Gone are those days when television used to be the only source of entertainment for people. Now people do not like sitting in front of the television and seeing the only content they show. Now people want to see the variety and quality content which these video streaming apps offer. Netflix and Amazon Prime are a few video-streaming apps that are too popular among users. And not just that, entrepreneurs are seeing video-streaming app development as a huge opportunity to earn.

If you are also inclined towards investing in getting an app as Netflix developed for your business, you are just at the right place. In this blog today we are going to discuss everything about the cost and features of getting a video-streaming app developed. You will get to know everything about “how to develop app like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.”. But before we directly jump onto this topic, let’s have a look at some of the facts on the video streaming market and the popularity of Netflix.

Some Statistics on Online Video Streaming Market

As per the recent report shared by Grand View Research, Inc., the global video streaming market is anticipated to touch USD 184.27 billion by 2027, with a growth of CAGR of 20.4% from 2020 to 2027. With this, the report also states that the implementation of technologies like blockchain Artificial Intelligence (AI) in video streaming is going to increase to improve video quality. Not just AI and blockchain but even cloud-based video streaming solutions is without a doubt influencing the market growth.

As per Statista, “the number of users in the Video Streaming(SVoD) segment is expected to reach 1418.6m by 2025. Also, in the year 2020, the average revenue per user, in this segment is predicted to amount to USD 61.71.

The above numbers clearly show that now people do not like watching the same TV show with those irritating advertisements. They are more inclined towards watching quality content as and when they get time to watch. Investing in on-demand video streaming app development is a great idea as in the coming years the revenue from this segment is going to increase and you will have a good chance to establish your app in the market. But not all apps in this segment are a hit. To make your video on-demand app development a hit, you need to plan and strategize everything really well, and also, you will need the best mobile app development company that can convert your vision into reality, just the way you imagined it to be.

Now that you have seen how much scope do these video streaming apps have, let’s have a look at one of the pioneers in this segment and have a look at its brief history and business model.

Netflix: A Brief History and Stats

Talking about video streaming apps, the first name which pops up in our head is Netflix. But not many know how this name became so big. How did it all start, and what makes them a pioneer in the video streaming app category? This is what we are going to discuss further in this blog for the next few minutes.

Started in 1997 by providing DVDs by mail, and then moved on to providing DVDs on rental in 1998, Netflix became the household name in the last 20 years. According to the latest report published by Business of apps, Netflix has humongous popularity across the globe, especially in the US. More than 50% of the population prefer using Netflix for their entertainment. Approx. 167.1 million subscribers were reported at the end of 2019, of which the US alone had 61 million accounts registered. After the USA, Brazil has the second-highest number of Netflix users in the world, followed by the UK, Mexico, and France.

NetFlix revenue Stats

It’s been just 10 years since this app went international in 2010, and there is no turning back. The revenue for this video streaming app went from 1.36 billion to around 15.8 billion in just ten years, i.e. 2002 to 2019. Also, the subscriber count went from less than 22 million in 2011 to nearly 150 million at the beginning of the year 2019.

In the past couple of years, video streaming app development has been on the rise, and many new apps have been launched like YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, but the popularity of Netflix never went down. There has been no sign of decreasing user count or even in the revenue. But what makes this app so popular? What does a media streaming app like Netflix offer that is different from other video streaming apps in similar genres? This is the question which you must know before you plan on getting your own VOD App Like Netflix developed.

1. Unique Concept

When launched, Netflix was one of its kinds. There was no other app available in the market that offers online streaming and this is what attracted users to this app.  

2. High-quality Videos

Netflix never compromised with the quality of videos. With time and the invention of technology, video quality has definitely improved. Users can also opt for the video quality they want to stream their videos in and now, Netflix even has an option for HD video streaming.

3. Original Content

What Netflix brought and attracted users the most was the type of content. It has everything from comedy, to action to thriller. Users with different tastes and choices can stream the kind of content they like, unlike television where they had to see what’s been telecasted.

4. 24*7 Entertainment

Users these days do not have much time to spent in front of those TVs to watch their favorite shows. Netflix removed this concept and allowed users to watch the content as and when users want. You can now even download videos and can watch them later without having an active internet connection.

5. One Month Free-Trial

 This is a very smart move to woo users. Netflix offers a one-month trial period for users to first see what this app has and find their interest. Once they start liking the app they can easily subscribe to their services.

6. Ad-Free Content

One of the most irritating things about television and other video streaming apps was in-between video ads. Netflix offers ad fee content so that users can enjoy watching their favorite videos and shows without getting disturbed.

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How Much Money Does Netflix Make?

Now the next question which comes to our mind is, “How does Netflix make money?” or “How much money does Netflix make?” So, before you plan to develop an app like Netflix, you must know what business model does app works and how you will be earning money.

Netflix works on a subscription-based business model, i.e. it gets its revenue when any user subscribes to this app. It has three subscription plans and users can choose the one they like or the one that fits their requirements.

Netflix has categorized its revenue into three major categories:

  1. Domestic streaming:  All the money that this app earns from the US subscribers falls under this category.
  2. International streaming: Here all the money from the subscribers outside the US is calculated.
  3. Domestic DVD: This option is only for US users as all the money collected by US subscribers who pay DVD-by-mail monthly subscription fees falls here.
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Here are their subscription plans  for online streaming:

i) Basic: This plan costs $8.99 per month and has very limited features. Users can only use it on a single screen and also the resolution is limited to standard definition (SD).

ii) Standard: This plan costs $13.99 per month and lets users watch it on two screens that too in high definition (HD).

iii) Premium: This plan costs $17.99 per month and is best for a family as users can watch 4 screens at a time.  And videos can be streamed in HD or 4K Ultra HD if the content is available in that form.

Note: These prices vary as per the currencies and denominations (country wise).

Also, just for its US users, Netflix continued its DVD-by-mail service at dvd.netflix.com. Though not many people use this service after the introduction of online streaming, this still is an option for those who prefer to be old school.

There are two options in this category:

Standard: This plan costs $7.99 per month and $9.99 per month for the Blu-ray. In this plan, you can keep one DVD at a time, and the moment you return the one with you, Netflix sends you the one queued next in your list.

Premier: This plan costs $11.99 per month or $14.99 per month for Blu-rays. Here the only difference is that instead of one DVD at a time, users can keep two with them.

Now that we all know, when and how Netflix was started, how does it make money, and what are the reasons for its success, the half battle of VOD App development is already won. Now let’s move on to our main topic and know about how to make a VOD App like Netflix, what is the cost of making such an app, and what features you must include in your app to make it a success. So, let’s begin.

How to Get Started for OTT Video App Development?

Video streaming app development is a complicated process, and before directly going to a mobile app development company and getting an app developed, here are a few steps which you must follow beforehand. Following these steps will ensure that your whole process is streamlined and you have not missed any aspect.

1. Find your niche

This is one of the first things which you must finalize before going to any entertainment app development company. This is where you decide what type of content you are going to have on your app or what kind of users you want. For example, are you going to show educational videos or videos related to fitness or just pure entertainment videos. This is very important to determine so that, based on the niche you choose, you can include the features in your app.

2. How to get the content

Once you are sure of what type of content you are going to have on your app, the next step is to determine the ways of getting that content. Are you going to make your own videos and post the original content or you are planning to have the content from various distributors and then show it on your app.

If you have planned to get the videos from the distributors as well, you will have to work on getting the license and copyright for them or you can also rent the videos from any authorized distributors. You must sort all these things at the very beginning so that you do not face any trouble afterward.  

3. Choose the right monetization model

Once you have decided to go for on-demand video streaming app development, the most important thing is to find how you are going to earn from this idea. As discussed earlier, Netflix works on the subscription-based model, you must also choose your monetization model. You may choose from:

i) Subscription-based model: In this model, business owners earn when any user subscribes to any services just like Netflix.

ii) Advertisement-based model: In this model, business owners earn by charging other companies for running their ads in between the videos on your app, just like YouTube.

iii) Pay-Per-View: This is where users have to pay for every video they watch, and business owners can earn money from that, just like iTunes.

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4. Look for other Requirement

Now the next step is to look for various other requirements like:

i) Scalability

Eventually, your app will grow and have more and more users, so go for the options in terms of technology that can easily handle too many users at a time.

ii) Flexibility

Your app must be flexible and must be able to handle the changes quite easily. You must reach out to a mobile app development company that has enough experience in creating a video streaming app.

iii) Internet Speed

If you have videos in HD and HDR the internet speed must be really good, and to stream videos without HD, you need a minimum speed of 2 Mbps.

iv) Cloud Architecture

You must choose your cloud platform very smartly as you will require space to save all your content, and with time, you will have to go for the platform that is expandable and can accommodate all your future storage needs too.

v) Security

This goes without saying that you must focus on the safety and security of our app. Since your app will require to store users’ information like payment details, choosing a secure solution is very important. You can opt for various measures like domain restriction and geographical restriction to prevent content from a particular domain or any location or you can also go by watermarking your content from saving it from any misuse.

Now that we know the steps to follow before proceeding with the whole video streaming app development process, let’s have a look at the features now.

Must-have Features to include in VOD App Development

It is an important section to consider for those who want to get details of how to make a streaming service like Netflix. The kind of features you choose, play an important role in the success of your VOD app. People like using Netflix because it has almost everything which a user would like to have while surfing their favorite content online.

From filters to easy navigation, they have kept every little detail in mind. Also, it is very important to have two separate panels: the user panel and the admin panel. Now let us see a few of the features one must-have in both these panels.

User Panel Features

While understanding the entire process of how to create a streaming app like Netflix, it is also necessary to know about the essential features to add to such apps. Check out the features for the user panel below-

  • Register or Login

It is an essential feature to add so that users can have a simple registration process. They can enter their details such as name, contact number, or email or they can sign-up through any of their social media accounts.

  • Creating a Profile

After registration, users must create their app profile and maintain it. Users can update their details, profile picture, and interests. They can also link the profile with other social networks.

  • Social Media Integration

Integration of other social media accounts by users to their video streaming app helps them to share videos with their friends via these platforms. These platforms can be anything such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

  • Add Watchlist

This feature is significant to add when you are going to create an app like Netflix. It facilitates users to add the movies, series, serials, etc. of their interest. It is like bookmarking the content you like.

Users must be provided with the search bar as it will allow them to search easily for their favorite content, TV channels, movies, and others. Not only into the app but developers also add this feature when they build a website like Netflix to filter the original content based on different criteria.

  • Netflix Roulette

Adding this feature will higher up the Netflix like app development cost but it is completely worth it. This feature helps users to select a particular style or format. Then, users can tap on the ‘spin’ button to get the random content that fulfills the user’s criteria.

  • Multiple Device Support

Numerous app users utilize different types of digital devices, some of them use mobile, some use desktop PC, laptop, tab, etc. In this case, your app must support all these devices while providing them a user-friendly experience via a single subscription for all those devices. 

  • Download Online Content

If a user likes any content, he/she can download it to watch again and again offline without online data streaming. They can also send it to someone.

  • Reviews and Ratings

Before watching any movies or online content, users prefer to see the reviews and ratings given by other users as they believe them. Hence, it is necessary to consider the question of how to build a streaming service like Netflix? As your app must be designed to motivate users to give good ratings & reviews about your app to get better user engagement.

  • Secure Payment Gateways

Users need to trust an app before using it. Nowadays, data privacy and security are the topmost concerns from the user’s end. Hence, it is the app’s responsibility to facilitate them with fully secure features. A video streaming app must provide secure and consistent payment gateway services to users to gain their trust.

  • Push Notifications

Users need to get updates about any of the interesting online content such as upcoming movies, events, etc. This feature helps users to relate to your app and use it for what they are searching for.

Admin Panel Features

Below, we have compiled a set of features that is appropriate to include in the admin panel of the video streaming app. Let’s jump to the details-

  • User Management

This feature enables the admin to manage all the app users including their identity & access management. Admin also has the right to add, edit or delete a user from their end.

  • Genres Management

The pull-down menu list of provided genres in a video streaming app is managed by the app admin. There are various genres, from anime to action to stand-up & talk shows, these all genres are filtered by the admin.

  • Notification Management

It is the admin’s role to manage all the push notifications and emails that are supposed to be sent to the app users. Admin can also send customized notifications to any of the users.

  • Managing the Payment Gateways

All the details related to different payment gateway services provided to users are handled by the app admin. It also comprises details like which payment mode is applied by which user, along with the billing section.

  • Subscription Management

This feature helps the admin to manage things such as how many subscribed users are there? What type of subscription they have taken? Is it monthly, quarterly, or yearly including the details of their membership plans.

These were just a few features that you must include in your app and apart from these, there are various other advanced features that you must ask your on-demand app development company to include in your video streaming app.

Advanced Features

Let’s navigate to the advanced features that must be considered by your chosen entertainment app development company to include in your video streaming app:

  • Video-Sharing

You can give this option to your uses to share their favorite video or just its link with their friends on various other platforms like Facebook or Whatsapp. This way they can enjoy watching the videos with their friends too.

  • Multiple-language Support

If you are planning to take your app on a global platform then having multiple language support is very important. This way user can watch the content in the language they prefer and can even change their preferred language to their native language while browsing your app. this adds too much convenience as people are more comfortable with their native language.

  • Multiple Device Support

These days people like watching the content as and when they are comfortable and for this, you must ensure that your app is compatible with the majority of the devices and with all operating systems.  Instead of going for just native app development, you can opt for cross-platform app development. This will not only save money but more and more users will have access to your app now.

  • Live Video Streaming

This is a great option to offer if you are planning to have fitness or sports related content on your app. People like watching cricket or football matches live and rather than seeing on TV, these VOD apps are really convenient. The same goes for any fitness or any educational videos. Users can easily interact with their trainer or teacher via live learning session.

  • Multiple Payment Option

If your app requires users to pay for the content or even subscribe to your services, then you must integrate a variety of payment modes so that they can choose the one that suits them the best and make the payments accordingly.

  • Watch it Later

Giving users an option to download their favorite content and watch it later even without having an active internet connection is a great way of keeping them on your app. This way users can conveniently watch their favorite shows and movies when they have time for it.

  • Create a Playlist

There is usually too much content and users often get confused about which one to go for. This feature will give them an option to choose their favorite shows and add them to their playlist and can easily watch them when free.

  • Notifications

Notifying users of any new content uploaded or about the latest offers and discounts is a great way to grab their attention on your app.

  • Video Resolution

The internet speed is not the same everywhere and hence giving an option to users to choose the resolution in which they want to see the video based on their speed is a must-have feature to include.

  • Chatbot Integration

Chatbots are really popular for offering 24*7 support in almost every field. You can also integrate smart AI-based chatbot solutions to help users with anything they are looking for.

  • Multiple Filters

Providing multiple filters in your app will ensure that users can easily find the type of content they are looking for without wasting much time. If users find it too difficult to navigate they generally end up leaving your app.

  • Social Login

Apart from creating an account from official email id, you must also give an option to users for quick login via their social media accounts.

Now that we know about the must-have features in a video streaming app like Netflix, let’s move on to knowing the technology stack and the cost to create such apps.

Technology Stack used to develop an App like Netflix

If you are planning for custom mobile app development for your video streaming app, the tools and technology used is quite different in every app development company. However, here are the most common technologies that are used:

Programming Language: Java, Python, Swift, Kotlin
Database: MySQL, MongoDB, Cassandra
Cloud Hosting: Amazon EC2
JavaScript Library: React
Cluster Management: Dynomite
API Tools: Falcor
Server: Nginx
Routing: Bird Daemon

Factors Affecting the Video Streaming App Development Cost

Now, this is the most common question, which anyone who is planning for getting an OTT app development solution developed, ask us. So, here is a breakdown of the factors that affect the cost of video streaming app development, and once you get a knack for it, you will be able to understand the cost in a better way.

1. Features

Your Mobile app development cost majorly and predominantly depends on the features you tend to include. The more complex it is to integrate that particular feature o the more the number of features the more time developers take it to develop, and thus the cost of video streaming app development is increased. So, if you are not willing to spend too much in the beginning the best way is to get the basic features first and move to the advanced ones only when your app gets popular.

2. Platform

Another factor that affects the video streaming app development cost is the platform that you choose for your app development. Both iOS app development cost and the cost to create an Android app is different as the tools and technologies used are different. So, based on the platform you choose, your app development cost will vary.

3. App Design

The more complex design you choose for your app the more it will put a strain on your budget. However, design plays an important role in attracting and retaining the users on your app, and hence you must hire a UI UX designer to get your app designed.

4. Location of App Development

This is something which we have discussed quite many times. Based on the location of your app developer the cost will vary, and the main reason behind this is that the app developers in countries like the USA and Europe charge more than the developers in India and other Asian countries. So, if you want to save some extra money here, go for the developers who charge less on an hourly basis. Here are some of the charges based on different regions-

  • India-based developers- $20 to $40 per hour
  • USA-based developers – $70 to $150 per hour
  • Developers from eastern Europe – $60 to $120 per hour

5. Development Team Size

Generally, the cost that you pay for getting any app developed is the average of the total hourly rate of the development team working on your project. Thus, the bigger the team size, the more will be the cost.

Usually, in almost every mobile app development company, the team that will work on your on-demand video streaming app development project will consist of:

  • UI/UX Designer
  • Front-end developers
  • Backend Developers
  • Specialist Developers (Android or iOS)
  • Quality Analyst
  • Project Manager

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like Netflix?

Now, it is the most common question asked by business persons who are planning to have an OTT app development solution. Therefore, above we have described all the factors that affect the cost of video streaming app development, and once you get a knack for it, you will be able to understand the cost in a better way.

Thus, based on these factors, the cost to develop an app like Netflix would be around $15,000 to $40,000. This cost is directly proportional to the number of hours taken to develop an app along with other aspects. Your specific business requirements can fluctuate this estimated cost anytime, hence make the decision accordingly.

Final Words

Here is everything that you need to know before getting an app like Netflix developed for your business. As said, the process of VOD App development is not simple but if you choose the right mobile app development company the whole process can become a lot smoother.

This whole blog is based on the Netflix model and if you want you can either get a VOD App like Netflix developed or can get a fully customized video streaming app as per your requirement. There is a huge demand for apps like Netflix in the market, so do not wait much and get your app developed now.

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