Building a Streaming App like Netflix

Building a Streaming App like Netflix-01

Netflix – one of the most popular online streaming platforms for films, series and documentaries. It was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company’s primary business is its subscription-based streaming service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television series, including those produced in-house.

As of April 2020, Netflix had over 193 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 73 million in the United States. In the second quarter of 2020, Netflix had 192.95 million paying streaming subscribers worldwide. During the COVID-19 pandemic Netflix reported “revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 was $5.768B, a 27.58% increase year-over-year.

What makes Netflix such a great streaming app? 

1. Business Model: Netflix, though a paid service (with the first 30 days free), has overtaken many free online streaming platforms due to its unique feature which allows up to 4 devices to stream at a single time. For example,  a family or a group of friends can all sign up via one account and set up their own profiles. 

Netflix has four subscription plans, where the plan decides the devices on which you can stream Netflix videos, as well as who all can watch them.

  • Mobile plan: allows the users to stream SD videos on a single mobile or Tablet. 
  • Basic plan: allows the user to stream SD videos on any one device at a time.
  • Standard plan: users can watch HD videos on two screens at a time.
  • Premium plan: users can watch HD videos on up to 4 screens simultaneously.

Netflix caters to international markets by acquiring or producing country-specific or area-specific content. 

2. Success of Netflix: 

  • 24x7x365 Service: Netflix is always up and running. They have uninterrupted service and the site keeps you posted on whether the service is up at that point in time or not.
  • Original content pioneers: Netflix’s original films and series have become a hit as they provide their audience with high-quality original content. 
  • Reviews and ratings: Netflix has a rating system which allows users to view recommendations, trending shows and movies.  
  • Ad-free content: While many sites monetise by posting ads, Netflix is absolutely ad-free. This makes binge-watching interruption free and popular among video streamers. 
  • Free trial period: Netflix has four different plans for its subscribers. No matter what subscription is chosen, the first 30 days are completely free. If users do not want to continue after the trial period, they can cancel without having to pay a single rupee!

3. Essential features of on-demand video streaming apps:

Netflix is gaining popularity because it allows the viewers to watch their favourite shows and movies at their convenience. If you would like to launch your own on-demand video streaming app as a business, you must take care to include at least these features in the app:

  • User registration and profile management: Registration and user profile management is an essential feature of any on-demand video streaming app. Platforms such as netflix allow users to register through social media profiles as integration with social media will not need to be done separately.
  • Video sharing: Users can share favourite videos with friends through social media, or directly. 
  • Live video streaming: The biggest advantage Netflix gives to its customers is that they can watch any content with convenience. They can watch any genre of  content on-demand and on any screen they want. 
  • Content search: Netflix allows users to easily filter content and navigate to find content based on their personal preference like: language, country of production, genre.
  • Reviews and ratings:  Users believe other users opinions and recommendations. A good app or platform is designed in a way that allows users to give ratings and reviews. 
  • Secure and reliable payment gateway: One major concern for people today is the security of the platforms they use. It’s important to ensure a secure and reliable payment gateway. You should also try to provide as many payment options as possible to make the user experience and convenience smooth. 
  • Multiple devices and language support: Most people now have a laptop, tablet and mobiles. A well built platform is built to be compatible. Your app/ platform should support streaming on multiple devices owned by the user in a single subscription. Another added benefit would be integrating multiple languages to be more global and accessible. 
  • Download feature: Internet accessibility may not always be available. A unique and important feature netflix has is – it lets users download content and watch it offline. 

With several video streams apps on the rise, these are some of the essential factors you can consider and use as a learning from Netflix. 

4. Factors affecting the cost of video streaming app

App features: The above list gives insight into the most important features that must be a part of your app. Depending upon how many features you want to include in your app, the cost of the app will increase or decrease.

App platform: The technologies that you use to develop the app, maintain and operate  decides the cost of your on-demand video streaming app.

Here are some example: 

  • HDR in UI graphics is not different from HD in videos. Specifying the clear brightness, the throw of the shades and color and more luminance in the pixels. 

By applying a debug feature in the App of Netflix it makes it possible to spotlight the HDR pixels on the screen. It has all that is required for an HDR image format that includes color profiles, increased bit-depth, tooling help, Codec support, and others.

  • MAF is a quality metric for videos that combines machine learning with human vision modeling. Another plus point to apply the VMAF technology on Netflix is to get a high degree of speed optimization.
  • The Netflix Media Database (NMDB) is a huge data system based on the microservices of Netflix. It helps to get a much technically deep metadata for the Netflix media assets and serves the queries using the runtime computation and lookups.
  • Keystone Stream Processing is a platform to engineer the data-driven practice. Its core focus is on data analytics. The Keystone Stream Processing has two services that include the Data pipeline and SPaas. Netflix a reactive stream processing platform of its own called ‘Mantis’ that focuses on the operational used elements that play an important role in the Netflix ecosystem. 
  • The increased load balancing improvements on the Netflix cloud gateway ‘Open source Zuul 2’. It acts as an open door to all the inquiries or requests approaching the Cloud infrastructure of Netflix.
  • Netflix reduced errors and improved systems by using Ribbon Load Balancer in Zuul.

Location of development company 

  • If you plan to develop the app in-house, you have to consider factors like recruitment and training costs of the development team. By outsourcing app development, you can focus on your core idea.
  • When outsourced, the location of the mobile app development company is an important factor affecting the cost because it is determined by the cost of living in that area.

A few tips to keep in mind: 

  • The interface is the first thing that your users see. It should be intuitive, engaging, and awesome to behold.
  • The app must be designed futuristically. This means if you want to expand your user base to other countries, offer services in different languages, etc., you should not need to redesign the whole app again.
  • Users should be able to log into the app in multiple ways like e-mail, social media profile, mobile number, etc.
  • The mobile app should work on multiple platforms like smartphones, Smart TVs, laptops, desktops, etc.
  • A home button that takes the users to their favourite content that they have already watched must be available on the screen at all times.
  • User data and payment gateway must be completely secure.
  • Users should be able to download content and watch it offline.

Netflix is marked as successful as it prioritizes subscribers’ needs. With all the great and overwhelming features, regular transformation innovations and they create ease for all subscribers. Their business strategy to adapt and adopt is making customers glued to this platform.

Are you ready to build the next big OTT app? Get in touch with us and we’ll do it for you!

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