The year 2017 was pretty dynamic for the on-demand video streaming industry. The VOD system has went on to attain so much of prominence that today cable subscription is a lesser preferred option as viewers get irritated watching repeated commercials that are displayed in between the running old movies.

In fact, Statistics show immense usage growth of live and on-demand video and it has successfully surpassed all expectations, making the businesses in the arena gleam with joy. It is registered that more than 83% of customers watched on-demand video, while Netflix gained 69 million subscribers all across the world and one UFC event generated 1.1 million live pay-per-view purchases.

What Facts Say?

Facts reveals that numerous entertainment businesses around the world are keenly investing huge sum of money in video streaming mobile app development. They are looking for skilled and expert mobile app developers in this arena with the aim to attain big success in the VOD industry and make great revenues. However, often it happens that business find it tough to understand the functionality and features of the app development. So, here we will discuss in depth about how you can develop a video streaming app.

There are three major factors that needs to be considered prior to starting with the development of a multi-platform live video streaming app. They are:

  • Scalable: Keep the back-end architecture scalable so that it can smoothly manage the increasing number of app users, in real-time.
  • Secure: Out there in the internet, videos often get stolen and get plagiarized. Hence, ensure access control, Digital rights, encryption and other safety measures.
  • Flexible: Look for a video solution that successfully supports all devices as well as platforms.

video streaming app

Sections & Features of Video Streaming App

Front-End

User Registration

It is a crucial part of an interactive Video On-Demand system. It is vital that the user is offered multiple options for registration and login. Like, they can opt for an email login, Facebook sign-up or verify OTP. Also, there must be an option for password recovery, in case user can’t remember his/her credentials.

User Profile

Offer an option for editing and personalization of user profiles. From that mobile application developers can gain a lot of useful information like user subscribers, videos watched, saved, most replayed & a lot more.

Privacy Settings

Mostly users are keen on sharing their watched stuff on social networking sites with their friends but sometimes they might seek privacy as well. Hence, allow them to toggle privacy options. This way

users have the privilege to pick friends and social media platforms on their own so to share what they desire.

Search functionality

Search feature allow users to find and play a specific video of their choice. However, for that they have to look through entire database. Hence, it would be rather helpful to insert filter to search via location, broadcast data, topic, most watched, video length, language, genre, etc.

Interactive User Experience

Implementing a superior UI design, with the video player would work wonders. Users should be able to customize it the way they desire, whether to make it full-screen or half-screen, to decrease or increase the volume, or to adjust the brightness.

Review & Ratings

This section is essential as it allows the app users to rate and review the app as per their experience. Hence, it allows the app users to know the audience response and enhance the app according to their needs and preferences.

Comments Option

There are two sections who use this section, i.e. the broadcaster & the audience (user of the app). The broadcaster receives the public review or questions in comments by the app users/audience and accordingly the broadcaster answers the user queries. Comments option is a powerful mean to receive feedback from the audience so that the video streaming quality can be further enhanced.

Geolocation Tracking

Using this feature users can select broadcasts as per the region they are in. It allow users to pick which broadcasts they want to view from the map itself.

Back-end

Video Streaming                                                                                           

Implementing every single detail in this section is vital, after all this is the main purpose of this type of mobile app.  Streaming should be done from an external server, so it is important to keep the app lightweight. The broadcasting stream passes through the server and is then directly showcased onto the user device. It then stays there till the time user watches it. Post usage, it gets deleted automatically from server side.

Stream Quality

In the arena of VOD system, this feature has a significant role to play. Ensure good stream quality so that the videos can be watched by users even when network bandwidth is down. Set lower option for video quality to 144p while 1080p or 4K as higher option. Hence, as per network flow, the app will automatically pick the video quality.

Subscriptions & Revenue Models

Pretty useful, this feature enhances user engagement, as users are connected to the mobile app even when it is not open and they receive updates in case a new video from their favourite artist or band is released in the app. In case of subscriptions, if any broadcaster doesn’t offer free subscription, then the app should redirect user for in-app purchases.

Revenue Models             

TVOD – In Transactional Video On-demand distribution model, the app user pays for every specific piece of on-demand video content.   

SVOD – Subscription business model is used in Subscription Video-On-Demand services. Here the subscribers pay a monthly charge. Once done, they are directed towards unlimited set of videos.  Platforms offering these services are Netflix, Videoland, HBO Go, Amazon Video, Hotstar, Hulu Plus and CuriosityStream.

AVOD – It is Advertise-Based VOD model which users can use for free. Like, they will be paying with their views instead of paying with money.  For instance, YouTube, which is in actual is a hybrid model with it being a mix of all the three models.

Multiple Payment Modes

Braintree, PayPal, Wallet Apps, Credit/Debit Cards
Multiple Currency Support
In-app Purchase model

Push Notifications

This is one essential feature in every mobile app nowadays. It keeps the user updated about the latest videos and the content released.

Analytics

Analytics & QoS/QoE Monitoring is most important of admin section. It allows to analyse live audience and the broadcasters in a graphical way. The admin is in knowledge of real-time insights of the app usage as well as controls the previous usability app standards as well. This way, they can decide with the further business operations to be taken.

Additional Features:

  • Supports Hybrid Platform
  • For enterprise level protocols there is maximum render fluidity & adaptability
  • Play in custom media player with Live feed of URL
  • For trans-coding, qualified encoder & decoder
  • For Webcasting there is social casting & support
  • Live monetization ads

Technology Stack:

  • GWT – for Powerful Programming
  • Datastax – for Data Management
  • SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification -Nexmo, Twilio
  • Mandrill – for everything related to emails
  • Push Notifications – Google Cloud Messaging Service, Twilio, Push.io
  • Payments – Braintree & PayPal, Stripe, EWallets
  • Streaming Media System – Helix Universal Server, Wowza Streaming Engine, Nimble Streamer
  • Database – MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra, Postgress, Mail Chimp Integration
  • Debian – the Universal Operating System
  • Real-time Analytics – Hadoop, Spark, BigData, Apache Flink, Cisco, IBM
  • Cloud Environment – AWS

Team Structure:

 To develop an exceptional video streaming app, it is vital to have a proficient team. Here are the key personnel who will be needed to create an on-demand video streaming app:

Project Manager: An expert in the arena with immense knowledge of the subject and possess excellent managerial skills. S/he must be updated about all the in-depth market analysis and trends so as to provide productive suggestions.

Designers: Mobile app is all about what meets the eye, hence it should be able to appeal to the users as they use the app. Hire a team of brilliant UX/UI designers who can pick enticing color, background and other elements.

Developers: Your team of developers must consists of both Android and iOS app developers. A team of three would be apt. For back-end API construction, you need a set of good back-end developers. Further, some front-end developers would come handy.

Testing and QA Team: Prior to launching the app in market, it is vital to test the app and ensure it is of good quality. A team of good testers is needed to find bugs, and check if it crashes. Once identified informs the developers, so that the bugs can be fixed.

Cost of on-demand Video Streaming App Development

The cost to develop such an app depends on the Mobile App Development Company, as the price differs on the basis of region and time taken to create an app. Further, it depends on app’s complexity and if there are any additional features. Here are the rates, as per country:

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

Adding up entire costs, an average on-demand video streaming app will cost somewhere around $10,000 to $15000 for a single platform (either Android or iOS). Meanwhile, one can launch the app for free and offer in-app purchases option for premium version, which is excluded of ads.