An Ultimate Guide to Create an App like Netflix

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Video streaming is mounting as stay at home and social distancing is turning people to TV series and movies to ease their isolation and pass their time. A recent report by Conviva, a streaming media research firm, disclosed that video streaming services around the world have increased by 20% in the month of March. The USA alone has experienced a 26% rise in the number of people logging in for video streaming services.

Today services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are drawing TV viewers from all over the world. What is the secret behind its popularity? The answer is access to thousands of web services and movies and service package that can satisfy any taste.  If you are also planning to build one such application, then the time is appropriate. Maybe you can beat the Netflix fever by creating something similar to that application and adding new features to it.

Here, in this article, we have covered everything that will help you understand what all it takes to build streaming services like Netflix:

Table of Contents

  • Netflix Business Model
  • Netflix Value Proposition
  • How does Netflix Make Money
  • How to Create a Video Streaming App like Netflix?
  • Technology Stack for Netflix-like Service
  • MVP of Netflix-like Streaming Service
  • Crucial Requirements for Streaming Services To Keep up With
  • Total Cost of Netflix-like Service Development
  • Final Hints

Netflix Business Model

Netflix business model is not simply about the way you monetize your business, but it also about how you embrace your audience. The business model of these video streaming services is based on an organization ecosystem, which can scale upwards in the future.

Netflix uses a subscription-based business model. Along with the global expansion, this business model will allow the company to scale up steadily and quickly.

Netflix Value Proposition

The Netflix value proposition includes four elements, such as:

Accessibility

The company delivers video across different operating systems, platforms, and devices. This approach helps Netflix maximize its fan base. Subscribers watch their favorite video content via tablets, browsers and other devices.

Original Content

All the programs broadcasted on Netflix are exclusive and third-party publisher’s shows. Apart from this, the service offers some in-house shows which are not available on any other platform.

No Ads

Ads are shown only to free account users. We all know how irritating it is to watch ads when you are watching your favorite series. Premium subscription owners enjoy ad-free services, hence motivating users to buy a subscription.

Recommendation Algorithm

Netflix has thousands of TV shows, which are available for streaming. The recommendation algorithm gathers content according to the user query and increases engagement with the platform.

How does Netflix make money?

The essential source of revenue for Netflix is subscriptions. Users can choose one of the following monthly plans:

  1. Basic, which comes at $7.99 per month. This plan doesn’t include high definition viewing, and users can only watch videos one screen at a time.
  2. Standard, for $10.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch H.D. videos on two simultaneous wings.
  3. Premium, costs $13.99 per month. After paying the subscription fees, users can watch 4K videos on four screens.

As for the target audience, Netflix has the following three business segments:

  • Domestic Streaming: The platform revenue mainly comes from monthly fees, which is paid by U.S. subscribers.
  • International Streaming: Monthly membership fees which are generally generated from the subscribers who are outside the United States.
  • Domestic DVD: Revenue generated by US subscribers who pay DVD-by-mail on monthly subscription fees.

Now, let’s have a look at how to create an app like Netflix and what is the estimated cost of developing such a video streaming app.

How to Create a Video Streaming App like Netflix?

The development of Netflix like the application is not that easy as it appears to be. To achieve this you have to go through the following steps:

Step 1: Find your Niche:

The first thing to do is to decide what content your app will stream to users. Here are some ideas:

Entertainment: Like HBO and Netflix, you can provide your customers with entertainment streaming services. The audience is whopping, you can surely think about becoming a new streaming provider.

Fitness: Fitness is another crucial niche for VOD services. Fitness freaks under lockdown would be happy to pay for a subscription that provides them access to fitness-related videos anytime.

Education: People sitting at home are increasingly searching for how-to videos rather than reading tutorials and instructions.

Step2: Decide on content availability:

Since, the content is the basis of your service, decide what your content will be:

  • Would you use videos from other distributors?
  • Or, would you create your own video content?

If you want to cooperate with video distributors, you need to get a license. Here are two ways to deal with that:

  • Contacting the copyright holder
  • Renting a movie from an authorized distributor along with a license.

Step 3: Choose the monetization model:

Here are three monetization model available for on-demand video services:

Pay-Per-View: It is the most straightforward pricing scheme which means the user pays for every video he/she watches. This model is best if you develop a platform that broadcasts trade shows, sports events, boxing, conferences and MMA.

Advertising: You can charge companies for running video advertisements on your platform. However, this monetization strategy will only work if your platform will become famous among users.

Subscription: As you remember, Netflix uses this monetization strategy. Besides this, the subscription model is effectively used by professional broadcasters. Subscribers are charged a monthly fee to receive access to a content library. You can use this monetization technique if you will regularly release new content on your platform.

Step 4: Study the video streaming app requirements:

For your video to perform well, you need to balance the following characteristics:

Internet Speed

Internet Speed impacts the platform’s ability to stream the videos which are on-demand. The minimum internet speed to stream standard definition movies is more than 2 MB/second. But, to

broadcast HD, 3D or 4K, your Internet speed must be much higher. 

Cloud Hosting and Computing Architecture

For keeping video content we recommend using cloud hosting platforms because of the following benefits:

  • The cloud platform allows quick access to video content.
  • Cloud hosting platforms are cheaper than hard drives.
  • Cloud hosting platforms are flexible and also increase the amount of space automatically.

Step 5: Focus on your Audience:

Here are a few ways to find the audience for Netflix like the app:

  • Social Media: Popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Share videos on these channels to promote your services and find the right target audience.
  • Use YouTube: This service is very powerful for brand promotion, hence it is good to use build a trustful attitude towards the product.
  • Arrange Newsletters: Send your potential customers a letter with a detailed description of your service, but make sure you make the letter presentable and attractive.

Technology Stack for Netflix-like Service

Development Tools

Languages: Java, Python, Swift, Kotlin, Javascript

Database: MySQL, Oracle, Cassandra

Frameworks: Node.js

Cloud Storage: Amazon S3:

Cloud Hosting: Amazon EC2

JS Libraries: React, WinJS;

BDaaS (Big Data as a Service): Amazon EMR;

Operating System: FreeBSD; Server: Nginx

DevOps Tools

Code collaboration and version control: GitHub;

Continuous Integration: Jenkins;

Server Management: Apache Mesos;

Log Management: Sumo Logic.

MVP of Netflix-like Streaming Service:

Netflix falls under those applications which require heavy backend for the processing of streaming data transfer. The total cost of development of applications like Netflix depends upon the number of features it will have. The more features app will have, the costlier it will be.  

Here is an estimate how much you need to spend for an app-like Netflix:

MVP Development Cost of Netflix-like App

Platform

There is no considerable difference between the app development for iOS or Android. But for the MVP, it is better to start with only one Operating System. Apart from this, you must also consider building SVOD website as streaming services are used in web versions as well.

Design

Hard-to-use applications alienate users and people are unlikely to use such applications. Therefore, for app-like Netflix, simple design is the best. It will also let users get the necessary information in the blink of an eye.

Users Registration

The first feature that is very crucial is registration. Registration via email and social networks makes it more convenient for potential users.

Payment Gateway

There is no need for payment gateway if you are going to use an operating system from Apple or Google. Android and iOS have mobile payment systems that allow making purchases in Google Play and Apple Store with just one click of the button. The only thing that users need while making payments is to register their account. Apple and Google offer special frameworks for using their APIs.

User Profile

Here users can add their favorite movies or web series. Also, it is possible to add more people so that you can add more content to a Netflix-like streaming service.

Content Search

You have to provide your subscriber with options like “Selection by Genre” and “Selection by User Reviews.”

Chats and Comments

This may include options that would let users add a comment or communicate with other users.

Push Notifications

Notifications will let you inform the user when new TV shows or series is released.

Settings

Selection of subtitles on/off, rewind, play/pause, audio track, volume control, etc.

Admin Panel

It should be available obligatory since you as an admin will have access to manage users and videos as well, edit videos and block users if necessary.

Crucial Requirements for Streaming Services To Keep up With

How to make your Netflix-like service? You should that your streaming service should fulfill the basic requirements to ensure proper functionality, it has a direct impact on the user’s engagement.

Here are crucial requirements for Netflix-like App:

Stable Storage: 

Cloud hosting is the most reliable storage for any type of content. All your videos should be stored on a well-tried hosting to provide users with seamless content delivery.

Good Network Connectivity: 

Apply Content Delivery Network (CDN) to create stable connectivity, give users shorter request time, and prevent servers overloading.

High Bandwidth:

The combination of reliable CDN and video streaming will ensure high bandwidth and low probability of lagging. If you a

Total Cost of Netflix like Service Development

It takes a lot of time and resources to make applications and websites like Netflix. But the cost of the final product is entirely dependent on how many features will be added to the application. Of course, the cost will vary, depending upon the functionalities that you want to include, but here is an approximate development cost of Netflix-like app:

Total Development Cost of Netflix like Service

Final Hints

What actions should be undertaken to achieve success through a video streaming app? Here are things to keep in mind to become a successful owner of other apps like Netflix. 

  • Proper estimation and planning during development.
  • Pay attention to how your audience is immersing in your content. Also, there should be a large list of content.
  • Various recommendation models should be built based on analytical information and A/B testing.
  • Content security provision to avoid legal problems.
  • Capabilities of income increase, audience growth and advertising strategies.
  • Analytics to improve data analysis and data collection, determine which features confuse users and improve conversion rates.
  • Quality of service, which refers to many app components whether it be streaming speed, transfer, delivery, user experience, or playback of the content.

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