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How much does it Cost to develop Video Streaming App like Netflix?

By Gurdeep Singh
July 7, 2018 2. min read
Last update on: April 2, 2020

Video streaming app market has changed the outlook of how users view visual media. The switch that users have made from traditional media to digital, is the one that has moved to mobile and has created a category that is now accepted by million of users, worldwide.

In this article, we will be looking into the video streaming app market and will guide you with creating a name in the video on demand industry and join the likes of Netflix, HBO Now, and Hulu.

Before we go on to the live streaming app features that you should have and how much would it cost you to build a netflix clone, let us first look at the state of video streaming app market.

The Video Streaming App Market

Video streaming app market has emerged as one of the most preferred mode of viewing videos online.

The fact that users can now see everything from their favorite shows to live sports on their mobile devices have increased and expanded the demand for the app category beyond geographical boundaries and age group range of 18 to 35 years.

Brands like Netflix and Hulu etc have started an app category that has now extended to over fifty of different brands now, all witnessing a revenue growth of over 40% y-o-y growth – an amount which is anticipated to make the video on demand market reach US$73.90 Billion by 2024.

Video Streaming Apps Growth in the US

Seeing the growth in user demand that the Video on demand streaming industry has found for itself, a number of brands have entered the segment in the past some years. But there are only a selected few brands that have surfaced as the top leaders –

Video Streaming Market Leaders

Now that you have seen the speed at which the industry is growing and the players that are defining the video streaming app industry, let us now move to the section where we talk about how you, as a business, need to enter the market – the answer to ‘How to develop a video app’.

Your journey to on-demand video streaming app development would start with knowing what all features should need to be present when you build a Netflix clone app.

Let’s start with that.

Must Have Features of a Video Streaming App Like Hulu or Netflix

Must Have Features of a Video Streaming App Like Hulu or Netflix

1. Portfolio of Age and Genre Wise Content

A video streaming platform to become popular and widely accepted by the million of users who resort to a video platform like Amazon Prime or Netflix for their entertainment needs, the video library should be made of a variety of content genre mixing categories with News and Live shows as well.

2. Multilingual Content

In order for you to reach greater demographics and expand your business beside the geographical boundaries of the place your app is based out of, you will have to extend the content language beyond English.

App Localization is known to increase the conversion rate of both apps and websites to over 200%.

Netflix, bagged 93 million users, with over 150 million hours of video streaming everyday, in 2016, once the brand added multilingual content in its library.

2016 was the year when the brand announced global rollout of streaming content to more than 130 countries, a number which was earlier only available in limited countries.

3. Search

An Explore or Search option is a must have in video streaming app. The option should be designed in a way that it is visible for all age groups. Also, try to have as many genre options in the search drop-down menu as possible.

4. User Profile

This feature is a no-brainer. Your app should have a user profile wherein you should give the users the option to manage their entire app – payment, content they want to watch, suggestions that are similar to the content that they have viewed, and an option to view their plan details.

In case you are also planning to add multiple screens in the app, have a seperate section for all the users, each with their set of features.

5. Watchlist

Another must have feature of your video streaming application should be Watchlist. This is the section where the users add programs that they wish to watch next.

To make them come to the screen, you can incorporate notification systems, which would remind users to watch the series.

6. Social Features

Social elements are what would make your app shareable and would get it achieve the daily active users target you must have set for it.

There should be an option for the users to share the content that they are viewing on their social media platforms. Also, having a social media login option will also make the onboarding process a lot easier.

7. Screen Mirroring

You can also offer the offer to view the video on your app on other screens like TV or Laptop with the help of Wifi. There are two ways to implement this feature. Let us look at both of them –

  • Google Cast SDK – The SDK, which is has become an important part of the answer to how to make video streaming android app is designed to develop apps that support Chromecast HDMI dongle of Google. The option makes it possible for developers to extend their iOS, Android, or even Chrome apps to stream the audio and video content on to a TV set with the app becoming a remote control to manage the playback
  • Second method is enabling the screen mirroring option with AirPlay – an alternative to Google Cast, which work just with Apple TV and the linked iOS apps.

Wondering how to develop a video app with all these features and make money? Do what brands like Netflix do. Let us look at what the monetization model of apps like Hulu and Netflix looks like –

Netflix Monetization Model

Video on Demand apps like Netflix and Hulu primarily work on a Subscription based monetization model. They offer different plans to the users with amount varying according to the number of users who would be watching the app to the quality of the video, like Standard Definition, High Definition, and Ultra High Definition.

Apart from the subscription model, Hulu also provides an in-app ad option as a mode to generate revenue.

Irrespective of the monetization model, almost all the Video on Demand brands keep the first month free for their subscribers.

Wish to join the league of the top on-demand video streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu and generate revenue in billions? Know how much it would cost you, first.

Cost of Netflix like Mobile App Development

The estimation of video on demand video streaming app development like Hulu or Netflix cost comes down to a number of factors – the number of features that you are adding in the app, the number of platforms that the app would work on, and lastly, the geographical location your partnered mobile app development company is based out of.

[To get the exact in-depth cost estimation of on-demand live streaming app development, head over to our guide on How much does it cost to develop and maintain a mobile app]

Depending on the number of features, you can divide the development process in three parts

  • Light – User registration, payment gateway, video gallery, social media integration, basic video player, search, and settings.
  • Medium – The light version features + localization, subtitles, advanced video player
  • Complex – Along with the features mentioned above – User profiles, ability to search for friends, push notification, chat, reviews, and comments.

The other factor that affects the Netflix like live streaming app development cost is the number of platforms the app would function on.

The cost would rise in an ascending order as you move from one platform, say Android or iOS to both Android and iOS and then would be higher when you add Web in the mix.

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The last factor is the geographical location your partnered mobile app development is based out of.

The average per hour mobile app development cost varies from East to West. While in the western nation like the USA or Australia, the average hourly rate would vary from $80 to $200, in Eastern nations like India, the cost would be somewhere around $25 to $80.

Gurdeep Singh
Gurdeep Singh
Product Innovation Team
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