. There's a lot of sense in this decision.
But the more you learn about it, the more doubts you may have. And that's justified, too.
A streaming service is a complex process that can take a long time to develop. Once you decide to create one, it will go through various steps, such as business strategy, the development of app, marketing and promotional strategy. Besides this, it will also build strong relationships with content creators and licensing companies.
Although it's impossible to determine the exact cost of creating a streaming service, you can only come up with an approximate estimate by taking into account various factors we mentioned above.