How to Create a Video Streaming Service App Like Netflix

build an app like netflix

You might have used old-fashioned video streaming platforms like satellite TV, Dish TV, DVD, VCR, etc. How nostalgic times were they? However, those times have now been replaced with more advanced, quick, and simpler technologies. With the launch of Netflix, people have become more attracted to watching shows on Netflix at home rather than going to cinemas or theaters. In this blog, we will get to know how to create a video streaming service app like Netflix.

If we talk about stats, the Netflix app had 211.9 million monthly active users in January 2022 on Android and iOS devices collectively. Moreover, according to research conducted in June 2022, Netflix is projected to generate 150 million U.S. dollars in advertising in 2023. This is undoubtedly a huge turnover in such a short duration. 

Simplicity, user-friendliness, and high-quality video streaming are a few benefits that have made Netflix an amazingly popular platform. Due to its popularity, several other platforms have entered the arena of streaming service platforms. Even though they also have a large audience, Netflix is above all. However, Netflix saw a considerable downfall of 20% in paid subscribers from 2020 to 2021.

Planning to develop an app like Netflix? That’s not a bad idea by the way. Although Netflix has a strong user base that one can’t overtake easily. But there is nothing bad in getting inspiration from a successful app and coming up with something similar.   

Let’s discuss a few key elements that can be responsible for building a successful video streaming app like Netflix.

Key Elements of Building a Video Streaming App Like Netflix 

Before you jump straight to creating an app like Netflix, you should first know its success factors. It is always a perfect approach to do proper research rather than starting off without knowing the dos and don’ts. In the video streaming market, where the dominant competitors are already there, you need to make a perfect approach. It involves introducing unique features, targeting exact consumers, and bringing more user-friendliness to the app.

Here are a few key factors that you should consider before starting to build a video streaming platform like Netflix.

  • The app should offer a free trial period to every new user signing up. 
  • As the user buys a subscription, he/she should be given access to the maximum features
  • Make sure to have a recommendation system that would recommend relevant shows/movies to the users. The recommendation system detects the users’ activities based on their searches, the time they stream, their streaming duration, the devices they use, etc. These all, including a few other user-centric approaches, make a video streaming app perfect.
  • A clean and interactive app UI that would allow users to navigate through the app easily.
  • There should be an offline functionality for users to stream the video even when they don’t have internet access.
  • Your app should offer maximum video quality i.e. 1080p, 4k. 
  • The app should be compatible with multiple platforms like mobile phones (iOS, Android), iPad, tablets, and desktops.

How to build an app like Netflix?

There are several aspects that you need to keep in mind to start building an app like Netflix. Each of the below-listed steps correlates with the other. So, you don’t want to miss any of the following approaches to successfully create an app like Netflix.

Following are some steps that will help you build an app similar to Netflix. 

1. Figure out what end-user will love to watch

To launch a video streaming platform like Netflix, you need to have a distinct approach for the end-users. Now, how will it be done? Well, make sure that you are showing the content to users that they enjoy watching. For this purpose, you need to decide what type of content are you going to offer in the app. Informative? Entertainment? Health & fitness? Let’s get to know all these content types in more detail.

Informative content is one of the most demanding types of content these days. People are more likely to use a particular platform to seek information about diverse topics rather than going to diverse platforms and seek for a particular topic.  

Entertainment has always been a must-have in human traits. Every single person loves to have a piece of entertainment in their daily lives. We can take Netflix and HBO for example, the major reason for their success is the ultimate entertainment they offer.

Health & Fitness is also one of the major concerns of people nowadays. People go to gymnasiums to do different sports activities, and exercises and keep themselves fit and healthier. Why not offer them health, fitness, diet, and meal plans through videos? So they can follow them and take care of their health at home.  

2. Determine the source of content

Now that you have decided on the type of content you want to offer, it’s time to determine the source of it. It means where you are going to get the content from. Will you be establishing your own production company? Or, are you planning to partner up with any distributors? 

Establishing your own production company is not what startups do at the start. The reason is that there will be a lot of lacking in terms of resources. You’ll need to hire multiple dedicated resources to handle the production house. Ultimately, the capital cost will touch the skies and that is not what a startup should be doing.  

The second option is to partner up with any video distribution platform. To partner up with any video distributor, you need to have lawful authority to publish the content. You can either do it by leasing a movie, show, or any video content with proper licensing. Or you can simply contact the copyright holder of the content and ask for publishing the content on agreed terms.

3. Offer affordable and smooth subscription models

 Most video streaming platforms offer subscription models to provide full access to their services. That’s what you have to do once you step into the streaming service marketplace. Offering reasonable subscription prices is a key to success. It doesn’t mean that you should lower the price than the value or quality you’re providing.

Mostly, in the subscription models, the users pay monthly. So, in case a user doesn’t renew the subscription, your app should notify him/her periodically. It is never a good idea to stop offering services to users who have to renew their subscriptions. Rather you should offer a relaxation period to them to use the services and notify them with the reminders alongside. 

4. Value platform’s performance metrics

Whenever you’re planning to build an app like Netflix, you need to take care of all the platform’s performance metrics. As these platforms are totally user-dependent, so we have to make sure that the app performs at its best. There should be no performance pitfalls in the app as the users use streaming services app by completely enmeshing in them. Be an ultimate source of pleasure for users with the help of your app. 

Several factors affect the performance of a video streaming platform. These include optimizing your app for the best performance, managing could hosting, app security, etc.

Apps like Netflix require usually have a complex structure and have multiple features to handle. You need to make sure that your app won’t undergo any crashes. To avoid all the performance pitfalls, you need to optimize your app. Following are some key steps that you can do to optimize your app’s performance.

  • Use a content distribution network that will provide cached internet content from a network location closest to a user to speed up its delivery. This reduces the payload time, latency, and speeds up the app loading time. Thus, the overall performance of the app improves in this way. 
  • Do image resizing, compression, and cache management to reduce the loading time. Large-size images or higher bytes in the images make the app slower. Moreover, move the caches from network memory to the mobile’s memory. In this way, the app will have to load the cache from its own memory rather than relying on any external network every time.
  • Your app may have some additional features that would have been added to your to increase its utility. Those features may or may not be beneficial for your app anymore. Removing the features without which the app offers complete functionality also improves its performance.
  • Use splitting assemblies to prevent loading all the app’s data at once because it reduces the loading time or even crashes the app.

5. Form a team and develop an MVP 

During an app development project, having a proper team of developers is a must to start. During all the hassle of building an app like Netflix, you should also focus on gathering and hiring the resources as well. A team of qualified and skilled developers plays a vital role in an app’s success. Furthermore, it also helps streamline the work process as well because every individual can coordinate with each other easily.  

Usually, a development team has a product owner, project manager, software developer, team lead, software architect, UI UX designer, QA engineer, and business analyst. All of the team members have dedicated roles and responsibilities that they have to accomplish. The formation of a team helps each member of the team to communicate with any other member to solve a problem they are facing. This ultimately improves productivity. 

Furthermore, one of the important takeaways for an app development startup is developing an MVP first. You never know if your app idea is as helpful for users as you’re thinking. There may be any minor or major mistakes that you might be making. If you develop an MVP, you will be able to see the pre-launch lacking in your app (if any). This way you can easily make your app perfect before launching the final product in the market.

6. Gather pre-launch feedback 

After that you have done building an MVP for your project, it’s time to know what people have to say about your app. There are several ways of gathering feedback from the audience. You can leverage different digital marketing services to gather feedback. Be it social media campaigns, polls, or email marketing. 

Building an MVP has the sole purpose of knowing what issues users have faced while using your app. Note them down and make sure to eradicate all from your app. You can then ask the users to suggest any feature or improvement they want to have within the app. 

So this is all that developing an MVP can do for you. If strategized properly, it can save you loads of money and time.

How much does it cost to build a streaming platform like Netflix?

Several factors affect the cost of app development. These include:

  • Type of app development (native, hybrid, or cross-platform)
  • App development company
  • Mobile app UI design
  • Partnership model with the development team
  • Platform of application development 

Usually, a native app like Netflix with less complicated features can cost around $20,000 to 40,000. Whereas, a hybrid or cross-platform app with a few complex features can range from $40,000 to $75,000. However, if you’re planning to develop an app similar to Netflix having integrated AI systems as well then it will cost you not less than $100,000 to $150,000.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, creating an app like Netflix won’t be a bad idea. As you have witnessed the stats, the demand for online video streaming platforms is increasing. A plethora of movie streaming platforms is already present in the online marketplace. But this is not something to worry about. You just need the right strategy and a skilled team of developers and you’re halfway there.

If you’re looking for an affordable app development company with a strong portfolio of work, FlutterDesk is your perfect choice at the moment. Having 4+ years of developing highly scalable, intuitive, and, robust apps, our team is capable of turning any of your complex business ideas into a real-world app. If you’re the one, just get in touch. One of our team members will contact you shortly.

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