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There were times when television used to be a major source of entertainment. But apps like Netflix disrupted the way in which world consumes its entertainment.
Video streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu took away a major chunk of television viewers. By giving its consumers the convenience of curated on-demand content which they can consume in any way they prefer, Netflix like video streaming apps have caused a major disruption in the TV industry.
As more and more people opt for video streaming services to enjoy the movies and television content, Netflix has emerged as the leader in the segment. As per Fortune, this tech giant currently constitutes around 15% of the internet bandwidth. Started as a modest DVD by mail rental service in the year 1997 by its two founders Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, today Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service provider.
If you are also planning to build an app like Netflix, the first thing you should do is – get acquainted with the factors responsible for the growing popularity of apps like Netflix, must-have features for an app like Netflix and the cost of development of such apps.
So, let’s dig and find it all!
Before video streaming apps like Netflix came into the picture people had no other option than to rent a DVD or go to their nearest theaters to watch a movie or watch what was being telecasted on TV sets. But now with Netflix like apps people can stream whatever content they want to see and that too at the time and place of their choice.
As per a Forbes report, by the year 2020, Netflix’s reach will increase from the current 81.5 million households to around 114 million households worldwide.
Such astonishing figures make it very clear that there is a huge market and the corresponding demand for video streaming apps among viewers. While the success story of Netflix is worth emulating by others, there can be many apprehensions regarding building video streaming apps. This may include uncertainty to enter a segment that has well-established players like Netflix.
There is no doubt that giants like Netflix have already captured a considerable portion of the video-streaming app market. However, there is enough space available for a new entrant to establish his/her video streaming app and even challenge the big players.
Here are some reasons that will prove the statement right:
1. Netflix is Leaving a Lot on the Table and You Can Grab It
As per Statista, Netflix has a huge subscriber base in the North American and Western Europe region and the numbers are growing at a really fast pace. However, in other regions of the world like Latin America, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Netflix users are comparatively insignificant in numbers.
These regions can present great market opportunities for any new Netflix alternative available to the users. So if you are planning to enter into the video streaming app segment, now is the time to build your idea into reality.
2. Netflix Is Not Targeting Users Who Loves to Watch Content in Local Languages
Producing a region-specific streaming content that too in local languages is one area where the giants like Netflix are lacking.
Netflix is just focusing on purchasing content in local languages which is adding to its already huge operating cost expenditure. Also, the majority of original content that is streamed on Netflix is not owned by them. Thus, most of the times, their rights over such content expire and the same content streams on other platforms.
So, for a new venture building a Netflix like app, this serves as an opportunity. Instead of focusing on people who like to watch content in english language only – they can also target users who love local languages.
This way you can be sure of tapping into a wider market and ensure growth by offering a diversified product mix. The key to success in video streaming app market is building a better alternative to Netflix and other players, who are often criticized for mostly streaming English language content.
3. Viewers Are Always Up for More Entertainment
Video streaming apps have a unique proposition that users never hesitate in choosing more than one platform. This is established from the fact that almost 50% of the households in the United Kingdom have subscribed to more than one video streaming apps and this trend is growing with each passing year.
Viewers are always ready to switch to a newer platform to satiate their entertainment needs. So if you are planning for video streaming app development, you must be assured that your prime audience will be those who have already subscribed to other existing platforms.
Now that you are convinced to build your own Netflix-like app, let us discuss the must-have features in such video streaming apps.
The biggest selling point of a mobile application is its feature enriched user interface. This can ensure seamless user interaction with an app. The same logic applies to a video-streaming app like Netflix.
User-friendly features are the biggest reason behind the growing popularity of Netflix like apps and hence people cutting their TV cords and switching to these platforms.
There are certain must-have features that have ensured maximum user engagement on Netflix like apps. These must be integrated into any new app being built in the same category. Let us take a look at these features:
1. User Registration
This is the most basic but important feature of a video-streaming app. Often a neglected feature, this feature in your app can be a deciding feature on whether users will continue using your app or leave it.
Most of the times businesses try to extract as much information as they can at the step of registration itself. However, this can cause huge inconvenience to users as they end up spending way more than the required time in the process. This is the reason why giving the convenience of registration via email or social media accounts to the users is important. This will require having a database at the server end where user data can be saved. To ensure secure social media logins, an open authorization protocol like “OAuth” can help.
2. Payment Gateway
Payment gateways are integral to any on-demand service application. The same is the case for Netflix like app. In order to give your users a hassle-free entertainment experience, you need to integrate a built-in payment gateway feature in your app.
Make sure your users have as many payment options as possible. This will make paid subscription seamless for the users
3. User’s Profile
This feature gives the app users the convenience to add their favorites like movies or TV shows, actors, directors, genres, etc, all in one place. Users can also add more people to their accounts so that they too can watch their favorite content in the app. In order to watch different content, others can create a separate page in the existing profile. This way content recommendation remains customized according to your likings
4. Search Content
This helps users to search and select content to view on your app based on their preference for actors, directors, genres, movies, TV shows, etc. Users can search for the content from a particular category by directly selecting the category bar without having to scroll down to an almost endless list.
User reviews can also help in content selection as one can see what others are watching and which is the most liked content on the app.
5. Chat Feature
Such a feature makes it easier for users to communicate with other users and leave a comment on featured content.
6. Push Notifications
This feature help update a user on a new series or movie released in their favorite category. Push notifications feature can also be used to send reminders to the users regarding subscription renewal, upgrading subscription plans, etc. This way continuous user engagement is ensured
This feature helps users select subtitles, audio tracks, control volume, rewind, etc as they watch their favorite content. Settings feature helps a user have control over how and at what pace they can stream their content.
As streaming of movies or TV shows on Netflix-like apps consumes a lot of data, users can adjust the app settings in terms of video quality to watch content and thus control data usage.
8. Multi-language Support
Larger the number of languages your video streaming app supports, the more the number of users you are likely to attract. There is a large section of potential customers who can comprehend content only in their native languages.
Thus if your app supports usage in multiple languages, you can be sure of tapping into a huge untouched user segment and ensure the success of your video streaming app.
The above-given list gives details on the features which are a must for any new Netflix like app. However any new app in the video streaming category should also be considered for integrating certain additional features that could make the end product more enriched and thus unique. This could include content recommendation, review and rating feature, download, live video broadcast, etc.
So, now that you have learned what basic features you must include in your Netflix like app, let us move ahead with the technology stack involved in making these apps.
Do you know that Netflix is a Single Page Application? You can also build a Netflix like app using SPA technology. Have a look at How a Single Page Application can help boost your business.
If you are planning to build an app like Netflix, you must also get hold of what technology tools are required in a subscription-based video-on-demand service.
To build a robust video streaming app, we suggest using the below technology stack:
As you can figure out there is a collection of tech tools which are required to build an app like Netflix. Having a team of experienced developers, we can help you make your own video-streaming app which will have the capability to standout in the market.
Based on our expertise in the field, we suggest you to first build a minimum viable product of your app. Video streaming apps like Netflix fall in the category of databases. These require heavy backend processing in order to stream data. Thus for the initial phase of the app launch, it is beneficial to have the main features and then adding new ones as the app gains popularity.
Giving an exact figure that depicts the cost of development of a Netflix like app is a difficult task. This is because the cost can vary as per your requirement. Also, the cost of development is determined based on the time required in the process.
Charges are applied on per hour basis, which will again vary based on the country in which you are developing your app. So to give you a rough estimation of the cost of building a video sharing app like Netflix, it will come out to be around $30,000-$50,000.
The bottom line of this whole discussion is that video streaming apps like Netflix are in huge demand. Modern fast-paced lifestyle requires people to find entertainment sources on the go. Apps like Netflix which provide its user’s entertainment media-on-demand proves to be the best for the purpose. This presents a window of opportunity for those who want to build their own app in this segment.
We have tried to give comprehensive information on what it takes to build an app like Netflix and how much will the development of such an app cost. In case you still have some queries unanswered, feel free to contact us. We will try our best to understand your requirements and deliver the best in class product.
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Nikhil Bansal is the Founder and CEO of Apptunix, a leading Software Development Company helping startups as well as brands in streamlining their business processes with intuitive and powerful mobile apps. After working in the iOS app development industry for more than 10 years, he is now well-equipped with excellent problem-solving and decision-making techniques.
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